There is no one right way to parent kids. Each child is different. This means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to raising well-adjusted adults. Your parenting style can affect your children’s resilience, confidence, and future success. Knowing which type of parent you are will give you a better insight if your intention can indeed help or harm your kids in the future. These are today’s four modern parenting styles and what experts have to say for each one.
The Lawnmower Parent
In 2018, an anonymous teacher published about lawnmower parenting. These days, many call lawnmower parents bulldozer or snowplow parents. This type of parenting “mows down” any difficulties or obstacles their kids might encounter along the way to save them from experiencing suffering or misfortunes.
The good thing about lawnmower parenting is that it can help make kids feel loved, safe, and secure. They try to landscape their kid’s life by taking extreme measures to safeguard their kids from getting hurt or from feeling disappointed. Lawnmower parents allow their parental instinct to protect their kids even if it meant keeping kids from learning how to adapt to daily challenges.
Lawnmower parenting can negatively impact kids’ ability to solve problems, make decisions. This creates insecurity for their inability to face obstacles on their own. In turn, kids easily get stressed up when things don’t go their own way.
Kids of lawnmower parents often grow up with a sense of narcissism or entitlement. They lack resilience, struggle to fulfill even the simple tasks, and can even lack the passion and perseverance to chase after their long-term goals. They stay dependent on their parents, which in turn, leads to parents feeling frustrated, overworked, and stressed-out in the long run.
The Tiger Parent
Parents in Asian countries often exercise the tiger parenting style. Many critic tiger parenting as a harsh way to parent kids. Tiger parents have strict rules, often use fear and shame, and have high expectations of their kids.
Tiger parents prioritize self-discipline, thus they push their kids to excel in many areas, including their academics extracurricular activities, and behavior. This encourages kids to develop strong work ethics, be self-reliant, motivated, and confident. They help kids push their limits, strive to be better, and have the ability to fulfill their goals.
Tiger parents may be known for using shame when parenting kids. This can leave their kids dependent on others, become afraid to make mistakes, and blame themselves for being imperfect. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and poor social skills.
The Free-Range Parent
Parents who chose to step back, offer less supervision, and allow their kids more freedom are free-range parents. This helps kids become more resourceful, learn to solve problems on their own, foster creativity, and build self-esteem. Parents still guide kids by teaching them life lessons telling them about safety precautions before letting the kids practice what they were taught in real life.
Let’s say a free-range parent takes their kids saltwater fishing. Before going on the trip, the parent asks the kids if they want to come, tells them the dos and don’ts, introduces them to the tackles—why they use an Avet SX 5.3 reel instead of another reel, the works. On the trip, the kids are given the chance to experience fishing first hand and practice what they are thought.
In a nutshell, this type of parenting style encourages kids to go out more, have an adventure, be more social, and gain confidence and self-sufficiency. The downside is that there is an increased risk for kids since we no longer live in a world where there is no village mentality. Some states don’t also allow parents to allow their kids with independent exploration which can put you in trouble if you are not careful.
The Helicopter Parent
This type of parenting has parents hover over their kid’s backs to the extent of them being too involved with their kids’ lives. They always know what’s happening to their kids and kids can learn from their parent’s mistakes. Children are less likely to get in trouble and can end up growing as reliable adults.
Like all parenting styles, helicopter parenting has its fair share of cons. Kids can end up having little confidence and be dependent due to their parents’ constant hovering. They are likely to act out or end up rebelling in an attempt to figure out who they really are as a person.
Sometimes, parents practice a combination of these modern parenting styles. It is important to note that you can never safeguard kids against the harsh realities of life. What parents can do best is to provide their kids with the kind of support they need as needed. We need to give them the chance to solve problems on their own and allow them to fail and learn from their failures. Instead of trying to shield themselves from life’s adversity, let them navigate their way around the world for them to learn how to be resilient, confident, responsible, and well-adjusted adults.