I read a lot of blogs.  Sometimes I read one that really connects with me.  Michael Grose’s Happy Kids is one such blog.

This week’s blog refers to parenting types and running through the options I can identify myself.  I can also spot the ones I do not ever want to be like but in moments of weakness can be like.  I notice my friend’s parenting styles and that of my own upbringing.  Parenting is a tough job.

Here are the types Michael has gathered:

  • Helicopter parenting: Parents who are always hovering. Not giving kids sufficient space to solve their own problems.
  • Curling parenting: Named after a strange winter sport, where two people equipped with brooms sweep the obstacles off the ice for the curl (bowling ball on ice).
  • Lawnmower parenting: Similar to curling parenting where parents smooth the way by mowing down life’s bumps.
  • High investment parenting: When parents live out their own goals through their kids.
  • Submarine parenting: Neglectful style where parents disengage from most tasks.
  • Free range parenting: Giving kids a great deal of space and freedom.
  • Hippo parenting: When parents squash their kids (like a hippo) to prove a point!
  • Tiger parenting: Strict parenting style that promotes excellence and perfection in kids.
  • Pussy cat parenting: The name says it all. When parents are a soft touch!
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder parenting: More a communication method than a style. Doing something side-by-side with kids encourages conversations.

When reflecting on my own upbringing I experienced ‘tough love’…If I did something wrong – I paid the price – in my teens I was often grounded!  Cutting off my social network was a killer!   My father was in the army and my mother had to play both mum and dad roles when he was away.  I grew up in a healthy environment of discipline and love.  Michael’s blog refer’s to this as ‘Thriving’ style.  Here is an extract from his blog:

The authoritative approach offers a mix of discipline and warmth that is deemed necessary for kids to thrive, thus it’s been dubbed the thriving approach.

Here are five characteristics of the Thriving (authoritative) style:

  1. Parents set limits and boundaries that expand as kids get older and become more capable.
  2. Parents use consequences and other tools to teach kids to behave well and develop a sense of personal responsibility.
  3. Children receive a great deal of encouragement (comments directed at improvement, effort and contribution rather than directed at their ability) and quality feedback about their efforts and behaviour that helps them improve.
  4. Parents encourage empathy in children by recognising their emotions and giving them permission and assistance to express their feelings and help them resolve relationship problems.
  5. Parents put a range of measures in place to develop a sense of generosity of spirit and give and take so kids think ‘we’ rather than ‘what’s in it for me?’ This sense of community that authoritative parenting promotes is the real strength of the style.

Parenting is a tough job.  For me it takes a blend of patience, boundary setting, love and laughter to make the experience a ‘happy ever after’.  Resources such as Michael’s help me achieve this balance.

Take the quiz and see what parent you are.

Michael Grose’s Parenting Ideas is packed with information for parents.  You can subscribe to his newsletter and purchase products in his online store.  Michael is the author of 8 parenting books, including his new release Thriving! and the best-selling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change it.  He was also recently on the ‘Today” show – take a peek at the video.