The moment we think of raising a child from birth to adulthood, we all want nothing but the best for them and for us to be the parents they deserve. As the whole family lives under one roof, parents are considered to be the first teachers of their own children. It might feel like a massive and much work to do, considering all the conflicts you’ll encounter along the way. Still, when you already know important tips and guidelines you learned from your parents or others, you’ll soon realize it’s not as hard as it is!
Realistically speaking, there is no one right way of raising a child. Each of us parents has different personalities and lives with values and beliefs that others may not have, so there is no way of putting that we must adhere to one type of parenting style only. In fact, others choose to mix and match various parenting styles depending on what is essential to the family and for the child.
While there have been three broader categories (authoritarian, permissive, authoritative) of parenting styles introduced by Diana Baumrind, researchers continue to study them on a more specific level. Here are some parenting styles studied by researchers that may be of great help for you and your journey as a parent.
- Elephant Parenting
First in our list is where parents are more flexible to the choices of their children rather than imposing strict and definitive rules that need to be followed, which is also coined as elephant parenting. If you like to practice this style, you must prioritize nurturing, loving, and encouraging your child, especially in their few first years. There’s not much independence to this parenting style as elephant mothers always tend to their children’s needs.
While this style of parenting includes letting kids be kids and giving them the freedom and opportunity to be who they want, it can also make you being overly permissive, and your children can be so much dependent on you. Still, it focuses on spiritual growth, emotional connection with others rather than pushing your child to achieve academic excellence and forcing them to be someone they don’t want to be.
- Tiger Parenting
Tiger parenting centers in the authoritative category where parents imply strict rules and create limits and boundaries to their children. They also emphasize the excellence of their child in various fields such as music, academics, and sports. Also, there are quite a few tiger parents who even discourage social activities such as going out with friends.
While this may work for others in developing their child to reach higher places and grow to be an achiever, the harsh realities and regimen of this style can lead to some problems of the child’s psychological state, which may turn out worse if not given attention right away. The reason why this style still exists today is that other parents measure their success in parenting by counting how much achievements their child has obtained with their ways of child-rearing.
- Dolphin Parenting
Last, but not the end of different parenting styles is a mix of the two approaches mentioned above. Just like life, parenting itself needs a lot of balancing – between independence and rules, work, and play. This is where dolphin parenting, where there’s a hint of both authoritative and permissive, comes to the picture. As introduced by psychiatrist and author Dr. Shimi Kang, she defined it with the acronym POD, P as “play and exploration,” O as “others” to reflect, and D as “downtime” which includes regular activities such as sleeping and exercise.
Parents who practice this style take an authoritative personality, but with a bit of playful part. Dolphin parents tend to collaborate with their children, nurture the spiritual aspect, not forgetting about individual passions and independence while still being firm yet flexible. This style is excellent for upbringing your children to have a well-balanced life filled with a real connection and purpose while still being independent and with a sense of authority.
These are only some of the parenting styles, and yes, we all know that parenting doesn’t come with a manual, but I hope this still helps you as a guide to your journey of raising a child. The most important thing to remember, though, is to do what’s best for your child, for yourself, and always attend to their needs and adapt to changes.