Choosing a parenting philosophy may seem sanctimonious and unnecessary, but it often happens automatically. Many people feel more comfortable identifying with a certain group, like voting Republican or Democratic or becoming Christian or Pastafarian. (If you don’t know what Pastafarianism is, look it up because that shiz will have you lolling.)
So… Whether you like it or not, you might already have a parenting philosophy. And maybe said parenting philosophy isn’t really working for you anymore. The New Year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and kick outdated, restrictive parenting ideologies to the curb.
I love reading parenting books and blogs and learning new things, but here are a few parenting styles that I could do without:
1. Authoritarian Parenting
Yes, this is a real, military-style parenting philosophy, very similar to how I was raised. When I became a parent, I wasn’t sure how severely I would discipline my kids, but now that I’ve gotten to know them, I’m leaning more toward enforcing boundaries with respect and straying away from strict punishment.
2. Helicopter Parenting
I never, ever wanted to be a helicopter mom, but the sheer terror of having a newborn baby on my hands made me a little obsessive. I vow to stop sweating the small stuff and to let my sons get hurt as much as they want to learn a few real-life lessons (within reason).
3. Permissive Parenting
Like I said, I’m really not leaning toward the authoritarian side of the spectrum, but my husband and I have learned the hard way that my toddler really, really needs boundaries. I know all kids are different, but he seems to respond so well to structure. Case in point, whenever we get a little lax and let him do whatever he wants, massive tantrums ensue for a minimum of three days. Permissive parenting clearly doesn’t work for him.
4. Snowplow Parenting
Snowplow parents try to shield their kids from life’s hardships, and while the trend may sound utterly ridiculous, it’s hard to shake. I really want to let my sons make their own choices and experience uncomfortable situations and emotional pain under my care—even if it’s also uncomfortable for me. Wish me luck.
5. Special Snowflake Parenting
This is a parenting term that may not have been coined yet by psychologists, but it is a real thing if you’ve ever dabbled in Facebook or Pinterest. I am guilty of thinking that my kids are the best thing on earth and wanting to talk about every stupid thing they do, including the color of their poop. This year, I’ll try to remain cognizant of the fact that only my husband cares about them as much as I do, and grandparents come in second. For my single friends, I’ll try to do better to keep my trap shut.
(photo: Getty Images)