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7164029328_5b4b722f03_zParenting children is a pretty serious business – we all want to get it right so that our children grow up to become members of society who can make a positive contribution to the world in which they live.  Parenting styles change over time and modern parenting offers plenty of choices.  There are old-fashioned, authoritarian parents, there are laissez-faire parents, there are hippy type parents and there are parents who are so determined that their children will succeed in life that it seems to affect everything they say and do.  Times have changed since we were children and there is much more information available to parents nowadays.

When we first become parents, it’s natural that we look back on our own childhood and the way in which we were brought up by our own parents.   Our parents probably did the best they could and got some things right and some things wrong (as we will do ourselves, no doubt).  Most of us will be able to use this opportunity to learn from our own parents, taking on board the methods that we feel have had a positive effect and avoiding things that we feel were not particularly helpful.

Nowadays, there are five main styles of parenting:

  • INSTINCTIVE PARENTING:  This is an old style of parenting which involves following your instincts and going with your gut feelings.  This is usually influenced by our own upbringing and it means we are much more likely to teach our children what we know and parent our children in a similar manner to our own parents.
  • ATTACHMENT PARENTING:  This style of parenting is designed to form a strong bond between parents and children.  These parents will respond to their children’s needs immediately and ensure that they are sensitive towards each child and emotionally available at all times.  There is a belief that the strong attachment formed between parents and children will help the children to become peaceful and secure human beings.
  • HELICOPTER PARENTING:  These parents are usually very involved in their children’s lives, constantly checking the children and making sure they perform well at all times.  While this can be invaluable for very small children, it can be overpowering when the time comes for the children to develop independence and is probably best avoided as the children become older.
  • PERMISSIVE PARENTING:  These parents are often seen as being over-indulgent and non-traditional.  There is a danger that the parents will end up taking on the role of a friend rather than a parent.
  • AUTHORITARIAN PARENTING:  These parents will probably have quite a strict set of rules and guidelines that they expect the children to follow.

Most of us will probably choose a mix up of two or more of these parenting styles, which can be a great idea.  While there is no definite right or wrong way to be a parent, the way in which we bring up our children determines the type of adults they will become.  Those of us who are happy with the way in which we were brought up are far more likely to follow in our own parents footsteps when it comes to child rearing.

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