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23 Parenting Philosophies and Methods Explained

Everyone has an opinion on the best ways to raise a child, and this can make navigating the world of new parenthood confusing and overwhelming. There seem to be more and more parenting style, parenting methods, and parenting trends popping up each year. What is attachment parenting? What is a helicopter parent? What is free range parenting? Such questions swirl around in the heads of new or soon-to-be parents. But, in truth, there is no one right answer on how to be a good parent. This parenting styles chart by Playground Equipment can help parents navigate these parenting philosophies and adopt what appeals to them:

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23 Parenting Philosophies and Methods Explained - - Infographic


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1. What is authoritative parenting?

Authoritative parents are supportive, responsive, and nurturing, but also focus on setting firm limits. Rather than seeking to establish complete obedience and control, they try to explain the reasoning behind rules, discuss expectations, and listen to a child’s viewpoint. Authoritative parents are often warm, loving, and encourage freedom. They are consistent about boundaries and expectations.

2. What is authoritarian parenting?

Authoritarian parenting is an extremely strict and rigid parenting style. Parents hold their children to high standards with very little responsiveness and compromise. An authoritarian parent focuses more on obedience, discipline, and control over comfort and nurturing. What is an example of authoritarian parenting? When a parent asks a child to do something, and they ask why, the answer might be: “because I said so.” One form of punishment in authoritarian parenting is withholding love and affection.

3. What is permissive parenting?

Permissive parents are kind and loving, but not engaged. They do not set firm limits or rules, monitor children’s activities, or demand appropriate behavior for their age. They often seem more like their children’s friend than a parent. Permissive parents may be afraid to take control, or they believe a child should be free to be true to their own nature and choices both on playgrounds and off.

4. What is uninvolved parenting?

Uninvolved parenting is also referred to as neglectful parenting. It is characterized as a lack of responsiveness to a child’s wants and needs. Children receive very little guidance, discipline, or nurturing from parental figures. Parents are also usually not interested in what the child is doing or what they are interested in.

5. What is attachment parenting?

Attachment parenting focuses on nurturing the connection between parent and child. Constant, loving care and sensitivity to a child’s wants and needs is paramount from the very beginning. Breastfeeding is considered a key step in establishing this secure bond. All expression of emotion, including tantrums, are believed to be genuine efforts to communicate, so they should be taken seriously and not punished or dismissed. Skin-to-skin touching, co-sleeping, and positive discipline are important from birth. Love and respect are fundamental values to attachment parenting.

6. What is a helicopter parent?

A helicopter parent is a parent that is overly focused on their children. They typically take too much responsibility for how their children experience the world. A helicopter parent is often controlling, overprotective, and a perfectionist. Some examples of a helicopter parent include doing a child’s homework even if they are capable, calling teachers about poor grades, managing exercise habits, controlling friendships, or even calling potential employers.

This infographic is brought to you by Playground Equipment's commercial playgrounds.

Edited by: Ben Thompson