Like everything else parenting styles have come under the microscope in recent years and the way we raise our children has been analyzed with different ‘parenting methods’ being given their own special labels.
As a parent, this does not bother me; the people who created these labels must not have been parents themselves. My colleagues at BubbleBum Booster Seats who are child-free didn’t know what these parenting styles were, yet they are being forced on us parents. Eoin, my BubbleBum marketing partner in crime said “Do free range kids taste better than caged kids?” which made me giggle, but it also made me think about parenting styles and how we might actually start labeling children based on what kind of style their parent adopts.
Society is hard on parents these days and we are hard on ourselves and I feel like I MUST choose a parenting style because that’s what’s expected. I am afraid to post my #momfails online because of mom-shaming which has become an actual thing. Most parents are experiencing the same thing, and this is where the role of the mom blogger comes in… she is real and she posts about ‘real life’ and not just her #InstaLife.
*Please note, it is not neglect to let your child have screen time on a Sunday morning when they get up early and your head is a little sore from one too many glasses of wine the night before.
Believe it or not, parents are the most important people in this world. We are the people repopulating our universe and raising the future generation… so give us a break! We rock at parenthood sometimes, but other times we flap about like a fish on the floor and that’s ok.
The Different Parenting Styles
The traditional parenting styles have been replaced with more modern descriptions; the Tiger parent, helicopter parents, free range parents, and gentle parents.
The Tiger parent pushes kids to succeed according to their terms, are highly competitive, and believe strongly in academic achievement.
The helicopter parent takes over the child’s life, protecting the child from daily life and shielding them from many experiences.
Free range parents, give a great deal of freedom, allowing their children to make their own decisions and play unsupervised… this parenting style is often criticized.
Gentle parenting, is relaxed but limits are set in line with the child’s needs, they believe in building good foundations for a child.
I opened this topic up for discussion in the BubbleBum office and I learned that most of my BubbleBum colleagues male and female are actually a combination of these parenting styles. I think there should actually be a parenting style called Bat parenting – because most of the time I am winging it, I can be a cute mom but two seconds later, I can be scary, at times a little frantic and sometimes blind, but occasionally I morph into Batwoman saving the day.
In reality most of us moms are just winging it and doing the best job we can. We are all a mixture of many different types of parenting. I would describe my parenting style as, a gentle free range hovering tiger who is actually winging it through this parenting minefield and doing the best job that she can.
At the weekend my husband and I had the rare opportunity to have a drink with some friends. One of my friends who is a midwife, said something which got me thinking. During our profound wine-fueled discussion she proclaimed “It doesn’t matter what school you attend, where you live, what course you study at college. If your parents have raised you well and equipped you with the tools to be a happy productive adult, that contributes to society then you will undoubtedly be a success in your life and relationships”. This was a bit deep for a Saturday night off, sipping wine and eating cheese, but this statement really hit home with me. Most people measure their success as a parent on whether their child has made a success of their life, whether their child is happy in their life, has a good education, has a well paid job, has successful relationships and a family of their own, owns their own home etc but your success as a parent does not depend on ‘how your child turns out’
So the more I thought about it the more I thought my friend was right, it doesn’t really matter if you grew up in a one bedroom apartment with very little money or lived in 6 bedroom house and went to private school, if your parents have not equipped you with the tools to be happy in your life and succeed and be a good human being then you will not live your best life.
Of course this is a massive subject which is a lot more complicated than this discussion allows, but still it has me thinking about how our parenting styles have come under scrutiny and how parents have been pigeonholed into being one of four parent types… I am happy being a Bat. I think I should start the Bat revolution to have this type of parenting recognise. If you are a mom like me, lets shout about it start a new trend #batmom #batparenting. We need to relax and stop worrying about how the world perceives our parenting style and support each other and in turn not judge other mothers. If you see a kid in a restaurant staring at a tablet, don’t judge that mom and assume her child has a lot of screen time. Maybe consider that the child only gets the tablet as a treat once a week when they go out for dinner, like my daughter does. This is because it not only allows my husband and I to eat our meal without any tantrums but it also helps other diners enjoy their meal in peace without my daughter singing and dancing like she’s in a Broadway musical. Instead of judging, recognise that her screen time is for the benefit of greater humanity.
Bring on #batparenting and goodbye #momshaming.