Parenting is not an exact science, and often comes down to trial and error. This applies to even second and third-time parents because what worked for your first child might not work for your second or third. Below are the common parenting philosophies practiced today. Each one has different characteristics and can elicit different reactions in the children that they’re used on. Guardians may find themselves favoring one over the other during toddler years and then moving onto another during adolescence. Whether you’re a first-time parent or parent of multiples, read on for more information to determine if any of these child-rearing styles can work for you.
Attachment parents are considered to be responsive parents. For example, when a baby is hungry, an attachment parent offers the breast. When the baby is tired, an attachment parent offers co-sleeping, and so forth. The philosophy focuses on the importance of fostering a connection between parents and child through the use of eight commonly used principles, and via “The 7 Baby B’s.” The “7 Baby B’s” are as follows:
Ask your birth attendant and nurse to put your baby on your chest immediately after birth to stay connected. Another suggestion for better bonding is to delay routine procedures, such as asking the nurse to wait to put eye ointment in the baby’s eyes. Putting on eye ointment can temporarily blur the baby’s eyesight, and he or she needs a clear first impression of the mother.
Breastfeeding is an ideal way to stimulate maternal-infant interaction and closeness. It helps satisfy the baby’s need for sustenance, and allows the mother to provide love and comfort to the infant. Breastfeeding also allows the mother to learn how to read her child’s cues better.
It is natural for the infant to be close to his or her mother, and babies are happiest when being held by the parent.
Bedding Close to Baby:
This is commonly referred to as co-sleeping, having your infant sleep in close proximity to you. It can reduce nighttime separation anxiety, which can help him or her learn how to fall and stay asleep on their own, when they’re ready. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released updated guidelines on co-sleeping.
Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry:
Infants use their cries as a means of communication. Responding to your baby’s cries will help a parent build trust with your child, and help better understand his or her cues.
Beware of Baby Trainers:
Children need consistent, loving and responsive caregiving, so beware of rigid and extreme advice from other people, such as the “cry-it-out” advocates.
Don’t neglect your partner, the rest of your family or yourself. It is easy to become overwhelmed with meeting all of your baby’s demands on cue that you forget to concentrate on your own. Make sure to find some time for self-care.
Learn More About Attachment Parenting:
Proponents of the attachment parenting style suggest that a secure, trusting attachment to parents during infancy and childhood is the bedrock for secure relationships and independence as adults. One of the eight principles of the philosophy is preparing for pregnancy, birth, and parenting. To do so means eradicating negative thoughts and feelings about pregnancy. Instead, women should mull on childhood experiences and current pre-disposed beliefs about parenting, learn more about breastfeeding, and be alert and physically active during childbirth. One way to prepare for childbirth is to know yourself and your body. The more you are comfortable with your body, the more you can plan for a tender and satisfying birth. For additional attachment parenting principles, visit Attachment Parenting International.
Helicopter parents are aptly named because, like helicopters, they hover closely overhead, especially during the transition from adolescence through early adulthood years. Though the term was first coined in Dr. Haim Ginott’s 1969 book Parents & Teenagers, it became popular enough to become a dictionary word in 2011. A helicopter parent is considered to be overcontrolling, overprotecting, and in excess of what responsible parenting is considered.
Individuals raised by overprotective parents are unfamiliar with the concept of risk and the basic consequences of their actions. There are four common triggers to becoming a helicopter parent.
Fear of Consequences:
Failing an exam, not making the soccer team, or not getting a certain job can appear tragic to a parent, especially if it seems like any of those things could have been avoided with parental involvement.
Feelings of Anxiety:
Parents will oftentimes try to prevent their child from experiencing feelings of unhappiness, struggle, and disappointment. Worries about the outside world can cause a parent to worry and as a result, exhibit more control over their child’s life as a means of protecting them.
Adults who felt neglected, unloved, or ignored as children while growing up can overcompensate with excessive attention and monitoring of their own children.
Peer pressure from other parents:
When parents see overinvolved parents, they begin to feel guilty and feel that they are not doing enough for their children.
Learn More About Helicoptering Parenting: Helicopter parents are well-known in the school system, and not as a positive. They are known to constantly intervene for their children, cover for their mistakes, or complete basic tasks such as school work and job applications on their behalf. Helicopter parenting can have long-term consequences because their children do not learn how to be self-sufficient and independent. It has also been suggested that over-controlling parents can cause long-term mental health problems for their children, and may lead to decreased confidence and self-esteem, undeveloped coping skills, and increased emotions of anxiety and depression.
To avoid becoming a helicopter parent, guardians must allow their children the freedom to experience struggle and disappointment. It means letting your children do tasks that they are physically and mentally capable of completing. With the assistance of our childcare professionals, we have amassed 8 Do’s and Don’ts to Raising a Confident Child. These tips and suggestions can help instill confidence in your child, giving him or her the best tools at succeeding in life.
At the other end of the spectrum is free-range parenting. A child raised in a free-range household is one who has been treated as a smart, capable individual, and does not need constant attention or help. That child is raised by parents who practice autonomy and independence, as opposed to “helicopter parents,” who are always hovering to prevent any negative or bad experiences in their child’s life. Many adults have mistaken free-range parenting to indicate a completely hands-off childrearing approach but that is not the case. In the free-range philosophy, parents believe that it is their role to trust their child after extending to them the necessary skills to handle the situation.
It is about balance; balancing the amount of supervision with enough freedom to attempt new things. In free-range parenting, children face the consequences of their own actions, and learn some lessons along the way. Allowing children to play independently builds confidence and skills. These skills include creativity and grit. That’s not to say that kids, especially toddlers, should be privy to doing everything on their own. The hobbies and interests that they pursue need to be age-appropriate, and safe for the child to pursue.
Recommenders of positive parenting view children as unique individuals, as opposed to past generations who said that children should be “seen and not heard.” It stresses the importance of communication of clear parental expectations, collaboration between the parent and child, praise and reinforcement for desired behaviors, and the avoidance of harsh consequences, such as physical punishment. Positive reinforcement and complimenting favorable behaviors can result in better behaviors. Our childcare professionals don’t suggest overly praising children but rather, only when necessary. Positive parenting is comprised of the following.
- Rules and consequences are clearly outlined, discussed frequently, and followed through.
- Parents focus on helping children internalize discipline rather than obeying orders for fear of punishment.
- Parents use active listening to understand children’s thoughts.
In positive parenting, parents give weight to their children’s emotions and will apologize if they have made a mistake. Apologizing to your child builds an authentic relationship. If a parent has made an error in judgment and then apologizes to his or her child for it, the apology validates their feelings. Extending a true, real apology teaches children, even toddlers, how to take responsibility for their actions.
Contact the Nanny Authority for More Information Today
In the end, it all comes down to what’s best for the parents and child. Our caregivers have knowledge of all of the above parenting philosophies and discipline techniques, and can work in tandem with the parents to establish rules and guidelines. For more information on how you can find a nanny that best suits your family’s needs and style, contact us via e-mail or at 973-466-2669 for more information today!