Graduating to the next level
Ever since we become parents, we face difficult questions and decisions from day one, all without absolute right or wrong answers: breastfeed or formula? Sleep training or co-sleeping? Disposable or reusable diapers? When you thought you have gotten through one important growth stage’s worth of questions you are just bombarded with the next stage - it’s like you are in a never-ending game of Candy Crush! Once you have survived the initial couple of years of your baby’s life focusing on their physical well-being, you are now on the next level of the game: Parenting.
Does style matter?
I imagine the style of parenting is much influenced by your own experience while growing up. We might want to avoid making the same mistakes as our parents did when we were kids. There is also the social influence of what should be the ideal way of bringing up one’s children. Information is only a click away so modern parents like to do all the research they can get and then make up their own minds, but most of the time due to the overflow of information it only gets more confusing the more we read! Two polarizing parenting styles have emerged in the past couple of decades: Helicopter parenting and Free-Range parenting.
The Hands On Approach
Helicopter parents tend to keep their children on a super short leash and are extremely involved with everything their kids do, sometimes even until their children reach adulthood. I am sure in most cases we do it out of love and want to make sure they have the smoothest-sailing youth possible and a great head start in life when they are older. But too much attention and control on the kids can have adverse effects, which in turn can lead to psychological issues for the little ones. It might not be obvious to the parents involved because they are so deep into it, so sometimes it helps to take a step back and reflect on ourselves if we are heading that way.
Let it Go
Another extreme would be Free-Range parenting, which has the opposite philosophy of Helicopter parents. Free-Range parents let their children develop independence at a relatively early stage and tend not to impose much structure on their kids’ learning experiences. The little ones develop problem-solving skills and self-confidence through their daily interactions with others. However, some might argue that parents could jeopardize their children’s safety in certain situations when they are not ready for the challenges at such a tender age.
The Best Formula
There is of course no one-size-fits-all parenting formula. I guess it all boils down to the child’s individual development, intellect, and personality to determine the most suitable parenting style for them. However, what I find really true is that there are some basic parenting tips that are suitable for ALL kids and that moderation is key to everything, including parenting.