The 8 Types Of Parents You Meet On The Playground

Are you more of a helicopter or a tiger?

mom pushing child on swing ArtFamily / Shutterstock

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and parenting is no exception. From helicopter parents to serenity parenting, every style of child rearing has its pros and cons, passionate believers and doubters.

The terms can get a little bit confusing, though, so check out this quick guide to common parenting styles explained.

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Here are the 8 types of parents you'll meet on the playground:

1. Helicopter Parenting (or Cosseting Parenting)

Helicopter parents put simply, are parents who hover. These parents pay close attention to their child's experiences and problems and intervene if/when they see fit.

Critics say helicopter parents are overprotective or too involved.

2. Attachment Parenting

Created by Dr. Sears, attachment parenting is the style of parenting that follows the theory that a secure, trusting attachment to parents during early childhood (and beyond) results in secure and independent adults.

Bed sharing and baby-wearing are both big parts of attachment parenting.


3. Baby-Led Parenting

This style of parenting is very similar to attachment parenting, in that these parents keep their baby close at all times, feed on demand, and co-sleep.

However, the main principle of this style, coined by Dr. Benjamin Spock, is that baby is the boss. Parents look for the baby to decide what she needs next rather than creating a schedule for feedings, rest, or play.

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4. Natural Parenting

Natural parents have the desire to live and parent responsively and consciously. Natural parents are eco-friendly, holistic, and known for gentle methods of discipline.

5. Tiger Parenting (or Chinese Parenting)

This term came to light when Amy Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was published in 2011. In the book, she describes herself as a tough, disciplinarian mother, and tiger parents follow suit.


These parents are known for being strict and for putting their children's academic careers before anything else.

6. Free-Range Parenting (or Slow Parenting)

In contrast, tiger parents are free-range parents (or slow parents). This philosophy believes that instead of planned or organized activities, children should simply be allowed to explore the world at their own pace.

7. Serenity Parenting

Serenity parenting emphasizes that a child's nature is more prominent than nurture.

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Bryan Caplan, author of the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think, encourages moms and dads to follow this type of parenting by using the wise words of the Serenity Prayer to accept the things they cannot change about their child.


8. Doing The Best You Can Parenting

This style of parenting, coined right now by me, is the type of parenting that most of us try to follow.

Sure, we borrow here and there from attachment, natural, and baby-led. We wish we did more serenity and free range. And there certainly are those times where we get all helicopter and tiger on our kids.

But mainly we're just doing the best we can.


RELATED: The 4 Most Common Parenting Styles (And How To Make Sure You're Using The Best One)

Denise Stirk is a contributor to YourTango.