The Ultimate Guide to Parenting Buzzwords (Like Helicopter Parent)

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Some popular parenting buzzwords and what these words actually mean when describing a parenting style.

Wouldn’t life be more simple if parenting was just parenting? Unfortunately, society has created so many different words to describe the style of parenting we could be choosing for our lives. In the 20th century, the authoritarian style of parenting came about and the children of the 60’s grew up with more permissive parents.

In the 80’s and 90’s parents began to look towards parenting which helped build on self-esteem. This brings us to the 21st century where the focus is to build character and grit.

There is a chance you’ve heard some of the buzzwords that have come about in the last few centuries. There seems to be a label for every single parenting style.

If you see yourself in some of these descriptions, remember that parenting is not a one size fits all philosophy, and your parenting is going to change based on the life that you live and the choices you and your children make.

Here are some words you can expect to hear during your parenting journey:

Popular Parenting Buzzwords

  • Dolphin parenting
  • French Parenting
  • Spec Ops Moms
  • Free Play Parenting
  • Positive Parenting
  • Free-Range Parenting
  • Attachment Parenting
  • Helicopter Parenting
  • Sharenting Parent
  • Tiger Mom
  • Lawn Mower Parent
  • Crunchy Mom
  • Authoritative Parenting
  • Permissive Parenting 
  • No-Rescue Parenting
  • Oversharing Parenting

Now let’s go over what each of these phrases mean.

Dolphin Parenting

Sounds a little bit insane at first, but Dolphin parenting is a term used to describe parents who use art and science to inspire children to develop a lifelong love of learning. This parenting is firm, yet flexible, as well as playful, joyful, social and intelligent, just like the dolphin. These are parents who focus on balance in life and guidance towards happiness and success.

This parenting style would fall under the Authoritative category.

Dolphin Parenting Resources: The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Motivated Kids, Without Turning Into a Tiger

French Parenting

French parenting is used to describe parents who praise kids for saying interesting phrases. The French parenting way is all about creating confident and proud children.

The French parenting way includes an understanding of adults-only time, learning to sleep well early, feeding fruits and veggies first and foremost, allowing painful moments to happen so kids can learn from them, polite manners and non-negotiable.

French moms are often very stylish as well and dress to feel great inside and outside even through stressful life situations, such as parenting challenges.

French Parenting Resources: Bringing Up Bébé, French Children Don’t Throw Food, French Kids Eat Everything

Spec Ops Moms

Funny enough, Spec Ops Moms are referred to parents who snoop through their kid’s social media profiles, sock drawers and more. It is when parents spy on their kids and track their every movement.

Just like special operation personnel in the Navy or Army, a Spec Ops Mom is super 007 when it comes to tracking the children.

I personally think it’s great to keep tabs on your kiddo, but you should also give them a little bit of space and freedom to make mistakes. It’s great to know their location at all times, just in case something bad happens, so I totally get this style of parenting.

Free Play Parenting

Free play parenting is when parents refuse to overschedule their children with after-school sports and clubs. Free play parents can provide their children with structured times to play, but the children play on their own and use their imaginations.

When I was growing up, free play meant going outside and make new friends and make sure to check in every few hours.

Now we have a term for this kind of parenting, and it’s still structured. It’s a little bizarre, but it’s a parenting buzzword that is thrown around.

Positive Parenting

Positive parenting is what Tired Mom Supermom is all about! Using positive and encouraging phrases and actions to guide children towards success.

How to tame toddler tantrums, raise happy kids and battle backtalk using kind and firm words and actions that actually help break the bad behaviors.

Positive Parenting Resources: An Honest Positive Parenting Solutions Review (A Course On Positive Parenting), 14 Positive Parenting Books You Need To Read, What Is Positive Discipline:6 Simple Techniques To Use At Home, Tame Toddler Tantrum With Positive Discipline

Free-Range Parenting

Free-range parenting is when parents raise children with minimal supervision which encourages them to find their own spirit and take their own risks.

This is the opposite of helicopter parenting. Free-range parents have children who walk themselves to and from school and let themselves into the house with their very own key.

Free-range parents also allow children to play outside with no supervision at younger ages than most parents are comfortable with these days.

Free-Range Parenting Resources: Positive Parenting: Strategies For Parent From Tiger To Free-Range: Parenting Book, Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), Balanced and Barefoot (How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children) 

Attachment Parenting

Attachment parenting is a term used when parents are very attached and nurturing towards their children.

This connection creates a secure bond with the child and parent and the children become independent and empathetic adults.

This style of parenting helps nurture secure relationships with adults and other human beings, which encourages healthy relationships when children grow into adults.

Attachment Parenting Resources: The Attachment Parenting Book,  Modern Attachment Parenting, Raising a Secure Child

Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting is a term used to describe parentings who watch their child closely and often help their child with tasks the child should be able to accomplish themselves. This includes shadowing a playing toddler to ensure they don’t hurt themselves and not allowing them any alone time.

This can also look like helping with school projects and homework when help is not needed.

Helicopter Parenting Resources: Helicopter Mom, The Overparenting Epidemic

Sharenting Parent

Sharenting Parenting is a term used to describe parents who share their children on social media, all the time.

Providing too much information about their children’s activities online and violating the children’s privacy are concerns when it comes to sharenting parenting. Pediatricians are concerned that sharenting affects childhood and overall family dynamics.

Sharenting Parenting Resources: Growing Up Shared

Tiger Mom

Tiger Mom is a term to describe parenting that uses pressure for high levels of achievement in academics or extracurricular activities.

The term Tiger Mom is a fairly new term, introduced in the 2010’s by Amy Chua. The stereotype of a Chinese mother who drives her children to study hard without regard for the children’s social and emotional development is used in many series in the Chinese culture.

It is a very strict form of parenting and often results in successful human beings.

Tiger Mom Resources: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Beyond the Tiger Mom, The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way

Lawn Mower Parent

Lawnmower parents are much like Helicopter parents where they don’t allow any harm to come to their child.

Often this means parents are completing tasks for children because they do not want their child to possibly get injured, and vigorously protecting children from harm.

The term lawnmower is used to describe parents “mowing” over their children’s problems and fixing them for the child.

Crunchy Mom

A crunchy mom is essentially a modern hippie mommy. I’m not saying that to be insulting. In fact, my best friend in the whole entire world is a crunchy momma and I totally admire her. A crunchy mom is always looking for more information.

She is environmental, healthy and socially conscious and cares about her family and the status quo. A crunchy mom knows that there is more than one way to solve a problem and looks for the healthiest alternatives possible. A crunchy mom is always on a journey to help her family get connected to natural living.

Baking bread, using coconut oil as a cure-all and cloth diapering are just a few things that crunchy moms love.

Crunchy Parenting Resources: Crunchy Parenting: A Natural Parenting Guide, Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled

Authoritative Parenting

It is, in a nutshell, positive parenting. It is parenting your children with love, kindness, warmth, sensitivity, strength, and support.

Parents who use these methods are often very supportive of their children, have high expectations of their children, and are there to provide lots of resources so their children can find their way in life, with a little help (but not too much!).

This parenting style is all about using fair discipline and positive reinforcement, which is fantastic because that’s what I am all about too!

Authoritative Parenting Resources: How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids, Authoritative Parenting (Synthesizing Nurturance and Discipline for Optimal Child Development)

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is a term used to describe parents who are not demanding of their children. Kids don’t have many responsibilities and are encouraged to regulate their own behaviors and make their own choices.

Permissive parents often look to their child as an equal rather than a disciplinary.

Parenting Buzzwords Are Crazy!

There, I said it.

Parenting buzzwords really bug me because honestly there is no one right way to parent. You can be a huge mix of all of these parenting styles and still raise great kids. No need to put yourself into a category to feel like you’re doing a good job.

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