Parenting styles: Can we please just ditch the parenting labels?


The word Parenting written in vintage letterpress type

Attachment parenting, positive parenting, helicopter parenting, lawnmower parenting, tough love parenting, gentle parenting, free-range parenting, authoritative parenting, indulgent parenting…

Isn’t the above enough to make your head explode? And that’s not even the full range of all the parenting styles and labels out there that apparently we all fit into as parents (you can read about them all here).

Once upon a time, parenting was just parenting; parenting was just getting on with it as best you could. Now parenting is pigeonholed, compartmentalised, hung drawn and quartered and filed to within an inch of its life in a never ending system of parenting labels thoroughly signposting our parenting styles presenting their own range of characteristics, concerns, outcomes and most importantly….a whole set of parental hangups for you to be strung up by.

Parenting is over-analyzed, parenting is made to be paranoid with reports of creating unruly kids, kids with low-self esteem, kids who will not be able to manage in the real world. Put one foot wrong and you’ve screwed it up…or them up. You have made them into an ameba who will be pathetically limping through the world unable to manage on their own, clinging on for dear life because they can not stand on their own two feet…because of your so-called “parenting style”.

Or worse yet, they will think that they are the centre of everything and squash and ruin all that descends on their path before subsequently having a breakdown once they realise that they are in fact….not the centre of the world after all.

They say to be a parent is to be guilty…but in today’s age of overly obsessive parenting analysis, fads and labels, I say that parental guilt is now being pushed to new limits by an information overload of rights and wrongs as we carefully tread an ever-changing tight rope of do’s and don’ts, and dance around like crazed monkeys trying to guide our children in the best way possible so that they don’t end up being “that” child.

How about we just scrap all the labels in favour of one glorious, one size fits all label – the”I’m just doing the best I can” parenting style? Because quite frankly, I’m sick as a small hospital with all this talk of parenting styles.

Have you had enough of all this talk of parenting styles? Leave a comment and share your view…

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  1. Love the post, you made a fanatastic point. Let’s all just parent our own kids and do the best we can and not sit and try to label everyone and not worry about everyone’s parenting style.

  2. There seems to be labels on everything these days. I just try to stay clear of those who don’t like the way I do something. Problem is the more you try to push someone out of your life then they suddenly want to be all in your business even more. Not sure where I’m going with this lol thanks for linking with #momsterslink 😀

  3. Brilliant point. I’m trying the ‘I’m trying not to yell at you or bribe you again today’ style of parenting! Its not working #sundaystars

  4. Great post. I agree there is far too much ‘advice’ out there. I don’t mean the kind of advice that actually helps – like people supporting each other through blogs and forums. The kind of patronising, stultifying advice that you’re talking about – advice from ‘experts’. Before I had a child I wouldn’t have known it but the only ‘expert’ on your children are you the parents. Everyone else is second guessing because being a parent and parenting is having a one off unique relationship with another small developing human. The only way to screw it up is if you actually abuse or neglect them. Otherwise you’re probably doing fine. We all make mistakes and most of them won’t affect our children one way or another, because they’ll be balanced out by all the love care and devotion.

  5. I sooo agree with this post. I’ve given up trying to understand what each one of those labels even means. As you say, I am just doing my best to get through it and keep the guilt inn check. Thank you for linking up to #featurefridays

  6. Oh gosh, I agree with every word of this. This is such a great and much needed post. As you said, as a parent you suffer from enough guilt without feeling that you haven’t fulfilled the correct parenting style. As parents, Mr H and I have always done what we thought was the most loving thing in a certain situation. This may not always be brilliant. But we definitely can’t do any better. Thanks for writing this post and for sharing with #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  7. […] Can We Please Just Ditch The Parenting Labels, by Motherhood: The Real Deal […]

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