Parenting styles are labels given to the way we parent, usually formatted by parenting experts. There are plenty of different parenting styles already – Tiger mums, helicopter parents, authoritative parents, free-range parents. You can read all about some of the other ones right here.
However, through the sh!tstorm that is 2021, five new parenting styles have emerged from the ashes and made their way onto playgrounds across Australia.
Koala mums, lawnmower mums, drone parents, unicorn mums and lighthouse mums – which one are you? Let’s find out, shall we?
Koala mums are cuddly bundles of safety and support. You can spot a koala mum by the child attached to multiple parts of her – her arms, her legs, her back, her hips, her boobs.
She also most likely has super strong biceps because koala toddlers are flippin’ heavy.
Koala mums most likely co-sleep because their children won’t leave them alone for an entire night and they call out “mum” 8 gazillion times a day. They also probably flip out if you attempt to leave the room, or go to the toilet by yourself. Heaven forbid.
Koala kids are gentle, loving and clingy AF and, sure, it’s slightly annoying, but it’s also perfectly healthy.
According to British psychologist John Bowlby who coined the term, “research showed that a secure attachment in infancy and early childhood ultimately allows people to become independent and form good relationships with others.”
So, Koala mums – you carry those babies for as long as you need. Maybe invest in a decent carrier though.
Lighthouse parents are the new wave of cool parents. They are ultra mellow and trusting but also caring and great role models. Essentially, they are a beacon of light to guide their children through life.
Yes, these glowing mums are literally beaming with parenting greatness and we ALL want to know how to become a godlike lighthouse mum.
According to US paediatrician, Dr Kenneth Ginsburg who coined the term, “We must make certain they don’t crash against the rocks, but trust they have the capacity to learn to ride the waves on their own.”
We guide them in the right direction and watch them from the sidelines. We set strict guidelines but let them fall, fail and experience the freedom to be themselves.
Lighthouse mums keep their cool and remain calm, even when their kids take off their pants in Aisle 2 of Target and wee all over the indoor plants. They gently scold, love unconditionally, and reason in a calm manner. My guess is they also never mutter FFS under their breath.
This isn’t a new one – we have written about unicorn mums in the past but they remain one of the best types of parenting styles out there and deserve ALL the praise.
Unicorn mums are mothers who “are not perfect, enjoy alcohol, have a sense of humour and couldn’t care less what you think.”
Unicorn mums are multi-tasking, multi-coloured mythical creatures armed with a horn. They are beacons of hope for their families, pooping out glitter and sunshine and magic.
But they are also moody one-horned beasts who will literally HEAD BUTT YOU WITH THEIR HORN if you piss them off. And this includes their misbehaving children. If a unicorn mum’s kid pisses on the indoor plants in Target, there WILL be swear words said. No doubt about it.
You’ve heard of a helicopter parent, right? They are the ones hovering over their kids. Well, drone parents are helicopter parents on steroids. They LOVE to control their kids’ lives, even from a distance.
Drone parents don’t mean to be slight nuts bags. But, truth be told, they kinda are. They may not even realise they are interfering with their children’s lives and decisions because they are ‘keeping their distance’.
Lawnmower mums are another new breed of parents that, well, didn’t quite nail the brief. Sure, they love their kids but they have this slight issue to do too much for them. Essentially, they clear the path of any danger, adversity, struggle or failure so they can easily get through life. They are lawnmowers.
And while no child wants to wander through a field of long grass, most likely riddled with snakes, they kind of need to. Kids need obstacles and failure and struggle. If they don’t experience this stuff, they won’t know what to do when it does happen later in life.
So, lawnmower parents, as hard as it is to watch your kids wander through snake-infested grass, put down the lawnmower and let them. Maybe just throw a pair of long socks their way.
What to read next
- The Different Styles of Parenting Around the World
- How To Master the Art of Lazy Parenting
- 11 Types of School Mums You’re Bound to Meet at Drop Off