By: Naomi Maharaj
Think you have this parenting thing down to a science? You handle messes, tiffs, and tears without a bat of an eyelash? Or are you constantly second guessing yourself? Reading parenting books and trying to decide what parenting style you want to implement? Take this parenting quiz (part 5 of 6) to see your score. (see Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4)
You want your child to succeed in life. I imagine you want them to be well rounded and experience new things. But how? Do you enroll them in every activity under the sun in hopes they discover their true destiny? Do you focus on academics only, or implement a rigorous piano practice regiment? Do you let your child interact and play with others and wait them for them to find a passion?
a) Are you a Tiger Mom? Characterized by being strict, you take pride in the control you have over your child’s life.
Perhaps made famous by Amy Chua in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, this parenting style focuses on academic achievement, often emphasizing practice, repetition, and success measured in tangible achievements.
Though I am not sure it was as Chua intended, the term Tiger Mother often comes hand in hand with the notion of a controlling parent; children who have strict schedules and who are enrolled in multiple ‘learning based’ activities.
b) Are you a Dolphin Mom? Characterized by being collaborative, you don’t over schedule, over instruct, nor over protect.
Dr. Shimi Kang, author of The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger, explains that a Dolphin Mom has rules and expectations, while also valuing a child’s autonomy, individual passions and independent choices.
c) Are you a Jelly Fish Mom? Characterized by being overly permissive, parents who exhibit this style make relatively few demands upon their children, and rarely discipline them.
I am not sure this is a parenting style one aims to have, so much as it is one we default to; there are lots of books and internet articles on how not to be this type of mom, as opposed how to be this type of mom.
While the other articles in this series could break down the pros and cons of each answer, to do so for each of these could be the subject of multiple dissertations. What I think is important to point out is that for all of the aforementioned styles (yes, even the Jelly Fish) is that I was able to find countless women citing their upbringing as being one of these – and LOVING it; loving their parents and appreciating their upbringing.
Maybe it is the parenting style that helps your child succeed. Maybe the style itself doesn’t matter. Maybe the love, attention, and support you show your child; whether that be at multiple piano, harp and dance recitals, at soccer once a week, or whilst they independently explore the world, is what makes all the difference.
Naomi Maharaj is mom to two boys, ages 2 and 3. She started the blog Laughing Mom when her second son was a few months old as a way to highlight the lighter side of parenting. In the face of sleep deprivation, crying babies and tantruming toddlers she hopes to be able to see, and share, the humor in it all. Naomi occasionally comments on current events or human interest pieces that catch her attention. Connect with Naomi on Facebook.