What’s your parenting style? Are you an attachment parent? A helicopter parent? A free-range parent? An authoritative parent? An evolutionary parent? A paleo parent? A tiger parent? Having a parenting style is a great way to find your people and/or feel smug at the kindy gate – and luckily, there are new ones popping up all the time. Here are ten that Spinoff Parents editor Emily Writes has
made up uncovered, all set to take the parenting world by storm.
Ahhh parenting philosophies! It seems these days everyone has one. A guiding set of principles can be great – and thankfully there are heaps of different ways to parent. I was kind of into attachment parenting but I don’t like being around my children that much. I’m too lazy to be a helicopter parent. I could be a free-range parent because I have white privilege which means if I just let my kids roam the neighbourhood I can blog about it ad nauseum without having to consider why I’m able to do this while other mothers can’t. Evolutionary parenting? Well, it sounds appealing. If it was good enough for a cave-mum with a life expectancy of 22 it’s good enough for this millennial.
In short – I’m on the hunt for a philosophy that works for me. Here are ten new philosophies that are sure to be written about in Time magazine in two years.
1) Can You Just Not Mama Is Really Tired parenting
This parenting style involves laying on the couch while your children draw on the walls and climb all over you. It involves moaning “ughhh go play trains” every five minutes or so. It’s great for teaching independence because it’s important that children learn to be content and happy in their own company. Can You Just Not Mama Is Really Tired Parents tend to have children who are non-sleepers. That’s why they’re Can You Just Not Mama Is Really Tired Parents in the first place.
2) Mama Is On The Phone I SAID I’M ON THE PHONE Parenting
Is there any greater joy than being a stay at home parent but also having to work otherwise you can’t afford groceries? A growing group of mothers who are working stay at home parents are turning to Mama Is On The Phone I SAID I’M ON THE PHONE Parenting so they can truly have it all! This style of parenting involves apologising profusely to the person you’re talking to on the phone, asking clients and people you’re interviewing to “please can you repeat that?”, saying “no honestly it’s fine, now is a good time” six to eight times a day, and reassuring people that your children aren’t murdering each other. This parenting philosophy also includes a weak smile to give to other parents who say “you’re so lucky you get the best of both worlds!”
3) Cucumber parenting
You know your child will eat cucumber and it’s at least healthy so it’s OK if they eat an entire cucumber and nothing else in a day. Everything will be fine. Honestly. Cucumbers are super healthy and probably have heaps of nutrients just don’t Google it. This type of parenting is defined by doing the best you can within the limits of your child’s ridiculous and frankly fucking batshit quirks. So, they want to wear a snowsuit with beanie, gloves, two pairs of socks, and a scarf when it’s 24 degrees? Let them. Cucumber kids learn that their choices are not always good ones. Plus, cucumber is mostly water so they’ll hydrate while they’re sweating and insisting that they’re not too hot.
4) Pinocchio parenting
The other day I said to another mother “Yeah, same, totally, I don’t let my kids eat McDonald’s either” while my child’s face was covered in sweet and sour sauce and he was holding a chicken nugget. This is Pinocchio parenting. It’s a must for insecure parents with anxiety – lying about how you parent is a great life-hack. I don’t ever give my child juice. I limit screen time. And my child totally sleeps through the night! My oldest has been out of nappies since he was two. My youngest just asked me if he could have a nap – in three different languages! You too can be a perfect parent if you just lie about everything.
5) Twitter parenting
Drink wine and tweet all day. Check on your children every few hours to make sure they haven’t committed any (serious) crimes.
6) Capybara parenting
You’ve heard of tiger parenting and dolphin parenting? Well, Capybara parenting is all the rage in the dumpster fire that has been 2016. Capybaras are chill as fuck – they’re like little wine barrels on legs. They live with other mum capybaras and they just hang out eating and sleeping and watching each other’s kids. All the baby capybaras are looked after by whatever mum has the most energy. When one mum capybara is tired or if her second glass of wine was a heavy pour the other capybara mums just look after her child or put on some Peppa Pig or something. Or they build a fort and say to the kids “Let’s play a game called ‘how long you can stay quiet and not break anything while the mummies are on the deck.’” They don’t judge each other when their baby capybaras are being feral. They just chill and are like “Do you want some more cake? Is your cider OK? Girl, your hair is so good can you henna mine?”
7) On Display parenting
When you’re at Chipmunks and you say to your child, “See that camera? It’s a whingeing camera and it can detect whingeing. If you keep whingeing at me, the camera will alert the whingeing security team and they’ll come over and we’ll have to leave and we’ll never be able to come back. I’ll probably get sent to jail.” And then another mother comes over and you quickly say “Thank you for expressing yourself! I see you! I hear you! I validate your feelings! Let’s count to ten and take some deep breathes and then maybe you can have a fruit cup then. We love to share don’t we! Mummy loves you!”
8) Once A Week Music Class parenting
Once A Week Music Class Parenting is when you can justify letting your child watch 18 hours of Paw Patrol because you took them to that dire music class where everyone knew each other but you didn’t know anyone and you forgot to bring a donation and you didn’t know the actions to any of the songs and your child just lay on the ground screaming anyway until they shit their pants and you realised you forgot to put wipes in the nappy bag.
9) Oh That’s Not My Child parenting
This is when someone comes up to you and says excuse me is that your child over there and points to the kid who has buried himself up to his neck in the sandpit and is now calling all the other kids in the playground fascists and you say “oh that’s not my child” and go back to your phone.
10) Cub Scout parenting
When I was a kid I went to scouts. The leader would say “Cubs Do Your Best!” And we would shout “We will do our best!” It was a rally cry and a promise. One that suits parenting. We make promises when we make a family. To our children, to ourselves, to our partners, to our families. We promise to do our best. Not the best. Just our best. We promise to love and care for our babies and we promise to try. Some days are so long and hard and we struggle to understand this when our babies seem to grow like weeds. How is it that we carry them one day and the next they say “I can walk, Mama.” We close our eyes and count or we take a deep breath and smile when they’re screaming “YOU ARE NOT MY BEST FRIEND!” When precious things are broken we keep perspective because our most precious things aren’t broken. We stand in the doorways of nurseries and bedrooms smiling and sighing, we lay on the floor by cots with tiny hands wrapped around our fingers as we hum lullabies. As the night falls and we keep on parenting we whisper thanks for all that we have. We do our best. Sometimes our best doesn’t feel like it’s good enough. But it is. And we keep doing our best. Every day. For the best things that have happened to us, we do our best.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.