Taken from the Newtown Patch,
“It seems that with the start of every school year, the subject of parenting comes up. The most interesting part of all of this to me has been the description of various parenting styles, including “bragging parents,” and as recently discussed on the Today show, “velcro” parents.
Bragging parents are self explanatory. We all know parents like this. In fact I think it fair to say we might at one time or another go out of our way to avoid contact with a bragging parent.
Most people know that it’s only grandparents (like me) who have the right to be boastfully obnoxious about children.
The one I heard on the Today Show, “velcro parents,” was new to me. Those are parents who just can’t let go. The term was used in the context of parents seeing their kids off to college.
I’m reminded of several occasions when I was teaching 4th grade. My classroom happened to be next to a kindergarten room. The first day of school was often the focus of some heart-breaking scenes.
At the entrance of the room there would often be a kindergarten teacher trying gently to lead a crying child into the room while the mother stood outside the room also crying. Of course, as soon as mom was out of sight, the child was fine.
I cheerfully confess to being a velcro grandparent.
Another style I’ve heard of is helicopter parents. These are parents who constantly hover over their children. For whatever reason they’re reluctant to allow them to test the world on their own.
In addition to the above three that I’ve heard or read about, I’d like to add a few of my own. The list I’ve compiled is based on the same kind of experiences many of you have had, i.e. parent, grandparent, teacher, coach and many, many years of observation.
- Peer Parents: These are folks who what to be their kids “friends.” I find it most prevalent with parents of teens. They dress like them, talk like them, listen to their music and try to be friends with their friends. Of course it’s a recipe for disaster. Parents are adults. There are times when they’re going to have to make some very tough decisions. But that’s what it’s about.
- Absentee Parents: These are people who have by choice or necessity taken on jobs that demand most of their waking hours. These parents leave their children at day care in the morning and have the kids picked up by a sitter or have someone waiting for their children at home after school. Often the sitter (nanny, au pair, whatever) feeds the children and possibly puts them to bed. Absentee parents see their children on the weekends at which time their children are involved in numerous scheduled activities.
- Win-at-all-costs parents: You see them at sporting events. They’re the obnoxious group of people screaming at the coach, other spectators and the players — theirs included.
I’m sure you could add to this list. For example Buy Your Kids Love, Pit Bull and Sabotage Parents are others that come to mind.
Fortunately, most parents are like you and me — just trying to do the best you can based on what we know works — and doesn’t work — well.
Parenting — the most difficult and important job in the world.”