Parenting Differences 

With all the different ways people were raised, including how, when, and where they were raised, it comes as no surprise that people have many different ways that they choose to raise children. Many people, all around the world, find that however they were raised is the way they currently raise children also. Others thinks that the way they were brought up was completely wrong and go about parenting in a much different way. Psychologist, Diana Baumrind, is well known for her study of parenting and its effects on children. Her studies led her to a conclusion that there are two major important characteristics of parental behavior: how demanding a parent is to the child and how responsive the parent is to the child. Baumrind labeled four different styles according to her findings: authoritative, authorian, permissive, and uninvolved. In the world today, Baumrind’s four styles are found all over the place, in different homes, regions, and countries. Some more common and familiar names that have been given to some parenting styles are tiger moms, jellyfish dads, and helicopter dads. With all the different types around us today, one has to wonder: What is the best way to parent? 

Tiger moms are one of the well known parenting style in the world today, more popular in Asian culture. Tiger moms are described as extremely strict (particularly related to academics), showing tough love, and big on discipline in order to get children to succeed. A very popular stereotype is that Asian moms are mostly all tiger moms due to the very strict traditional Chinese way of raising children. Strict parenting like this has a positive outlook and perspective for the child’s future. Overall, it should help the child to grow into a self-disciplined and tough adult. The problems I see with this technique is that it risks damaging the current and future relationship between the child and the parent. There is a lot of risk for the child to have an unhappy childhood. This style of raising children fits hand in hand with Baumrind’s authorian style description. The authorian style is the high demand, low responsiveness approach to parenting. Baumrind’s study showed that the outcomes associated with this parenting style include low self-esteem, anger and aggression in the child.

 Two other popular types of parenting are jellyfish dads and helicopter parents. First, the jellyfish dad, who is the complete opposite of the tiger mom example. Jellyfish dads are more described as laid back, uncaring, not huge on discipline, and full of fun. These are the “pushover” parents who give children what they want and are there for their kids but don’t make their kids do the things they need to succeed in life such as chores, homework, etc. This parent’s only true advantage is that he has a good, loving relationship with his child. Some of the disadvantages include the possibility of disobedient and irresponsible children being an outcome of this type of parenting. Another effect this could have on the child is the risk of having a hard time doing things on their own in the future. Another closely related style of parenting to the jellyfish dad is the helicopter parent. This parent shares some of the advantage and disadvantages in jellyfish dads but is slightly different. Helicopter parents are defined as overprotective parents who are obsessive and “hover” over their child’s life at all times. These parent are always somewhere in the background watching their children. In contrast to jellyfish dad, these parents are not very highly favored by kids. These parents might know their kids pretty well and be able to keep a pretty tight leash on them, but like the jellyfish dads, they are putting the at risk of struggling out in the real world, on their own in the future. These two types of parenting relate closest to Baumrind’s permissive parent example, especially the helicopter parent. Permissive parents are Baumrind’s label for the low demand, high responsive parents in the world. Even though the most popular definition of a jellyfish dad is described as the permissive example, more lazy and unloving types of this style are more related to Baumrind’s uninvolved category.

 Tiger moms, jellyfish dads and helicopter parents are three popular ways of parenting today. They all show some of the different ways that Baumrind’s study has also showed we choose to raised children. The only style left, and in my opinion, the best way of parenting, is the authoritative style. This is the style that Baumrind defined as the high demand, high responsive approach to parenting. This is a way that, if done correctly, results in the best outcome for the child. Outcomes associated with this parenting style include high self-esteem, social maturity, and self-control. Closely related and more recent studies about parenting have labeled this as the “dolphin parenting” approach, it is often considered to be the combination of the tiger mom and jellyfish dad. In my opinion, this is the best way solely because there aren’t many disadvantages in this style but tons of advantages that lead to high chances of a successful future for the child.

Sometimes You Need A Jellyfish

The Tiger Mom Effect Is Real, Says Large Study

Psychology around Us. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013. Print.


4 thoughts on “Parenting Differences 

  1. I thought it was interesting that you grouped the helicopter parents into the permissive category. I put mine in the authoritative category but with certain drawbacks and now I kind of regret doing that because you make some really great points about helicopter parents having low demand of their children. I think I put them in the authoritative category based on friends of mine that have helicopter parents that I’ve observed where the parent does hover but also expects a lot from their child which is why they hover. I guess it depends on the parent and child but I do like that you pointed out that the helicopter parents are so close to their children, the children may struggle in the real world due to their parents always doing everything for them, at least, that’s what I got from your post. If a parent is too strict, the child has too much pressure and may collapse under it but if the parent is too loose, the child never learns discipline which is crucial to living in the real world. I agree that the authoritative style is the best parenting style because it is like a mix of the different styles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very descriptive post, I really enjoyed reading it. You really went very in depth with your description of each of the parenting styles. I would, however, definitely like to have know more about the dolphin parenting you mentioned at the end of your post and what components of both of the tiger and jellyfish parenting it contains. While I was reading this I attempted to see if I could place my parents in one of these categories , but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. That is, until you mentioned dolphin parenting. I don’t know too much about it but it seems like it would be the category my parents would fall into. They have high expectations of me and are always there when I need them, but they also give me space when I need it. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, which sounds a lot like the dolphin style.


    1. Hello Reggie, I thought you had a great post, I enjoyed how you explained thoroughly every parenting style, and how you gave the examples of what the child may come out to be. I would have liked to hear more about the Dolphin parenting style. Like Kirstin, I tried to see what my parents used to raise me. While reading, it was very clear to understand what was going on, which made it more interesting to read. Other than that, I honestly believe it was a great post, but next time just explain the Dolphin parenting style and everything would be perfect. Good job!


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