When it comes to parenting styles, every single parent has their own unique opinion, crafted through experience, reading parenting books and articles, and advice gleaned from others throughout their parenting journey.
Since every parent seems to think they know what is best when it comes to these methods, sometimes things can get a bit dicey and even competitive — sometimes leading to arguments and severing ties with one another.
While arguing that “your way” is the best way won’t get you far, it’s important to remember that everyone’s child is different, and not every parenting style will work for every child.
We all know the terminology associated with parenting: helicopter parents, free-range, lawnmowers…and so on.
One particular parenting style is the “dolphin” parent, which refers to parents who prefer the “middle ground.” What does that mean? These parents aren’t endlessly hovering over their children but are still not forcing the kids to fend for themselves. The style is rooted in parenting by way of common sense guiding the way.
This middle ground approach makes sense, since as parents, we tend to know our children better than anyone else. Maybe your 13 year old is mature enough to head to the movies with his friends on his own, but your neighbor’s child still needs a guardian to supervise.
Parenting shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach, and every parent has the right to decide what is the best way to handle different situations with their children. It all comes down to priorities. Perhaps you place more emphasis on social independence but are tougher when it comes to grades? If that works for you and your child, then go for it.
Middle ground parenting allows for kids to make mistakes and learn from them, which many parents seem to be uncomfortable with. While neither is right or wrong, a lot can be said about kids learning from their own mistakes and experiences rather than being told “this is not allowed” without much of a rationale behind the rule.
What kind of parent are you?