helicopter momThere’s no such thing as a perfect parent; admit it, you know you’re not perfect either. Experts have defined various parenting styles and we all fall into a specific style to some degree. Every child is unique and responds differently to different parenting types. Even if you have a dozen children, no one will be the same as another. As parents, we need to take an honest look at our parenting style and ask ourselves if we need to make adjustments. Here are some of the most common parenting styles along with the common characteristics and the possible side effects if the parent is not paying attention to their own behaviour.

Jellyfish Parenting:

  • Parents don’t give their children any rules or boundaries
  • Children do what they want, when they want
  • Children are muddled/confused but parents don’t care
  • Children grow up feeling insecure and may turn to drugs and alcohol or be sexually active at a young age.

Dolphin Parenting:

  • Parents have rules and are collaborative
  • Parents are encouraging with independence and creativity
  • Parents are firm but flexible
  • Parents have expectations of their child
  • This balanced approach results in children who develop a sense of self-worth and impulse control

Tiger Parenting:

  • High Levels of negative parenting (super strict rules)
  • High Levels of positive parenting (warmth and support)
  • Children are maladaptive
  • Children may struggle with depression, anxiety and poor people skills


Helicopter Parenting:

  • Parents hover over their child
  • Parents are overly focused on their child
  • Parents want to solve their child’s problem (real or imaginary)
  • Parents offer unsolicited advice
  • Parents get their child out of trouble (even if the child did something wrong)
  • Children never learn accountability
  • Children are afraid to make mistakes
  • May cause a severe lack of confidence

Zamboni Parenting:

  • Parents are uninvolved in their child’s life
  • Parents do not meet their kids basic needs
  • Parents expect children to raise themselves
  • Parents have very little knowledge of what or where their child is
  • Children lack self esteem
  • Children perform poorly in school
  • Children may display behavior problems
  • Children may end up with low amounts of happiness

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.