Parenting, in a nutshell, is the act of caring for a child and taking on the role of being a parent. It can come in many forms, and many parents have their strategic style. However, parents’ main responsibility is to meet their child’s needs from the time they are born into adulthood.

Parenting can look different for individuals and often depends on the family dynamic. Due to this, the role can be approached in various ways that best suit the parent in question. For example, parenting sometimes involves a father and mother, grandparents, other extended family members, or a single parent. Nevertheless, the responsibilities remain the same.

The Responsibilities Of A Parent

Now that you know a bit about the basics that answer the question ‘what is parenting?’, it’s time to dive deeper! The responsibilities of a parent define this role and tell us a lot about what parenting is. Please find out the main ones we’ve written in the list below.

  • Nurturing a child so that they can grow
  • Tuning in to what their child needs and providing these things
  • Teaching their child basic social, emotional, and cognitive skills
  • Providing shelter, food, and basic sanitation for their child
  • Protecting their child from harm
  • Naming their child

There are many other more specific responsibilities that parents need to undertake, but these are the basic ones that apply to everyone. They serve as a good foundation that parents can build on when discovering more specific responsibilities that are necessary and apply to their children.

Types Of Parents

When we talk about different types of parents, we’re referring to the family in which they take on this role. To better understand what we mean by this, we’ve put together another hand-bullet-pointed list for you to read through.

  • Co-parenting: When a mother and father (or father/father, mother/mother) collaboratively work to bring up their child/children.
  • Single parenting: When a mother or father solely takes on the parent role.
  • Adoptive parenting: When an adult, or two, who aren’t biologically related to their child, becomes their adoptive parent through adoption.

There are also two more types of care that some people might not define strictly as parenting, but the role and responsibilities are much the same as the types mentioned above of parenting.

  • Foster care: When one or two adults stand in as parental figures for children who, often, have been in a children’s care home. It can be either short or long-term, and they take on the usual parenting responsibilities.
  • Kinship care: When a member of a child’s extended family (such as aunts, uncles, or grandparents) takes over parenting responsibilities from biological parents who, for whatever reason, might not be able to care for the child.

All of these different types of parenting are equal and reflect how a family unit can alter the form of the parenting role.

Different Approaches To Parenting

You know a bit about different types of parents, so now it’s time to explore the various parenting approaches! There are often thought to be four main approaches to parenting. They are as follows:

  • Authoritative Parenting: This is possibly the most ‘ideal’ parenting style, as it involves supportive parents who are emotionally available but still set limits when they are needed. They are firm but fair and communicate their expectations, explaining why certain behaviors are seen as negative and others as positive.
  • Authoritarian Parenting: Authoritarian parenting is generally known as being quite strict. It’s often seen as a way of parenting that’s not usually successful, as setting high expectations without providing explanations can elicit unwanted behavior from children.
  • Permissive Parenting: This parenting style is the exact opposite of authoritarian parenting. Children are often allowed to take the reigns far more than other parenting styles allow, meaning that the demands from the parents are far lower than those from the child.
  • Neglectful Parenting: This type of parenting we wish wasn’t on this list and should not be pursued. Neglectful parenting involves a distant indifference towards the child by a parent, resulting in children lacking what they fundamentally need.

What is gentle parenting?

‘What is gentle parenting?’ you ask. Well, in a nutshell, gentle parenting is a compassionate approach that focuses on nurturing good qualities in your child.

This parenting style can sometimes be mistaken as one that involves no discipline, but that’s not true! Instead, it emphasizes practical behavioral consequences and teaches children something, rather than punishments that are more likely to be damaging and result in more unwanted behavior.

There are a few benefits to gentle parenting that apply to both adults and children. For one thing, a healthier parent-child relationship will be fostered thanks to the positivity of this parenting style. In addition, as a result, children are likely to have more pronounced emotional intelligence than a child whose parents are reprimanding and cold.

With advantages, of course, come disadvantages; in the case of gentle parenting, it can be difficult for some parents to let go of the reigns. For example, it might sometimes feel easier to let your emotions run away with you when your child does something you’ve told them not to do. In this situation, gentle parenting would require much self-control so that you can communicate with your child calmly and constructively.

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