Let’s Talk, New Parenting Styles of the Modern Family

Apparently, there are 4 different styles of parenting:  the Authoritarian, the Authoritative, the Permissive, and the Neglectful parent.  Never mind that the Authoritarian and the Authoritative sound like they should be the exact same thing.  They’re not.  The Authoritarian is the Nazi Tiger Mom who always says, “Do it because I said so.”  The Authoritative parent is  a Democratic Leader under Marshall Law.  She says, “You must do it this way AND THIS IS WHY.”  The why, the explanation, is the big difference between Nazi Mom and Democratic Leader During a Riot.  Then there’s Permissive Dad.  This guy is the one who smokes pot with his kid and maybe gets too chummy with the kid’s girlfriends.  He lets everything slide, but the kids mostly still go to him for counsel because, well, they can tell him everything.  He’s more like their friend.  Lastly, you have the Neglectful parent.  This can vary from Highly Medicated/ Nervous Breakdown Mom to Totally Abusive Mom.


And there you have it.  Supposedly, all parents fall somewhere under those parenting definitions.  I think this is too stringent of a view.  I believe we should add some post-millennium, newly-evolved styles.    Here’s what I think is missing from our current parenting lexicon:


The Bill Cosby Parent
Bill was known to say to his kids, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.”  This sense of humor is not only pervasive through this parent’s parenting style, but it is also preventative.  It prevents you from killing the child.  A Bill Cosby Parent often looks at his or her child as if they are a species from another planet, brought here to do ridiculous things, and bring about torment to anyone over 35.  It is through this lens that the Bill Cosby Parent disciplines and recoils in horror.  If more families practiced a dose of this type of parenting, perhaps, we’d have less runaways.  And by runaways, of course, I mean, runaway parents.


Video Parenting by Proxy
This parenting method has been demonized and I feel that this is wrong.  Sometimes you just need to stick the kid in front of a video so you can have some goddamned peace.  Now, of course, you should stick the child in front of Sesame Street and/ or Dora the Explorer and NOT Requiem for a Dream.


"No, not this video. BECAUSE I SAID SO!"


Gayby Group Parenting
This is somewhat similar to the hippie parenting of the 60’s.  You remember that child who grew up on a commune, which often doubled as a nudist colony?  He ran around dirty and naked suckling on whichever breast was jammed in his face, but damn it, he was happy.  He also later became a voting member of the Green Party.  Gayby Group Parenting is like this in its free thinking, but different in that it involves more clothes and usually only 4 breasts and 2-4 balls.


Cyber Parenting
The Cyber Parent is ultra-plugged in and yet, ultra-wireless.  Everyone in the family blogs.  Little Jimmy has been building websites since he was 7.  Little Suzie runs around with a plastic cellphone like some kind of miniature, corporate, a-hole.  The family often comes together around electronic devices whether they are gathering around a Skype call – as they watch daddy at a tech conference – or standing in the Brookstones Store trying on Google’s new internet glasses.  Yep, they’ll be the very first family to try out that prototype like a high-tech Loud family.  Each member in his or her own internet glasses that allow you to take your laptop screen literally everywhere with you, about a centimeter from your face, as they blissfully bump into every last goddamned thing.  Bruised, but updated and happy.  The Cyber family led by Cyber parents can often be overhead repeating the same mantra again and again, “Oh, that’s so cool, that’s so cool, that’s so cool.”


"Dad's supposed to be watching my soccer game, but instead he's simultaneously texting, online banking, and playing Angry Birds!"


Hyper Physical Activity Parents
The Hyper Physical Activity Parents are usually parents who were fat children themselves.  As a result of this horror, they went right into the nutrition and physical fitness fields.  They usually train their children to be Olympic athletes or calorie restrictive, rock climbing, eagle scout, freaks-of-nature.  The Hyper Physical Activity Parent is fine in moderation, but when not watched it can go to extremes, resulting in this little Frankenstein…

Stop judging.

Yeah, maybe it's gross, but this kid can lift a car. Think of all the money you'll save on car jacks.


The Biggest Loser Family
Biggest Loser parents put WAY too much importance on high caloric family meals.  If you try to stop them, they say things like, “But, it’s our heritage…LATINOS/ ITALIANS/ NATIVE AMERICANS/ AFRICAN AMERICANS/ WASPS are culturally supposed to eat wheelbarrows full of pasta, fried foods, breads, rice, and lard.”  Then Julian Michaels comes along and slaps them all in the face.  Soon after the slapping, there is a realization that the Biggest Loser Parents had a stillbirth that no one knew about, and no one talks about, but they did go so far as to name him — For a minute, he was called Enrique.  Enrique is buried in the backyard because the family didn’t want their personal pain to become public.  Enrique is the reason everyone in this family is fat, even the 9 year old.  The 9 year old who never even knew Enrique existed, but just ate what Mommy and Daddy gave him.


The Professor Parent
I use this example of parenting, constantly with the Wifesy.  You see, Wifesy is from the boondocks, just east of Redneck-Ville, north of Hillbilly, Horse Farm.  Wifesy is always thinking she’s not smart enough.  This is not true.  It’s that her parents were not only residents of Redneck-Ville/ Hillbilly-Horse Farm, it’s that they drank the koolaid and walked the walk.  They also talked the talk, which means they say things like, “Sumin’a bitch” when what they actually mean is, “Son of a bitch.”  As a result, Wifesy has had to work twice as hard for her education.  The kids who get the head-start are the children of Professors and Teachers or wannabe Professors and Teachers – The Professor Parents.  Professor Parents drill their kids vocabulary and geography at every meal.  They have high fallutin’ dinner debates on geophysics.  They have square rooting contests for sh*ts and giggles.  Everyone knows what an anagram is and they think only lazy people are bilingual.  The Professor Parent thinks being a true polyglot is what everyone should strive for.


If you have Professor Parents you eventually become Barack Obama or an extremely eloquent crack whore because even when you parent with the best of intentions, a lot of this sh*t is way out of your control.  Sometimes the best you can do is rule with an iron fist wrapped in soft bunny fur and then sit back and pray.  That’s my childless theory anyway, so what the hell do I know?


Enjoy Bill at his finest…




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Photo creds:  requiem, mini-Hercules, internet glasses, fam feature


47 thoughts on “Let’s Talk, New Parenting Styles of the Modern Family

      1. no, i like my rawness to hang out there. i’m a humanoid and not a drone, grammar d*cks be damned. but, still, thank you, it is fixed. woop, woop. why the feck did i just do that/ say that/ write that?

  1. Somehow, my parents don’t rally fall anywhere in this. But my father is a borderline Professor parent and jokester. I was probably the only 4 or 5 year to understand the weather cycle, (I made the mistake of asking about clouds) and about chlorophyll and photosynthises (same mistake asking why leaves are green and bark is brown). On the other hand, he had me convinced that the most important part of the beef stew (ours is soup and not a thick gravy) are the little shiny oily bits. I didn’t learn until much later that this was the fattening but and not the nutrious bit.

    1. “a borderline professor parent and jokester’ — ooooh, this is the best kind. it forces you to separate fact from fiction before going out into the world and debating at social events the world over. and it IS the most fun. lol. xoxo, sm

    1. that’d be my parents. my parents too!!! they said it helped me to ‘calm down’. well, it’s STILL helping me calm down and it’s all their fault. how in the hell did i not include that one. xoxoxo, sm

      1. Ok I wrote a whole reply here about how finally two women are hitting on each other in my comments section. Even if ur strt broads and don’t mean it…it still warms sweet mother’s heart !!! And then my phone ate the comment. Feck.

  2. You amaze me with your take on things in life, M and your musings are inspiring. I’ve seen the Bill Cosby episode and found it hilarious. I love your descriptions on parenting and can identify with your Wifesey, but let me add that those parents are also ‘smart,’ common-sense smart without all the fluff. As adults, we forget that our parents were once young and raising all those little rugrat people who demanded attention — nonstop. I think the error that most of us make is thinking that are parents are any different than who we were once; just young people trying to figure it out and think (especially women) that I all of a sudden I’m supposed to know what to do with this little human life-form. And, I’m not even a parent. As I grow older, I try to think of parents as greatness; they try to do what’s right, they’re responsible for molding another human being and they feck up every once in awhile. God bless parents, despite they’re mess-ups. :).

    1. brig, that was such a sweet comment. thank you. and also spot on when it comes to parents. i probably don’t give mine enough credit, but they do deserve some accolades my brother and i both seem to be decent people and in this world, i think that’s quite an accomplishment. so, yeah, they did alright. 😉 anyway, thank you for leaving this lovely comment today and i hope you’re enjoying your sunday. xo, sm

  3. I go a different way. I like to think of myself as the baby and my son as the parent. Nothing much gets done and my diaper rarely gets changed, but my son says “What’s that? Pear, hello? Bye, La la la la. Daynight,” which is his way of saying “do this because I said so.” It makes me feel so much better that there is some kind of explanation. He’s not being an authoritarian little jerk wad parent.

  4. Hmmm…my Dad was an authoritarian behind a facade of authoritative so I always knew exactly why I had to stand in that circle of sand /and not move!/

    I like to think of my own parenting style as new age continuum. Years 1-2 = ‘no!’, 3-10 = ‘because’, 11-15= professor, 16-18 = ‘hope and pray’ and of course now it’s a combination of cyber, permissive and whatever the other ones were, except for breastfeeding of course. 😀

    C’mon Mum – jump in at the deep end. The water’s fine… really it is :p

    1. omg, ac. that is so funny and so accurate. it does make sense to vary the ‘techniques’ by the age for sure… oh, lord, why didn’t i think of that? 😉 okay, off to enjoy some wine on the patio / veranda / balcony thing on this beautiful sunday. xo, mum

  5. The Cosby video reminds me of the first time I flew to Hong Kong, from the UK via Amsterdam. On boarding in Amsterdam I was pleased to find that the plane was less than full and there were plenty of spare seats around me so I could lay out and get some sleep during the forthcoming 12 hours.
    My one concern was that in the inner seats of the row behind me was a woman with a young girl of about 8 years old, and the child soon moved over to the empty seats behind mine. I was beginning to dread the female version of “Jeffrey”….
    But far from it. During the hours I was awake she behaved impeccably, and she certainly didn’t do anything to disturb me while I was sleeping.
    When we arrived in HK and everyone stood up to get their things in order I spoke to the child’s mother and complimented her on her daughter’s behaviour during such a long flight.
    The woman thanked me, and then astounded me. She explained that they had come from Colombia [I think] and as they had been unable to get a direct flight to HK they had already had one 12 hour flight to Amsterdam immediately before the flight we were on.
    And still the child had behaved well and not kicked up a fuss and showed signs of boredom?!
    I don’t know which of your categories that mother would fit into but I think maybe you missed one out… “Bloody marvellous” to have raised such a little angel.

    1. Ok, mee. I’m not sure that child wad human to survive two plane flts like that in a row! I think she must’ve been a little mini martian or catatonic from exhaustion. Something! Lol. But seriously, what an angel….too amazing. Xo mother

  6. I am an authoritative parent (benevolent nazi?)… I also like the kids to think I know everything. So far so good, and they generally defer to my superior knowledge. At times they try to test me and I can usually wing it and still appear to be all-knowing.

    Once I was challenged with ‘yeah, but do you know how to make a person?’ I looked down my nose at my interrogator and said in a snooty voice ‘well, I made you, didn’t I?’ Of course I quickly left the room in case I was questioned further on this sensitive topic! 😉

    1. oh, metan. i think you’re a little more cosby than you know. he, he. and know that such a statement is my highest comment. “well, i made you, didn’t i?” – damn right you did. lol. then your child went right to the computer and googled ‘stork’. lol. much love, sm

  7. I wonder how my parents fit into these neat little characterisations: one that loves to tell me that logically, I am a prime candidate for the Darwin Awards because I spent 50p on a gum when I could go to Tesco’s and buy them in bulk for 30p each; another that tells me that I’m pretty smart for the average 17-year old, but that I ought to check out that bloke, because he’s smoking.

    1. listen, i love you just for mentioning tescos in this post. i spent many a day pondering over biscuits in the tescos of edinburgh. so you made me smile. 😉 and who in the hell is organized to buy their gum in bulk. lol. anyway, glad to see you here, new friend. – mother

  8. Today I put my daughter’s toy in time out because the damn mouse wouldn’t stop touching the washing machine buttons….later on before bed had to stop myself cracking up as Beth took Mouse into the kitchen and told it “NO!” while pointing at the washing machine…label me as you will mother, where does that put me in the new labels? 😛

    1. ohhhhhhh, there are so many toys out there on the market that i’d like to put in ‘time out’. you have no idea. lol. this story is hilarious, runk. and i think the label it wins you is…’perfect parent’. 😉 sm

  9. 1. I am glad Wifesy and I share hillbilly heritage.
    2. My kids and I regularly cuddle up on the couch with separate electronics.
    3. TV raised me and it damn well will raise my children.
    4. My parents’ only rule by the time I came along (there are 7 of us) was, “Don’t burn the house down.” I only broke that rule once, and technically, it was only the bathroom that went up in flames.

  10. My father definitely lived by the Bill Cosby method. On more than one occasion the “I brought you into this world” line was used on us. We definitely sang the “Dad is great, give us the chocolate cake song” but more than anything, I wanted us to do the Cosby-style family plays and musicals. Rudy lip synching “bay-baaay” on the stairs is a classic. As a parent, I’m hoping to replicate that with a bit of the authoritative professor thrown in the mix.

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