Over the past few years, we have seen the emergence of two very different parenting philosophies. On one end of the spectrum, we have helicopter parenting and on the other end there is the free-range style. As the below infographic from Westcan Personnel highlights, both parenting styles have a unique set of values, and can have numerous benefits and drawbacks for both parent and child.
What Is Helicopter Parenting?
You may be familiar with the term helicopter parenting due to its frequent appearance in headlines over the past few years. Often vilified for making parents overprotective and controlling, the principles of the helicopter parenting style centre on the child’s personal safety and wellbeing.
Critics argue that the widespread adoption of the helicopter approach has resulted in a “snowflake” generation who are reliant on their parents even in adulthood. Proponents claim however that this style has many advantages for children, including higher life satisfaction, more defined goal-setting and a more enduring parent-child friendship.
What Is Free-Range Parenting?
The complete opposite of helicopter parenting, the free-range approach prioritises the independence, self-sufficiency and, above all, the freedom of children. By adopting a more laissez-faire attitude, parents allow their kids to learn about the world by making their own mistakes. This helps children develop the confidence they will need to take on the adult world.
Opponents of free-range parenting say that the world is too dangerous to allow children to roam about, and that this put kids at greater risk of danger and injury. Some have gone even so far as to call it negligence. This topic has become so contentious that in May 2018, the state of Utah introduced legislation protecting parents’ right to exercise free-range parenting.
What’s Your Parenting Style?
To learn more about free-range and helicopter parenting, take a look at the infographic guide below.