Being from a country like India, the population is constantly on a rise with the birth rate being a whopping 17.592 births per 1000 people as per the census of 2020. This highlights that the number of parents is growing as well. But what sort of parenting are we using for our future generation? Have there been any changes since the time they were kids? Or are they using the same parenting styles their parents used on them? Today, we will talk about the concept of a dolphin parent and what are the other types of parenting that are used in the 21st century. Which parent are you?
Who is a dolphin parent? What makes them a dolphin parent? These are some of the questions Dr. Shimi Kang gets asked very frequently. A dolphin parent is someone who is gentle yet can maintain an authoritative stance in front of their children. A dolphin parent encourages their children to engage in activities that enhance and encourage their creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills by allowing their children the space to explore and grow, without being pushed or forced into doing something the child is unwilling to do. A dolphin child is extremely creative, engages in effective communication and becoming the true leaders of the future.
Are all parents’ dolphin parents? Or are there other types of parents too?
No human is the same, hence, parenting too cannot be the same for every individual, as much as we want to be like the other parent in our block. The two types of parenting beyond the dolphin parent are as follows:
The type of parent, who is always looking into what their child is doing and making sure that their child achieves success comes under this form of parenting. Such parents will go to any length to make sure their child is successful. Although this might sound as if the parent is taking initiative in their child’s life, this form of parenting has its disadvantages as well. The children who are brought up by tiger parents may emerge in the top teers of their professions, however, they might undergo severe psychological stress. The tiger child may also lack creativity and effective communication skills and could also develop mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
On the other end of the spectrum lies the Jellyfish parent, or as we know the permissive parents. These parents are extremely warm and are driven by providing everything they ask for, and making the child autonomous too early in their childhood. This too might sound like a good idea as we are being the good parent giving our child everything they want, however, that is not the case. Children who are raised by Jellyfish parents, may not develop habits of sharing or caring for others, and may also suffer from issues related to aggressive thoughts and actions when things don't go their way
As a parent, we always want to protect our children from harm's way and keep them safe, however, overprotection of the child may have impending impacts on their future. A child must develop a sense of autonomy and find ways in which they want to interact with the world around them. It is important for a parent to give their child that freedom.
In their growing years, a child must be given the time to play, and not in the form of football classes or any other sport, but to actually let them engage in free play. Free play can be of several types ranging from rough and tumble play, social play, and creative play which will give our children the opportunity to explore their environment and play with others, thereby facilitating the growth of creativity and critical thinking, skills that are extremely important in our day and age.
The world is becoming extremely competitive with each passing day and the expectations we are making with our children are increasing too. From competitions in school to the competitions on the field, there is no situation left where we don't make a child compete with the other. Often the loss of a match or of a competition in school tends to take a toll on the child’s self-esteem which if not addressed effectively, may eventually extend into their adulthood leading to issues related to inferiority. What then can we do to help our children become successful in a world which thrives in competition? It's simple, allow your child to participate in what they want and give them positive reinforcement through words of encouragement irrespective of the fact whether they win or lose. Your support throughout their journey will play a pivotal part in their success and not the victories they see by competing with others.
We want our children to succeed in academics or a sport, however, what about the other areas of growth as well? A dolphin parent will always focus on each and every area of growth, but not push their child towards it, instead guide them during their explorative phase towards consistent growth in all avenues of life.
The key to our child becoming a future fit leader lies in our ability to help the child find his or her path to a more humane understanding of success. The dolphin parent, not only raises a more emotionally sound parent but also, gives rise to a leader with efficiency not only in the fields of academics but also in the realms of resilience, innovation and adaptability.