Are You an Animal Parent?

There are several parenting styles you can choose to follow when raising your kids. There's helicopter parenting, when mom hovers over her kids during play dates or homework assignments, and lawnmower parenting, when dad mows down any obstacles in his kids' way and smooths over all the problems. But lately, every parent seems to follow an animal's approach to child rearing.

With the publication of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua in 2011, the Tiger Mom came to life. This mom is known for her intense focus on her kids' success and achievements, and her discipline-based parenting approach. Since then, no animal has been left un-claimed by parents looking to define their personal parenting strategies. Last week, The Atlantic's Priyanka Sharma-Sindhar explained why it's okay to be an 'elephant mom,' which is the opposite of a Tiger Mom. Sharma-Sindhar defines Elephant Moms as "parents who believe that they need to nurture, protect, and encourage children, especially when they are still impressionable and very, very young." To stay in-tune with the animal-parenting trend, The Washington Post's Terri Rupar decided she is a 'Sloth Mom,' a parent who "loves her kids and lets them hang off her adorably sometimes, but is a big believer in conserving energy."

Realistically, every parent has their Tiger Mom days (when they push their kid to practice the violin right before the holiday concert), Elephant Mom days (when they are waiting with a supporting hug after their kid missed the winning goal in soccer), and Sloth Mom days (when the iPad gets passed to the kid so mom can finally finish Amy Poehler's Yes Please). And it's even okay to be all three animals in one day.

Have you picked your animal spirit guide yet? Let us know in the comments.

Learn about four different parenting styles to see which one fits with your philosophy.

Image: Elephant Mom via Shutterstock

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