First Impression: Parenting

There are many kinds of parenting styles, some similar and some very different and then some in between, from lighthouse to helicopter parenting. Lighthouse parenting is basically to love your children infinitely and let them make their own mistakes and learn from them. On the opposite end of this is helicopter parenting which is called this because the parent hovers over the child’s life from birth on throughout their whole life. This type of parent plans out their child’s life from the very start and micromanages their child with everything. Somewhere in the middle of these two is known as dolphin parenting, this means that the parents set rules and have expectations, but they allow their children to also have independence and to make their own mistakes.

To raise the most successful and happy children I believe parents must be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, like a dolphin parent. In order to have a this outcome for your child, the dolphin parenting is the best option because it allows the child to see boundaries, rules, and guidelines in a sort, but the child also has enough freedom to make their own mistakes and learn from them themselves. This gives the pathway for a child to know right from wrong because of what their parents taught them, but he/she is not being micromanaged to the point where they experience nothing for themselves. It is important to have guidance from parents, but not everything planned out for the child. Dolphin parenting sums up what I believe is best when raising a child, which I think will raise a happy, healthy, and successful person.




  1. Cici,
    I fully agree that the best way to parent a child is to allow them to make their own decisions, thus enabling them to experiences the positive or negative consequences. When you said, “you must be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum,” it made me think of the specific psychology terms we learned in lecture and from reading chapter 4. Psychologist Diana Baumrind developed the psychology terms: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved, which are used to observe how these parenting styles affect children in many aspects of their lives. Authoritative parents have very high standards for their children, (in athletics, academics, etc.) however, they are still warm and make the child feel safe. They are demanding, but also accepting of their children. Authoritarian parents, also known as “my way or the highway” kinds, are demanding, but instead of being warm, they are rejecting. They make their children feel almost like they are living under a dictatorship. Permissible parents are not demanding of their children, but they are accepting. They provide little structure and are often unclear about what the boundaries are, which allows the children to make mistakes. Lastly, uninvolved parents pay little to no attention to their children. They are not demanding, but at the same time, they are rejective and unresponsive.

    According to your post, specifically your analysis of dolphin parenting, I believe that you would be more apt to accept the authoritative style of parenting, since it allows children to live their lives, but there are still boundaries and expectations.

    Overall, great job on your post! I really enjoyed reading it and gaining your perspective on parenting. I hope these specific psychology terms will come in handy!


  2. I agree with your ideas on parenting completely and really like how you worded your post! I believe parents should be that dolphin parent, who gives rules and has expectations but not breathing down their child’s back. Its important for there to be balance. I especially agree with your statement, “It is important to have guidance from a parent, but not everything needs to be planned out for the child.” I feel as if parents may start out being overprotective and being all over their child, but that would be during the child’s big learning phase, the parent needs to be a little more controlling to the child. Although, when the child grows up, the parent should loosen their grip. They can protect their child when they are small, but when they are growing up, in their teenage years and beyond, the parent has to let the child learn how to protect themselves a little bit more.

    Overall, I agree with your ideas you posted and find dolphin parenting, or authoritative parenting is definitely the best way to parent. The child has the best chances of growing up successfully and maintaining and good relationship with their parents. Helicopter parenting is definitely not the way to go, as you said, but lighthouse parenting is too much freedom for the child. Right in the middle of the two is the perfect balance.



  3. I also agree with you that a “dolphin” parent, or a parent in the middle of the spectrum, is the best way to go. I believe there needs to be open communication between the parents and their child as well. I also liked your statement about how a parent’s guidance is important, but not everything needs to be planned out. I think this is especially prevalent in the Tiger and Helicopter type parenting styles because they are constantly on their child’s back. These two parenting styles hardly leave the child any space for a break, with either a tiger parent over pushing them to succeed or helicopter parents micro managing them. It is no wonder that children who are products of these styles develop depression and anxiety. While a child is young, it is understandable for a parent to want to hover them, or protect them, but the parents also need to understand that as their child ages, they need to learn for themselves as well.

    After reading your analysis of parenting styles, I can see that we have similar beliefs that fall into the category of an authoritative parent. This description mirrors that of the dolphin parent. overall, I agree with your post and think you did a very good job analyzing and explaining your thoughts!


  4. Cecilia,

    Your thoughts on parenting are similar to mine! I also believe that parents should set rules and boundaries but allow their children to experience independence and curiosity. It’s important to let children learn from their mistakes! I too think “dolphin parenting” is the best style.

    This type of parenting best aligns with a style developed by Diana Baumrind called “Authoritative Parenting.” In this style, parents balance being demanding and controlling but also accepting and responsive. Baumrind’s model has proven to be an effective parenting style too; across various cultures, racial and socioeconomic statues (SES), “Authoritative” parenting had better life outcomes regarding all three facets of health: mental, physical and emotional.

    “Authoritative” parenting contrast with the three other styles of parenting Baumrind developed which are: “Authoritarian,” “Permissive,” and “Uninvolved.” “Authoritarian,” is where the household is run similarly to a dictatorship (i.e. a helicopter parent or tiger parent); “Permissive,” is when parents are lenient yet responsive (similar to your “lighthouse parent” where guidance is provided but freedom and curiosity is prioritized); and finally, “Uninvolved,” in which parents provide basic necessities and are generally lenient and non responsive. Overall, Baumrind’s styles provide a framework of parenting that can help us to understand how parenting styles affect children later on in life.

    To summarize, balancing a demanding/controlling yet responsive and accepting parenting style is the best way to go for better life outcomes in academics, behavior, societal involvement and overall health. It certainly exhibits the “dolphin” parenting style you described!


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