With greater sensitisation about parenting styles and its impact on children, parenting trends have also evolved. Moms and dads are following different parenting methods, from authoritative to sherpa parenting.
Among the latest parenting trends is also something called “elephant parenting”, which reportedly rose to prominence after Priyanka Sharma Sindhar coined the term in an article she wrote for The Atlantic in 2014.
In the article, Sindhar explained that elephant parenting was the exact opposite of tiger parenting. For the uninitiated, tiger parents adopt a strict parenting style to make their kids achieve academic and scholastic accolades, often to the extent of keeping them away from simple forms of entertainment. The term was coined by Yale law professor Amy Chua, in her memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
According to Sindhar, elephant parents are those “who believe that they need to nurture, protect, and encourage their children, especially when they’re still impressionable and very, very young,” she wrote.
Sindhar, who is also a mother, wrote in her article about how elephant parenting allows children to retain their innocence. They are not pushed to behave like adults. So, a child is not left to cry himself or herself to sleep but is comforted by adults.
Elephant parents believe that it indeed takes a village to raise a child and depend on the community, including grandparents, uncles and aunts, for supporting them in parenting. They also believe in keeping things flexible, as defined by care.com, rather than imposing strict discipline on kids. They encourage children to make choices.
However, you cannot always raise a child with conscious adherence to the tenets of a particular parenting style. In her article, Sindhar had rightly pointed out, “I’ve realised that the best parent you can be is the one that you want to be; and there is no perfect parent, just as there is no perfect kid.”
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