13 Modern Parenting Terms Every Mom Should Know

Judy Dutton | Nov 5, 2014 Being a Mom
13 Modern Parenting Terms Every Mom Should Know

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However you're raising your kids (or planning to, anyway), there's probably a word out there that describes your approach to a tee. You've probably heard about those "helicopter moms" and thought, That's not me, thank goodness. But the term just barely scratches the surface of all the new-fangled parenting terminology there is out there.

Whether you want to know what hits close to home, how to spot trouble at the playground, or just have a laugh at the sheer variety of ways parents muddle through childrearing, read on for the latest lingo.

Does #4 sound a little dangerous?


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  • Stealth Parenting


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    Caring for kids on the sly while pretending to work -- i.e., you lie to your boss and skip the office that day for an important "client meeting." The truth? You're caring for a kid who's home sick or attending her piano recital.

  • SMUM


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    Stands for Smart, Middle Class, Uninvolved Mother. Coined by actress Brett Pasel’s 2007 book Mommies Who Drink, where she confessed she'd rather be out at happy hour than home playing Candy Land with her kids. 

  • Lawnmower Parent


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    A particularly aggressive breed of helicopter parent who, rather than hovering near their kid, mows over obstacles before their kids encounter them, bribing college admissions offers to get your kids in.

    More from The Stir: 11 Signs You're a 'Lawnmower Parent'

  • 'No-Rescue' Parent


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    The polar opposite of a lawnmower parent, these moms take a hands-off approach. Rather than wrestle a coat onto their kid, they let them go outside without one so they'll freeze their butts off ... and remember to wear one next time.

  • Consultant Parent


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    Rather than telling their kids what to do, these parents "consult," exploring various options with their kids and trusting that they'll make the right decision. For example: "So you want to join the circus ... interesting! Have you considered any other professions? As well as the pros and cons of having 'clown' on your resume?"

  • Free-Range Parent


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    Forget play dates! These parents let their kids roam around on their own with a pat on the back and a "just don't get killed and be back for dinner at 6!"

    More from The Stir: 20 Signs You're a Free Range Parent

  • Attachment Parent


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    Baby remains glommed onto mom like a barnacle for as long as mom can stand it: she wears her baby in a sling all day, breastfeeds on demand, co-sleeps with baby at night ... it's all about bonding, literally, with your child.

    More from The Stir: Attachment Parenting From A-Z: The Ultimate Guide for Moms (PHOTOS)

  • Stabilizing Parent


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    Dinner at 5. Bedtime at 8. No exceptions, even for special occasions, since these moms believe kids do best with a regimented routine. The celebrity spokesperson is Kim Fields, AKA Tootie from The Facts of Life. So clearly that show taught her something!

    More from The Stir: 5 Celebrity Parenting Styles That Will Surprise the Heck Out of You

  • Tiger Mother


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    A mom, often Asian, who raises straight-A students who are also virtuoso violin players. So what's this mom's secret? She never allows her kids to have play dates, sleepovers, or any fun until they flee home for college.

    More from The Stir: 'Tiger Mother' Amy Chua Doesn't Need to Defend Herself to You

  • Instinctive Parent


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    Forget about reading those baby books or Googling every kid-related conundrum: These parents believe they know everything already, relying on their intuition alone (and maybe a few memories of how they were raised) as guides.

  • Permissive Parent


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    Ice cream for breakfast? No problem. Not into doing your homework? No sweat. Permissive parents have few rules and rarely enforce the ones they have. Some just want to be seen as "fun" while others lack backbone. Either way, their kids run the show.

  • Parallel Parenting


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    A parenting style often adopted by divorced parents who, even though they live separately, still get on each other's nerves too much to communicate in the usual co-parenting roles. The solution? "Parallel parenting," where each assumes specific parental duties to minimize contact between each other. You schedule separate parent-teacher conferences, trade off attending your kid's birthday parties, and stick with curbside drop-offs to shield your kid from all that tension (and to avoid headaches yourself).

  • Outsourced Parenting


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    Hey, why raise your own kid when you can outsource it? And we're not just talking about nannies. Go ahead and hire potty training consultants, birthday party consultants, sleep consultants, and more to ease the burden on you.

    More from The Stir: 8 Types of Moms: Which One are You?

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