EXCLUSIVE: What parenting style is right for you? Parental Guidance’s expert Dr Justin Coulson breaks down each way you can raise your kids

This is the fool-proof guide to raising kids.
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Parental Guidance is the new parenting show taking Australia by storm, and for good reason. Today Show host and mum-of-two Allison Langdon, along with parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson, shine a light on the dozens of ways kids in this day and age are being raised.

Over the past month, Allison and Justin have worked closely with 10 brave sets of parents with very different approaches to parenting.

From tiger parents to helicopter parents, routine, free-range, extreme and authoritarian, these parents will put their values and techniques to the test through a variety of challenges to uncover the best method.

Justin has explained to TV WEEK the many ways to parent and which method will work best with your family.

Allison Langdon and parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson shine a light on the dozens of ways kids in this day and age are being raised.


Nature parenting

“This is a foreign concept in today’s society. The focus is on an undisturbed natural evolution and development for a child – in nature. Their educational experience and the way they live their lives are self-directed.”

Attachment parenting

“This is about the parent and the child being as close as possible physically and emotionally. Attachment parenting is usually for infants and toddlers.

“Anyone practising attachment parenting needs to work out when they’re going to transition to a form of parenting that acknowledges the developing child.”

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French parenting

“French parenting is about allowing adults to live their adult lives while encouraging children to be children, but not interfere with the adults’ lives.

“The expectation on children is that if they’re going to interfere, they need to do it in a mature way that respects that the adults have lives to live. French parenting encourages children to be autonomous and also to have high expectations.”

Helicopter parenting

“With the very best of intentions there are parents who step in to save their children from struggles. Helicopter parents don’t want their children to suffer – at all.

“Helicopter parents hover and involve themselves in children’s lives in developmentally inappropriate ways. They do things for their children that they can and ought to do for themselves, especially outside the home.”

Andrew and Miriam have admitted they’re strict parents.


Disciplined parenting

“These parents focus on clear rules, boundaries and consequences for their children. They also want their children to be disciplined. The pros of disciplined parenting are really simple: kids thrive when there is structure and clear expectations. Another advantage of disciplined parenting is that children learn that actions have consequences.

“Problems arise with disciplined parenting as, when children get older, they start to get sneaky and figure out ways around the rules. Children of disciplined and strict parents may hear, ‘It’s my way or the highway’ and choose the highway.”

Tiger parenting

“Tiger parenting is about exceptionalism. To be exceptional, you have to work, to practice. That means anything that could be fun, that could be outside that clear, goal-directed activity, is a waste of time.”

Debbie and Kevin want their two kids to succeed, and follow the “tiger parenting” method.


Free-range parenting

“It’s about trusting your child and giving them the skills to find their limits. It’s a pushback against anxious, risk-averse parenting; against coddling, helicoptering, making-sure-everything-is-OK parenting that so many of us fall victim to.”

Routine parenting

“Routine parenting is all about structure and routine. It improves efficiencies. You get a lot done. Everything has its place and there’s a place for everything. But it places high demands on the leader. And too much focus on routine can stifle creativity, connection and fun.”

Liadhan and Richard’s family value the outdoors and have a “free-range” parenting style.


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