How To Be A Lighthouse Parent

The latest style to enter the parenting sphere - lighthouse parenting - is one that we can totally get on board with.

From elephant parenting to helicopter parenting, every day there is a new parenting style coming out. And every day we try to see if this is our style.
A helicopter parent is described as someone who constantly fixes their child's mistakes and doing everything for them, even cutting up their food for them. Basically a sense of over-parenting.
On the other end of the scale, however, elephant parents tend to not worry, understanding that it takes a village to raise a child.
But the latest one to enter the parenting sphere - lighthouse parenting - is one that we can totally get on board with.
Created by Dr Kenneth Ginsburg, the idea is that we, the parents, are lighthouses while the children are ships on the sea.
"We should be like lighthouses for our children. Stable beacons of light on the shoreline from which they can measure themselves against.
"Role models. We should look down at the rocks and make sure they do not crash against them. We should look into the water and prepare them to ride the waves, and we should trust in their capacity to learn to do so."
We give them love and guidance but allow them to charter their own waters, helping them if they find themselves on the wrong path.
Talking to ABC News about his book, Raising Kids to Thrive; Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust, Dr Ginseng explains that a lighthouse parent is someone who knows that a child needs to learn from failure in order to grow.
“Extreme models of parenting are not the way to raise your kids,” he said.
“Love, protection, and letting your kids learn from failure - that's how people grow." 
So how can you become a lighthouse parent (if you’re not already one, that is)?
  • Love your children unconditionally, but know that it's OK to not love their behaviour. 
  • Set expectations on character, not performance
  • Protect but not overprotect
  • Allow your child to fail but understand that you, as their lighthouse, must keep them safe from anything that can cause serious harm
  • Don’t hover around your child; let them make their own mistakes
  • Encourage your child to be their best but do set boundaries for them
Written by Mary Byrne, Content Executive at Family Friendly HQ. Follow her on Twitter: @marybyrne321

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