Parenting lingo B+S

The new parenting lingo ranges from the serious to the ridiculous. Picture: Supplied Source: National Features

MEET the new types of mums and dads and see if you recognise anyone.

With the ever-growing pile of parenting resources and information out there, mums and dads may need to wrap their heads around the latest lingo, some serious, others not.

+ Authoritarian vs authoritative styles

There may be just a few letters separating these parenting styles, but they are worlds apart. Authoritarian parents are all about strict discipline and following rigid rules with punitive consequences for bad behaviour. Authoritative parents have a loving, democratic style with strong but flexible boundaries and fair, consistent and understandable discipline.

+ Attachment parenting

This is in vogue again since the recent Time magazine cover of a woman defiantly breastfeeding her three-year-old. In general terms, this is a parenting philosophy involving babywearing (see below), long-term breastfeeding, co-sleeping and immediate responses to a child’s needs.

+ Babywearing

It may sound like an odd fashion trend, but according to Babywearing International, the term simply means holding or carrying a baby or young child close to the body using a cloth baby carrier. Essentially it is a form of baby transport which, supporters claim, has psychological benefits for parent and bub.

+ Cotton wool kids

Also called “bubble wrap kids”, these over-protected offspring are usually raised by helicopter parents (see below). At the opposite end of the scale are the “free-range kids”, who are given the tools and skills by their parents to become independent and solve their own problems.

+ Elimination communication

This is a term for a toilet-training practice which can start from birth. Basically, a parent uses timing, signals, cues and intuition to know when their child is about to poo or wee, thus eliminating the need for nappies.

+ Helicopter parenting

These are parents who “hover” around their kids, protecting them from real and imagined problems and dangers. They share similar principles with the “lawnmower” parents, who mow down all obstacles in their progeny’s path.

+ Parental presence

This is a fairly new term, coined by NSW parent education organisations Karitane and Tresillian. It involves a parent sleeping with their baby until the child learns to self-settle at bedtime and during the night.

+ Slow parenting

This is a bit like free-range parenting (see above left) except even more pared down. This style encourages less structure and organised activities for kids, allowing them to explore the world at their own pace. TV is a big no-no.


Once just an acronym used in parenting forums, it now seems to have crept into the spoken language in childcare and preschool car parks. It stands for “trying to conceive”.

And the top terms are…

A 2011 poll of 2000 UK parents came up with a list of new parenting terms.

+ Dummy mummy: A woman who loses the ability to talk about anything other than babies after giving birth. Also said to be suffering from “pramnesia”.

+ Dadmin: Domestic tasks particularly suited to fathers.

+ Pump and dump: When mums express breast milk in preparation for a big night out.

+ Baby Gaga: A little show-off, or child performing prodigy.

What words would you add to this list? Share…

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