You're probably familiar with the term "helicopter" parents – those who metaphorically hover around their children, waiting to scoop them up at the first sign of trouble. Then there's the less familiar "snowplough" parents, who attempt to clear all obstacles in their children's paths, sort of like helicopter parents only more pro-active.
When we were growing up, the only parenting types were strict and not strict, but in 2020 there are as many styles of parenting as there are crisp flavours in Countdown, so it's probably a good idea to know which you most resemble, in case it comes up.
Here are some of the types, not in order of merit:
Their priority is not being seen to be hypocritical, uncool parents because they want their kids to be around them, and they want to be doing what the kids are doing. There is pretty much nothing that can't take place under their family roof (on the basis that so long as they do it at home it is safe – that's their mantra). The children of campervan parents will have a lot of friends and a lot of sex (in their own beds).
Find them: with many teenagers around the kitchen table at all times.
Dad mows the lawn, refs the mini rugby and has an opinion on having boys to stay overnight etc. Mum is super reliable, a good listener and technology-limiter and will never get sloppy after a white wine binge and tell everyone about the time she pashed one of Six60.
Find them: watching Sex Education, separately from the kids, to check it's appropriate.
Four Wheel Drive parents
We're familiar with these and their reputation for mounting pavements and abusing lollipop ladies as they deliver little Felix and Aster right to the door of the school where they serve peashoot guacamole at break and keep the class tortoise in a Chanel box. This is fortress parenting. The deal is, the world outside your triple-reinforced front door is hostile and dirty and staying in the bubble is the only safe option.
Find them: letting the kids call the nanny 'staff'.
One on from FWD, Tanks will actively interfere in the natural order of things (aka Felicity Huffman-ing) and don't think twice about breaking the law or treading on the bodies of other children to get theirs to where they think they should be.
Find them: homeschooling (meaning they hire supertutors and gifted sixth form athletes to play tennis with the kids).
Fire Engine parents
These are liberal and laid back until there is a crisis (their children are caught bullying/with ketamine/they fail an exam) at which point they go full Tank and park themselves on the lawn of whatever establishment has let their offspring down and dig in for a siege. Which they usually win.
Find them: in the Head's office, wearing dark glasses.
Sports Car parents
So called because there's really only room for two. The deal is the children, however young, must fit in with the long gourmet lunches, shopping trips and frequent romantic minibreaks to spa hotels. Children of these parents dream of holiday parks and Nandos and they can dream on. Maybe the au pair will take them one day.
Find them: at Soho Farmhouse.
Supermarket Trolley parents
Happy to admit that half the contents of their weekly shopping trolley have been planted there by one of the twins. Their style of parenting is fairly hands off, sometimes hungover, and more head down and soldier on than wall charts of after school activities.
Find them: poolside at an after-school swimming club, texting.
Scruffy Car parents
Scruffy Car parents do their bit but also take the view that so long as the dogs get fed and walked, everything will work out. This has bred just the right amount of self-sufficiency in their children, who find other parents neurotic and suffocating.
Find them: glued to Love Island.