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What Lighthouse Parenting Is, and How It Helps Raise Self-Sufficient Adults

Tigers, elephants, and even helicopters — no, this isn’t just a bundle of unrelated words, they actually define types of parents. Now we also have “lighthouse parenting,” which is considered a golden mean of parenting among other styles. The relatively new method is already becoming popular among parents. A balance of trust and care is the secret ingredient that helps bring up confident kids.

Bright Side managed to gather all the love and care lighthouse parents have in one article.

Who lighthouse parents are

The term was originally coined by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg in his book, Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust. The point of this parenting style is to guide children like a lighthouse, helping them out and encouraging them throughout their journey to adulthood. Children feel safe asking lighthouse parents for help or discussing serious or uncomfortable issues, as kids know they won’t be laughed at or criticized.

Signs of lighthouse parenting

  • They love their kids but never tolerate their bad behavior.
    Although lighthouse parents love their kids unconditionally, they won’t stand idly by if their child is bullying another kid on the playground. At the same time, they won’t shout like crazy and drag the naughty kid out of there. Having rows is not a solution for lighthouse parents. Instead, talking things over is the best approach to correcting their child’s behavior. They look at a situation from the child’s perspective, trying to understand the motives of such behavior. They focus on their kid’s understanding rather than obedience.
  • They let their kids fail.
    Unlike tiger parents, lighthouse parents won’t make a fuss if their child gets an F on a test. They embrace all of life’s ups and downs, which significantly decreases their children’s stress levels. Nevertheless, they do hope their kids will be successful, which is why lighthouse parents always encourage them to keep going. Their illuminating beam enables parents to dig deeper into their child’s personality and see what they are really passionate about. That’s why they make perfect cheerleaders.
  • They protect them without restricting their freedom.
    Lighthouse parents understand that, in one way or another, their kids will experience the world as it is. Instead of building a golden cage for their children, lighthouse parents slowly but surely lead them to the real world. They don’t abandon their kids completely but simply guide them when necessary. Conversely, overprotective parents use scaremongering as a way of reasoning, like by telling a kid not to go to another block with their friend unless they want to get kidnapped. Lighthouse parents simply take off the training wheels and help their kids explore the world by saying things like, “Let’s go to the other block together. If anything happens I’m here.”
  • They are open to communication.
    It doesn’t matter how difficult or uncomfortable a topic is to discuss; their kids will always trust them. Lighthouse parents prioritize having talks with their children — they believe it’s the key to preparing a child for the world. Warm and open communication is essential for building self-esteem and mutual respect.

Why lighthouse parenting is good

This parenting style turns children into thinking and caring adults who are taught to be responsible for their decisions and actions. Lighthouse parenting is the most balanced. The style also helps parents to strengthen their confidence and sensitivity.

Were your parents lighthouse parents? Would you like to implement this parenting style?

Preview photo credit katehudson / Instagram
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