What the Heck is a Parenting Philosophy?

Parenting, you're doing it right. 

From the start of your pregnancy you start developing long term parenting goals and expectations for your child's care. A parenting philosophy is an outline of ideas, values and methods that you deem right for your child's upbringing. 

These philosophies aren't set in stone, and can change with you and your family. 

What can be difficult is to find a balance of what you know you want and some ideas and methods that could improve the way you parent, on your own terms. 

Welcoming a new baby also brings tons of unsolicited parenting advice onto your plate and finding the philosophy that's right for you can be even more challenging. 

Generally, everyone's parenting style incorporates elements from specified categories that psychologists have developed to understand different parenting approaches. There's nothing that says you are any of the specific categories or a mixture of a bunch, however it's helpful to understand the different elements that go into a parenting philosophy. 


Authoritarian parents are often perceived as "strict" parents, however, fundamentally, they are considered parents with high or clear expectations, focused on adhering to authority, less responsive or nurturing to positive behavior. These parents typically have a high standard for rules and values, and less likely to compromise. In this style, parents make the rules and typically don't rationalize with their children, while emphasizing the importance of respect.


This style typically includes reasonable demands and a high responsiveness or result. These parents have high expectations for their children, but offer the resources they need to succeed on their own. Authoritative parents offer an equal amount of fair discipline and warm nurturing, finding a balance between expectations and outcomes. These parents hold their children at a high standard, but are typically more flexible with their children to encourage them to problem solve and become generally more independent. 

Attachment Parenting 

This is usually a more emotionally driven approach to parenting. Attachment parents focus on the emotional well being of their child, offering them more nurturing support than limitations. These parents set out to create a strong emotional bond with their child, encouraging them to develop empathy and use their emotions to communicate effectively. 

These developmental categories describe the ways that parents set the foundations for their parenting styles. 

There's tons of sub-categories of parenting philosophies to identify with and explore, never forcing you to "settle" into one specific method. 

There's no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing a parenting philosophy that reflects your values and the choices you make for pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond. 

Harness the power of judgement free support. 

A doula offers you the support you need as you explore different avenues of parenting psychology, encouraging parents to find what fits for them and nurturing these decisions with their labor and postpartum care.

 Don't ever settle for uncomfortable or allow people to convince you that you're wrong. There's a long road ahead and only you can say

In the end, there is no right or wrong way to do things, and most parents end up adopting bits and pieces from each parenting style to create their own. Each family is unique, and that's what keeps the parenting journey interesting!

Your baby. Your family. Your Style.