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Principals, Have You Met These Parents in Your School?

Principals encounter lots of parenting styles in their schools. Tell us about the "types" you’ve seen and strategies and tips you've used to interact with them in productive ways.

Do you have a suggestion for working with parents like these? Share your advice, tips, or anecdotes here.

Related Story: What Principals Can Do When Parents and Teachers Clash

Lawnmower or Snowplow

Parents who “mow” down or clear obstacles their child could face, going to sometimes extreme lengths to ensure their child avoids disappointment and only experiences success.


“Hovering” and overprotective parents who are involved in every minute aspect of their child’s life, including their schooling and academics.


Parents with an authoritarian style who demand high achievement from their children in school, sports, music, and other extracurricular activities. These parents view leisure as a waste of time. This term was popularized by author Amy Chua.


Nurturing and protective parents who place a high value on encouragement and empathy.


Permissive parents who have few rules and expectations for their children and may overindulge them.


Firm, but flexible parents who strive to balance the enforcement of rules and expectations with nurturing creativity and independence in their kids.


Parents who encourage their children to be more independent, with the goal of developing their self-reliance.

Got Advice?

Principals, do you have a suggestion for working with parents like these? Share your advice, tips, or anecdotes in the form below or on Twitter with the hashtag #PrincipalSolutions. Your submission may be used in an upcoming Education Week story.

Related Reading

Compiled by Lesli A. Maxwell

lllustrations by James Steinberg

Vol. 39, Issue 09, Pages 18-19

Published in Print: October 16, 2019, as Parent 'Types'
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