Parenting Styles: Are You Sink-Based Or Sofa-Based?

Parenting Styles

Picture credits: Sink,, Sofa,

Roll over Tiger Mother and Helicopter Parent! Step aside Gina Ford and Earth Mother! There’s a new parenting classification system in town: Sink-Based and Sofa-Based. Parenting styles are the source of much scrutiny, debate and angst. Where do I fit in to all this? you may cry. Do my children even care? Check my handy guide to find your new label!

I’m not going to claim any gender assignation here, but in my household, I am the sink-based parent, while my husband takes the sofa role.

To find out more about these specimens, I spent the weekend examining them in a number of different situations, in the manner of Richard Attenborough.


Sink-based: Come and have tea! Wash your hands! Have you been to the loo? Use your fork! No pudding unless you eat three more mouthfuls! I’ll sit with you in a minute when I’ve finished scrubbing this pan!

Sofa-based [to sink-based]: Can we have some biscuits?


Sink-based: Come and read to me while I put the dishwasher on. What’s that – well, read the letters out to me and I’ll tell you. Can you please grab your spelling book? It’s in the hall! In your book bag! No I don’t know where the pencil sharpener is. So, how do you spell: bad mummy?

Sofa-based: Sit on my lap and read me your reading book. [To sink-based] Can we have some biscuits?

Child Entertaining

Sink-based: I’ve got the pens out here by me, come and draw! Or the Play-Doh then? I’ll help you in a minute, just need to rinse these bottle teats. What’s that, you want to help me wash up? Great! No, don’t splash me. Don’t squeeze out all the washing up liquid! Not the glass…oh.

Sofa-based: Let’s watch Scooby Doo 2! [To sink-based] Can we have some popcorn?

Obviously I’m omitting the park-based parenting and other out-of-house styles, since my field experiment was conducted during a very rainy and cold weekend. And just for the sake of my marriage, I should add that my husband did not, of course, spend the entire weekend melded to a sofa cushion.

Every household needs a balance – a bit of sofa-based with a dash of sink-based parenting.

Overall, I learnt a good lesson. I need to up my Sofa-Based Parenting.

For my sake as well as theirs.

What about you? Do you need to step away from the sink or have you got the balance nailed?

I’m delighted to be in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Final – thanks for all your support.

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