Back in the day, when children did not obey the rules, they were “spanked”, if you will. Children are now being awarded for “standing up for themselves” when questioned by authority, even when they are not necessarily doing the right thing. However, times have changed drastically.
Present day parenting seems to be all about showing off whose child is the most independent, smart-mouthed, perfectly dressed whiz kid. How times have shifted.
In today’s tech-induced environment, parents act as if they are running a marathon to the “Perfect Parent” finish line.
Of course, all parents want the best for their children, but when it comes to actually doing the best thing, it seems to be backfiring. Parents seem to think they have it all figured out with their day care apps, infant formulas and Do-It-Yourself Guide Books.
When we observe the issue from an objective point of view, it is clear that today’s toddlers are much more spoiled than they ought to be and all fault fingers point to methods of parenting.Have you ever asked yourself why that is? Well, for one thing, there were no guidebooks to assist parents on how to do their job.
Correspondingly, the roles of males and females have also shifted since our parents were children themselves. Just a few decades back, men were the major breadwinners in the families and a woman’s role was quite clear.
However, today when women have shifted from stay at home moms to equal breadwinners, it can be quite difficult to manage who does what.
There seems to be a fuzzy line between who handles the finances and who takes care of the kids, which is evidently causing collisions in parenting techniques.
Jennifer Senior, a contributing editor at New York Magazine explains the parenting phenomenon in her Ted Talks about the “Crisis of Parenting.” She states that, “the goal of raising happy children is so elusive it has put modern, middle-class parents into a panic.”
Long before the shelves of bookstores were stacked with teachings of the countless ways on how to properly raise children, Dr. Benjamin Spock, who wrote “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care”.
In today’s world, Senior states that when you walk into a Barnes and Noble, you see “a candy colored monument to our collective panic.”
This goes back to the original thought on how parents are raising children differently than our parents and grandparents were brought up. Being raised strict may have frustrated us as children, but we reap these rewards as adults, when we are able to function independently, without the help of our parents.
In today’s world, we see children being raised gluten-free, sugar-free and homes that are built “child proof”. Parenting that goes along these lines would inflict the idea that centuries of parenting have been proven wrong and buying your child an iPad is a lot better than buying them a puzzle for Christmas.
However, fairly recently, children were viewed as economic assets, as they worked on farms and even in factories.
This went on until the progressive era, where this was seen as unjust and child labor was banned. Moreover, to quote the sociologist William Doherty, “kids have become economically worthless, but emotionally priceless.” More work is being put into the education and well-being of children than ever before.
By all means, this is not to say that those parents did not care about their children or that parents are not doing the best they can. On the contrary, they are trying excessively hard and it is going in the wrong direction.
Children are born into a world where they feel entitled to do anything they please and feel the world should simply accept this approach. Automatically, this sets them up for disaster once they enter the real world, where you are supposed to earn everything you want to achieve.
Although the bar is set higher for children, paradox ally, they are expected to do less.
If we take a closer look at how today parents treat their children, the picture will become clear as day.
Nowadays, everything children do is rewarded, from potty training to making their own breakfast. Where this phenomenon has stemmed from is beyond most of our knowledge. However, most of it has to do with the way the world has shifted from self-reliance to technology-based activities.
We live in a world where food and apparel can be delivered to our door with the touch of a button, a process that does not involve much work. Everything seems to be “automatic” and nothing is done with much thought or effort.
In turn, this plays a domino effect on children, making them spoiled and entitled. They do not feel the sense of authority from any other adult apart from their parent or guardian and they do not sense the need to follow certain rules.
All of these changes going on have wreaked havoc on the ways in which parents are raising their children, making them breathe and force panic in their day-to-day activities.
What they fail to realize is that there is no one way or right way to raise a child. Parenting is a trial and error process that is perfected in every individual’s own way. No manual can teach you the right way to bring up your children and loosing up now and then might be the only way to stay sane.
Instead of trying to raise a perfect child, maybe we should try to raise more empathic, ethically correct and loving offspring.
Who says we have live by some standards, anyway? The more mistakes we make, the more we learn. If we are always trying to avoid making an error, we will be forever living in misery, and our biggest failure will be trying to raise a perfect child.
Relax breath and let them be, for all we know, they will turn out to be a lot better than we anticipated.