The Sweet Life of a Modern-Day Parent

As a child of the 90s, I find it very fascinating to see the parenting styles of current parents. I obviously don’t remember my childhood too well, but I will say that my parents did a decent job raising my brother and me.

In elementary school we were given a chart with chores on them, and each day we completed our chores, we got to put a sticker on the day and if we collected enough stickers, we could trade them in for a toy in the reward jar. It was efficient and it motivated us to get our tasks done daily. However, I do feel that maybe my parents did have their moments where parenting went out the window and it was replaced with frustration.

But that is the thing: you chose to be a parent. It will never be easy, but you can grow with your child. You learn and you grow with them, because honestly as a parent you are a grown-up child. There is no easy way out and there is no “Get out of Jail” free card. You are responsible.

I have noticed that the pressure of parenting in modern day is far more intimidating than what it was 20 or 30 years ago. I would argue and say parenting now is the hardest it has been. And for those new parents, I wanted to break down the parenting styles over the century. It is important to see that adults now grew up with no parenting books, or therapists that stated everything was a trauma response. Being a parent is stressful but being judged on how you raise your child shouldn’t be another added stressor on top of keeping your tiny human alive.

I would start in the 1950-1960 era. This was the time of parenting where children addressed their parents as “ma’am” or “sir” and were only allowed to speak when spoken to. Parenting styles were more conservative, and there was a lot more control. Teenagers were told how to live, and parents had full access to everything their child did.

1970-2000 era was maybe slightly different. The introduction of more modern technology provided a different view to parenting. There was still the traditional conservative style, but parents were choosing to start “connecting” to their child over “controlling” their child. This is the Boomer stage to Millennial stage, and the disconnect of controlling children to obeying broke as the world visibly changed.

Now the 2010- present time. Parents are fully embracing connecting to their child. It is all about being a cool parent, the popular parent on the block, and being close to their child over the traditional parenting. I won’t say that being connected to your child is bad, in fact I believe it leaves the child closer to their parent even once they are adults.

But parents that choose to connect with their children tend to have a very relaxed approach to parenting that can be frowned upon by older generation parents. They are often made fun of and thought to have no control at all over their kids.

I don’t have any kids, and quite honestly if it were up to me, my parenting style would be a blend of control and connection. As a child is growing up, I do believe there is an importance in being active in their lives, no matter what it may be. Monitoring their screen time, their schoolwork and progress, or even friends isn’t wrong to do. Some parents might find this to be controlling or overly involved, but as a parent I feel it is your duty to be aware of what your child is doing. But at the same time, I may monitor my child but not completely dictate what they do. An example: I may not like their friend, but I won’t keep my child from seeing them.

The concept of control or connection parenting is on a spectrum. I believe the best way to parent isn’t to choose one or the other for the style, but rather go back and forth as it sees fit. If your child doesn’t eat their vegetables and demands to have ice cream, obviously pull a control style parenting to ensure your child eats right. Giving in to a child’s demand can affect your overall approach to parenting, and that can lead to more stressors.

I don’t agree with old style parenting because I believe it has left the current generation of parents with trauma. Parents now with children of 2-8 years of age are under so much stress thinking they are not raising their child right. They feel judged, or out of control when it comes to their child because they try hard to fit into current styles of parenting.

Also, parents, do not feel as though you must follow the latest TikTok parenting or be exactly like Susan from Instagram. Social media has made parenting harder since their lives seemed to be glorified and the kids seem so perfectly well behaved. I promise, from what I hear, many parents are struggling, and it isn’t easy.

Bottom line is to understand your child and know what makes you comfortable when raising your child. They are yours and will live with you for the next 18-20 years, so you are in control of what will make their and your life easier. It will come with hardships, but from my understanding being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in your entire life – EMBRACE it as you will never get that time back.



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