There’s a bunch of reasons parents have it easier nowadays than parents 50,60,70 years ago. Medicine alone is reason to thank God. Think of how many childrens’ lives were spared because of penicillin.
But let’s face it. The 21st century has thrown parents today some curve balls. And here’s seven reasons parenting is harder nowadays.
1) Television -Let’s face it. Even when the television show itself isn’t bad, the commercials are practically soft core porn. Thank goodness for the DVR so you can fast forward commercials. But also, every father is portrayed as a boob which is exactly opposite of how they used to be portrayed. Compare the way fathers today are portrayed with men like Robert Young from “Father Knows Best.” The disrespect shown to fathers on just about every television show can’t help things.
2) Internet – The internet is great for many reasons. Hey, I’m a blogger so I’ve gotta’ like it but let’s face it, it can be like drilling a peephole into Hell and you’ve got to monitor the kids constantly even when they’re doing a project. Hey, you never know what’s going to come up when they’re working on a paper on the French writer “Balzac” or maybe a paper on “Uranus.”
Never mind WebMD which can make you think your kid’s contracted beriberi when they’ve actually just got a cold.
3) Seat Belts -Back in the old days if the station wagon got too loud all my Dad had to do was slam on the brakes and we’d all go flying around and hold on to each other for dear life. The kids in the cargo space in back would find themselves upside down in the back seat and kids from the back seat would be crumpled on the floor. My poor little sister who was sitting on the armrest (which was really just a vinyl baby catapult) would be changing the radio station with her ear. But hey, it was just a way for my Dad to reshuffle the deck. Can’t do that anymore. Nowadays, kids are all buckled in.
4) Can’t punish other people’s children – Nobody seems to punish their kids anymore. I do. In fact, my oldest asked me why was it that she was constantly punished at home but never in trouble at school. I told her that it was because she was constantly punished at home that she didn’t get in trouble at school.
But when I was a kid it was assumed that neighbor’s parents had the ability to punish you. I remember one woman who lived behind my parents tackling my brother Patrick. (It was awesome!) I think a little fear in a kid that hey, if I act up that lady who’s watering her flowers might take me down me and drag me home to my mother is a good thing. Yeah, I said it, fear can be healthy.
5) You can’t just send kids out to play anymore.- When I was a kid we ran out the door at 10 a.m. and maybe came back to throw a sandwich in our mouths at lunchtime and then we disappeared again until dinner. If my parents even asked me where I was I’d probably just say “all over” and leave out the fact that a lady with a watering can had chased us.
Nowadays, you just can’t let your kids out like that. I don’t know if the number of creepy dudes in unmarked vans is increasing but we sure know about them more so we don’t let our kids out of our sight. That means a lot more work for us, more organized activities, and play dates.
6)Dual incomes. – If everyone around you is earning dual incomes, it makes it a lot harder for parents to stay home with their children. So if you do stay home, it’s a bit economically tougher than it would’ve been a few decades ago.
And you’ve got many parents working double jobs -one in the office and then trying to fit all their nurture/bonding time into little increments between dinner and bedtime with their kids. That’s tough mainly because parents who only get to spend an hour or two with their kids don’t want to spend that hour punishing their kid so they overlook a lot in order to have a nice quiet night.
7) Too many parenting books. – Way too many parenting books. So you’ve got all sorts of parents reading these things and over thinking every situation so much that they lose their common sense. Alert to parents – Sometimes a kid being a brat isn’t a cry for help. It’s just a kid being a brat. Punish them. Don’t try to be their friend. Be their parent. It’s harder for you but it’s better for them.
So those are my reasons for thinking parenting is harder (in some ways) nowadays. I’d write more but I’m exhausted. We had two playdates yesterday and I’m pretty sure my youngest has beriberi.