If we were to talk about the raising techniques throughout the generations, you’d notice a significant difference among them. In the 1950s, kids were more independent and their parents are only interacting with them for lessons and disciplines. This style goes on for ten more years, where parents are permissive and more open-minded.
In the 1980s, kids were responsible for themselves because both of the adults at home were usually working. And in the 2000s, you’ll notice that parents are more involved as opposed to the past years. However, it is also this time where parents are more controlling, which is termed as “helicoptering.”
And if you’re a parent now, you might feel conflicted whether you should apply your mom and dad’s parenting styles to your children. We can’t help but compare and notice the shortcomings and advantages of how we are raised. You were once a child too, so personally, you’re aware of which discipline strategies worked in honing you to a better individual.
To set an example, I was looking for a baby lotion here to soothe my daughter’s dry skin. My mother saw what I was doing and asked me why I’m sticking to using “chemicals” when in “my day”, we’re just using aloe vera. I tried to explain to her that there are still some hypoallergenic lotions that are just as safe as a freshly-picked plant.
Choosing What’s Better for Your Child
We only want what’s best for our kids that’s why we are so worried about raising them right. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to apply the same parenting methods you grew up in as long as you’re raising a loved and well-behaved child.
As I have mentioned earlier, you are aware of what “works” in your parent’s disciplining methods. You know which ones lead you to rebel more instead of complying with their rules. At the same time, you’re also aware of which techniques have somehow affected your adulthood.
However, we have to separate our personal feelings from the past if we want to raise our kids efficiently. Just because you feel negative, doesn’t mean that what your parents did is wrong. Of course, you might be protecting your child from the feelings and experiences that are hard to endure. But do not forget that the circumstances back then are different from today.
Maybe back then, a strict curfew felt too restrictive, but in truth, your parents are just protecting you since you’re living in a bad neighborhood. If you are familiar with the phrase, “if I knew then what I know now,” this is one of those moments where you can apply what’s suitable in raising your kids.
It might feel wrong to raise your child differently. Friends and family can comment on how you’re too lax or too tight with your parenting style. However, every child and generation is different. What works for their family might not work with yours. As long as you keep an open mind on what guidance techniques are best for your child, you’re a good parent.
Self-Awareness and Courage
If you are still doubting about your decision to apply a different parenting style, let me tell you about my personal realizations. First of all, I want you to give yourself a pat in the back because you are being brave. It’s already hard to raise another human who is dependent on you. And doing it without someone micromanaging you makes it even harder because every decision is yours.
I think it’s only right to say that you have a good sense of self-awareness. You know that the generation today needs a different style of parenting. And of course, you’re aware of the negative effects if you insist on following the traditional script. You only want what’s best for your child, and that’s why you’re paving a new path in parenting.
It feels overwhelming and scary because we have to own the decisions that we chose. It might even feel uncomfortable because you have to do the research and study on your own. What moments should you be firm? When is the right time that you should be more permissive? You have to relearn the basics and remain open-minded even if it feels frustrating at the moment.
How Will You Know if You’re Doing a Good Job Parenting?
Nowadays, it’s easy to communicate with friends and family. In fact, you can find forums, groups, or blogs of other parents. Because of this, you have access to different situations. You can compare their styles and families to yours. If you found something effective in them, you can apply it to your kids.
According to research, maintaining an open communication with your kids is one of the best strategies for raising them. This is because it allows them to hone their communication skills, which are essential to succeed in life. And if you think about it, authoritative parenting yields better results compared to an authoritarian approach.
The reason behind this is that the former is more empathetic and calm, compared to being stern and dominant. If you aren’t giving your child an explanation of why what he/she did cause a punishment, you’re also affecting his/her self-confidence.
On the other hand, if you set your child to succeed and you’re also listening to his/her reasons, you’re raising him/her to be independent with good control on himself/herself. However, this doesn’t mean that you are being too lax. You still need to set rules and boundaries as a parent.
The main takeaway here is that you have to find the perfect balance between being firm, consistent, and open-minded. Even if that means being completely different to how you were raised. You want to be independent but still adhering to your corrections about what is right and what is wrong. But you still need to maintain a good bond between the two of you. Being a helicopter parent teaches your kids that you don’t trust them. In turn, they’ll have a hard time making a call in their own decisions.