In every mammalian species, the task of parents is important because it is their job to inform the newborn of the ways of nature. They teach how to survive, who to rely on and which predators to avoid. Their role makes them the protectors and teachers of the new generation. But animals are simply because their daily needs are focused towards only one goal, survival.
As long as an animal knows what to hunt, where to hunt and when to hide, their goal has been achieved.
Human beings are complicated creatures, which is a by-product of the incredible brains we have acquired due to the evolutionary process. Our social structure is very diverse and involves more than just foraging for food and protecting ourselves from predators. This changes the role that parents play in our life.
They are the first social interaction that we make in the world, they teach us the moral lessons that are essential to our community and provide financial and emotional support.
Since the existence of our species, we have seen much change over the years in many fields. Since all these changes warp the environment around us, it is only natural that the relations that we have with people are affected by them. The best example could be how social media has reduced the physical interactions between acquaintances.
Parenting has been affected too due to this change in the environment. Unlike other relationships, the effect on this dynamic is more drastic than others since it involves the care of children who are still learning about the ways of the world.
How has it Changed
Long back parenting was hands on. It was a given that the mother’s job is as a nurturer and the father was the breadwinner. The mother taught compassion and love whereas father was the enforcer of discipline and order.
Today, with both parents at the job, children are raised by the help which is hired to take care of the house. This causes friction in the relationship because the child does not recognize the authority of their parents.
Furthermore, rather than helping their children in activities like homework or projects like previous generations today the parents leave the job to the school. There is a lack of attention on the children in the house which was not previously seen.
Parents have an indirect effect through school on a child’s life. They question the way the school teaches the students and the workload they impose on them. In the years before, the school was left to its own devices, allowed to teach the children as they see fit which has produced many fine professionals today.
Though it is important in letting a child have a certain amount of freedom, today there are almost no restrictions. There used to be some sort of strict decorum to be followed in the house of the most liberal parents too. But such sternness is almost absent today, causing children to learn wrong lessons about punctuality and discipline.
What Went Wrong
The most important thing that we need to realize about parents is that they are just human. They are the same flesh and bone as everyone else and are susceptible to make mistakes. The responsibility of an entirely new person is a pressure which cannot be explained until unless someone has been through it. Parents go through life with not only taking care of themselves but also their children, which can cause them to make mistakes.
Today, these mistakes have caused the production of a generation of children who feel neglected and out of place in the world.
Taking care of children is fine but to cater to all their needs at a tender age is not healthy for a young child. Today the parents have a tendency to give their children anything they desire. Though their premise, that they want their children to have what they did not, is healthy and well though, it is important for children to hear that they cannot have everything in the world. This has caused the breeding of a generation of who are spoiled and have the idea that they are entitled to rewards without putting in the work.
The working sector today has become quite demanding, and they expect their employees to clock more hours than it was expected. Some professions like commercial pilots and doctors don’t even get-offs on public holidays. This means less time for their families. Many children grow up getting to see their fathers only for few days in a month, which fills the children with a sense of abandonment and neglect.
Technology has evolved to the point that there is no longer need of physical interaction between people. This affects the parent-child relationship even more. A lack of communication causes a fissure between the children and their parents, which could eventually destroy the relationship. Furthermore, some parents have taken to making their children sit in front of a screen in order to avoid confrontation.
Steps to Correct Ourselves
Parents make mistakes because they are human too, but every mistake can be corrected. We have to take few steps and make few lifestyle changes in order to mend the relationships.
Communication is required in creating any kind of relationship. Ask your child to share their daily activities with you and share yours with them. Your child will only feel comfortable if they know that you both can have an open dialogue free of judgment. Designate a time which will be used only for face-to-face communication. Knowing each other will only help in further strengthening the relationship.
The digital age is an improvement as to who we live but it has a toxic effect on the young children. Obesity and damage to eyes are at a record height in recent years. Provide your children with mechanical toys like Mechanix and Legos which will help them learn and have fun. Get them involved in a sport which they can enjoy after a day in school. It is also important that you get involved in these activities with them which will help build a stronger bond.
Sometimes being firm with your child is important. Physical abuse is not an option. But putting your foot down on important matters is required. It teaches the child that everything may not go their way and that they have to work hard to achieve their goals.
Your child is too young to have knowledge about financial responsibility, but the early they learn it the better. They need to know that everything in the house and all the luxuries they have is because of the hard work that you put in. Rather than catering to their every tantrum, put them in a fixed pocket money budget. This will teach them to sound ways of managing money and at the same time to respect everything you own.
Parents should not be blamed for everything. Today there is so much material on how parenting can be done right that they sometimes get overwhelmed with the responsibility. All they need to keep in mind is that they have to take care of the child while also preparing them for the future that they will have to conquer on their own.