Parenting Then vs Now: The Changes of Parenting Styles

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Parenting Then vs Now

Parenting, much like everything else in life, undergoes an evolution. It dances to the rhythm of time, a rhythm marked by changing social, cultural, and technological landscapes. The objective of this blog post? To steer the time machine of memory back to the 80s and 90s and compare the parenting styles of those times to the present day. Fasten your seat belts as we begin this ride through the fascinating world of parenting then vs now.

Scenario 1: Discipline

The discipline of the 80s and 90s often sat stern-faced on a wooden chair, resembling a strict schoolmaster with a firm belief in spanking or physical punishment to correct a child’s behavior. My wife still recounts tales of her father’s booming voice sending her and her siblings scampering away to their rooms at the slightest mischief.

Fast forward to the present. The stern-faced schoolmaster has traded the wooden chair for a beanbag and the booming voice for a soft, empathic one. Discipline in today’s world is like an artist skillfully molding clay, adapting its shape, and guiding it to form a beautiful sculpture. The focus is on positive discipline techniques such as time-outs, logical consequences, and open communication, helping children understand the ‘why’ behind their actions. The strict era of punishment has given way to the progressive age of learning lessons. One can’t help but notice the subtle shift in parenting styles, with a greater focus on authoritative parenting.

Scenario 2: Education

Journeying back to the 80s and 90s, education was much like a well-trodden path. Traditional schooling approaches were revered, and there was less emphasis on alternative educational methods. The world was like a giant jigsaw puzzle, and every child was handed a standard-size piece to fit in. A bit like handing a child a model airplane kit with specific instructions to follow.

Now, in the age of individualism, education resembles a handful of clay, ready to be shaped and molded to fit each child’s unique learning style. The rise in homeschooling, online education, and greater emphasis on personalized and experiential learning highlights the evolution of educational practices in the parenting landscape.

Remember how our parents would sweat over a jigsaw puzzle with us? Now imagine us, as parents, encouraging our children to create their own unique sculptures from clay. The path of education has indeed branched out from the rigidity of conventional schooling to the flexibility of customized learning.

It’s heartening to note the transition in parenting then vs now when it comes to education, with the old ‘one size fits all’ approach gradually giving way to a ‘made to measure’ style, allowing each child to don their own distinct academic and creative hats.

Scenario 3: Media and Technology

In the 80s and 90s, media was like the restricted section in a library – limited and carefully curated. The television was the primary source of entertainment, and there were strict limits on screen time. Our parents had an uncomplicated approach, much like assembling a tricycle – put the child on, and keep a watchful eye.

Fast forward to the present. We find ourselves in a world where technology weaves itself seamlessly into the fabric of our lives. Our kids are born into a digital age where smartphones, tablets, and constant connectivity are the norm. Today, parenting is like building a complex drone, with us as parents trying to figure out how to manage screen time and navigate the realms of digital media consumption responsibly.

Authoritative parenting styles have adapted to include creating a balance between digital media engagement and offline activities, ensuring our kids gain the benefits of technology without losing out on the real-world experiences.

Scenario 4: Gender Roles

A young boy playing with a doll house in his bedroom

In the 80s and 90s, gender roles were like color-coded toy aisles: boys got blue and were expected to play with trucks and action figures, while girls got pink and were handed dolls. There were clearly defined expectations for boys and girls, often limiting their opportunities to explore interests outside these traditional roles.

Fast forward to the present. We’ve come a long way with a significant shift towards gender equality. The old color-coded aisles have blurred, and children are encouraged to explore their interests and abilities freely, regardless of their gender. In my house, my son might spend the afternoon pushing around a baby carriage, while my wife teaches our daughter how to change a lightbulb. The focus in our parenting style is on individual interests and abilities, rather than gender stereotypes.

As we continue to strive for gender equality, we celebrate these changes in parenting then vs now, recognizing that every child is unique, regardless of their gender.

Scenario 5: Safety and Overprotection

In the 80s and 90s, safety was like a playground with no fences, allowing children greater freedom to explore, take risks, and learn from their experiences. Much like an old-fashioned game of hide and seek, kids would disappear into the neighborhood in the morning and emerge only when the dinner bell rang.

Contrast that with the present day, where safety has become a well-fenced park, carefully monitored and structured to prevent any harm. Parenting today is akin to a game of tag, where we try to keep a close eye on our little ones, keeping them within arm’s reach and focusing on their safety. This heightened awareness has perhaps come at the cost of the carefree explorations of yesteryears. Parenting then vs now has seen a noticeable shift from a laissez-faire approach to a more protective stance.

Scenario 6: Nutrition and Health

Back in the 80s and 90s, nutrition was much like a packet of instant noodles – quick, convenient, and ready to eat. Convenience and processed foods were prevalent, with less focus on diet quality. It was the era of the TV dinner, and the rulebook on nutrition was not as comprehensive as it is today.

Fast forward to the present, and nutrition resembles a carefully crafted salad, with a focus on wholesome and natural ingredients. There’s an increased emphasis on healthy eating, organic foods, and awareness of dietary restrictions and allergies. As a parent today, packing a lunchbox feels like working on a nutritionist’s blueprint – every food group, vitamin, and nutrient carefully accounted for.

This transformation in parenting styles with regard to nutrition is another significant aspect of parenting then vs now, highlighting our evolving understanding of health and well-being.

Scenario 7: Parental Involvement

Back in the 80s and 90s, parents were often like guests at a school play, showing up for big events and sometimes helping with homework. They were there, but not always involved in the day-to-day details of our lives.

Nowadays, parents are more like directors of that school play. They’re involved in everything – from school projects to play dates and bedtime stories. This increase in hands-on parenting shows the change in parenting styles from being observers to active participants in our children’s lives.

Scenario 8: Work-Life Balance

One sneaker on grass and one dress shoe on pavement signifying a work life balance

In the 80s and 90s, work was often like a giant see-saw. It tipped the balance, making it hard to spend as much time with the family as parents might have liked. Work came first, and family time often took a back seat.

Today, it’s like trying to balance on a tightrope. Parents are striving for a better work-life balance, juggling work demands with school runs, soccer practices, and family dinners. It’s not always easy, but the effort reflects the shift in parenting then vs now.

Scenario 9: Communication

The 80s and 90s saw communication in a simpler form, much like letters sent through the mail. Parents and children communicated face-to-face or over the phone. Talks during dinner or before bedtime were the norm. It was simple, straightforward, and often more personal.

Let’s fast forward to the present day where communication has transformed significantly. It’s now akin to the rapid flicking of picture-book pages. Parents and their little ones communicate in playful gestures, animated expressions, and an imaginative language all of their own. It’s immediate, lively, and can happen anywhere, at any time.

For instance, I play this fun guessing game with my preschooler where he tells a story using his toys, and I guess what’s happening. Other times, my toddler would grab my hand, pulling me towards her latest crayon masterpiece or showing me how high she can jump on the trampoline.

In an era where digital technology is ever-present, it’s refreshing to see the ‘real-time updates’ from your own kids, right in front of you. This change in communication style is another aspect of parenting then vs now, highlighting the precious, unfiltered exchanges between parents and their young children in today’s world.

Scenario 10: Parental Support Systems

Back in the 80s and 90s, parental support systems were limited and resembled a small book club. Parents often sought advice from close friends and family members or read books about parenting. It was intimate, with guidance coming from those who knew you and your child best.

In contrast, today’s parental support systems look like an online library, vast and easily accessible. The internet is brimming with parenting blogs, online communities, and social media platforms offering instant advice, support, and information. Even in the middle of a toddler tantrum, I can find dozens of articles on how to handle the situation. This shows how the way parents seek help and advice has changed, becoming more immediate and diverse. The way we raise our kids in the present day is influenced by a global community, marking another significant difference in parenting then vs now.

Scenario 11: Child’s Play

If we rewind to the 80s and 90s, playtime was a lot like a field of possibilities, with fewer toys and more imagination. Children often engaged in outdoor games, improvised with what they had, creating fantastic worlds out of cardboard boxes, or organizing a game of tag or hide-and-seek with neighborhood friends. I remember my younger self turning a simple stick into a magic wand, a sword, or a tool for an imaginary adventure.

Fast forward to the present day, the landscape of play has changed, and it’s more like an amusement park filled with a variety of options. Technology, from interactive educational games on tablets to remote-controlled drones and robots, has added a new dimension to play. While the allure of screens is undeniable, there’s also a surge in popularity of creative and educational toys like puzzles, craft kits, and science experiment sets. Playtime for my little ones might involve building a rocket out of recycling materials, or pretending to be pirates on a ‘ship’ we built out of cushions.

Despite these changes in parenting then vs now, one thing remains constant – the joy and learning that play brings to a child’s life. It’s an essential part of their growth and development, no matter the era.

Scenario 12: Value Education

Text that says living our values everyday

In the 80s and 90s, value education was a bit like a treasured family recipe passed down through generations. Values were often taught through stories and life lessons from parents and grandparents. They were instilled in daily routines, simple chores, or family traditions.

Contrast this with the present, where teaching values to kids is akin to building a mosaic piece by piece. Along with parents, schools, media, and society play a significant role in shaping a child’s values. From learning about empathy through a school project, understanding the importance of recycling from a favorite cartoon, to observing acts of kindness in the community – it’s a collective effort.

This shift in parenting then vs now underlines the wider influences on a child’s value education in the current times.

Conclusion: Parenting Then vs Now – Embracing the Journey

Reflecting on this journey through different eras of parenting is a bit like flipping through a well-loved family photo album. Each page holds a unique snapshot of the time, marked by cultural norms, societal expectations, and available resources. From the strictly disciplined household dynamics of the 80s and 90s, to the shift towards positive discipline techniques and personalized learning approaches of today, the parenting landscape has indeed evolved.

However, as we marvel at the transformations in parenting then vs now, it’s crucial to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising children. Each family is unique, and so are their journeys. Changes in society, advancements in technology, and shifts in cultural norms continually shape our parenting styles, but the essence remains the same. The unwavering love for our children, the desire to provide them with the best possible upbringing, and the ceaseless pursuit of their happiness and success – these are the common threads that bind all parents, regardless of the era.

At the end of the day, we’re all navigating through the challenges and joys of parenthood, learning as we go along. We stumble, pick ourselves up, celebrate tiny victories, and keep moving forward. And while the scenery may change, the journey itself is what matters.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. How have you seen parenting evolve over the years? How do these shifts affect your approach to raising your children? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below. Here’s to celebrating the beautiful, ever-changing journey of parenting, together.

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Raising Kids Then and Now: The Evolution of Parenthood – Troomi Wireless

Hey there! I'm Allen, but you can call me "The Corny Dad" from Canada. I have a wife and four kiddos. Yep, one's full grown, but they'll always be my babies. When I'm not doing something with my family or playing video games, I'm here, jotting down my bits of wisdom on this blog. From the fun stuff to the parenting chaos, I cover it all. Believe me, with the right attitude, parenting's a smoother ride and I'm here to help.

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