There seems to be a growing debate online between parents now and their parents. Who parented better? Whose parenting practices are more effective in raising a better child? Tensions between grandparents who are guiding their grandchildren in ways that seem outdates to parents. On the other side of the spectrum, we are seeing grandparents concerned that parents today are not letting their grandchildren go outside.
A main concern for grandparents for their grandchildren is their addiction to technology and lack of exercise. Many grandparents believe a child should have limited access to tablets, phones and more and get outside and explore the world around them.
Parents are concerned that grandparents are practicing outdated parenting practices that they feel are harmful to children. This is included but not limited to, eating junk food and various discipline practices.
There has to be a way to bridge this gap, not be so judgmental and find way that both parents and grandparents can agree and find commonalities in parenting practices. We need grandparents to trust a parent’s parenting practice and we need parents to realize that grandparents are a wealth of information.
Though out with the old and in with the new works some of the time, it does not work all of the time. Disregarding someone’s opinion on the basis of age is not only sad, its ageist.
However, when grandparents shrug off a parent’s wishes or beliefs, it’s not only rude, but also ageist and dismissive. The parent is just that, the parent.
We have to find a mutual respect for both parents and grandparents and stop the judgement between the two generations. There is no one best way to raise a child. There are many paths to success, we have to find a way to both respect each other’s opinion and trust good parent practices.
Every month we ask our blogger of the year many questions that are common concerns for parents. We again put Momma Braga in the hot seat!
This month, we asked our Blogger of the Year, Momma Braga about her thoughts and insight about parenting practices now and then. Momma Braga is a global parenting blog based in Canada. We chose Momma Braga as our Blogger of the Year because she was honest with her readers, what you see is what you get. She also cares about her audience, works excellently with brands and always keeps it real!
Parenting Now Verses Then
There is a big difference from parenting today than parenting in the 80s or 90s. What do you think are some of the main things that have changed and why?
Parenting is a hard journey no matter the decade we live in. However, with the world changing as the years go by so do the obstacles that parents face with raising children.
I am sure in the 80s and 90s parents had parenting issues that we can still relate to today but I think there is a lot more now that we have to deal with. I might just briefly touch upon some in today’s interview as I am sure I may forget some but I want to highlight a few that I feel are some major changes.
Firstly, safety appears to be drastically different. I remember being able to play outside without a worry in the world and my parents would feel comfortable having me play outdoors. There wasn’t this constant fear of strangers, accidents or even the amount of terror activity happening in the world.
Safety rules and standards have also changed over the years and one major one is car safety for children. I remember being three years old and not having a car seat and now I make sure that my daughter has the safest car seat to better protect her in my car that is appropriate for her height and weight.
Of course we cannot forget about online safety. This wasn’t a thing back in the 80s or 90s but a real reality for parents of today. There are cyber bullies and predators lurking online that makes our parenting life a whole lot harder. Our parents did not have to worry or teach us of the dangers of the online world but we do. The online world is just that, the world. It isn’t just your backyard or community anymore, it is so much more.
Secondly, technology. Even though it has helped us advance, it could also have taken us back a few steps when it comes to family. Our phones play a pivotal part in our lives as we are always connected. Sometimes too connected and we are not spending the time with our families like we should. I know I am guilty of this but am working on improving this.
Our children are also much more involved in technology than in past decades which many are saying is the cause of an obese population. I know growing up I didn’t own a computer until I was out of high school as they were just getting popular and my parents didn’t have the money to purchase one. But my three old is great at working the tablet and putting on her favorite Paw Patrol episode.
We can’t forget about social media as it has changed the way we communicate with one another. It is the way we stay connected, used to share memories but also an open door to cyber bullying. Whether we like social media or not it is now part of our parenting teachings and helping our children learn what is right and wrong behavior online.
We now have access to so much more information and knowledge then our parents or our grandparents. In a way it helps us but it is also a disadvantage as it can be difficult to figure out what information is correct. I say it is the overload of information.
I saved “perfect parenting” for last as I think it has been a big change due to technology and information. Being a good parent has always been an expectation then and now. The change is the information and technology that we have access to. Have you ever gone on Pinterest and wonder how some moms make these amazing and creative things with their kids? I know I have wondered and feel that I need to be like that in order to be a good parent. But I have quickly learned that I don’t need to be a Pinterest mom to know that I am a good mom. It is great that these other moms can do it and bravo to them but I just don’t have the time for it all. It becomes an expectation that we need to be this well put together mom all the time and it’s an impossible reality to always achieve. I know that my mom never worried about how to create creative crafts with us or worry about what others thought of her parenting online.
Can parents today take advice from parents before or is it considered outdated?
The world has changed and so has parenting. But one thing that is consistent is that every child is different. Sometimes we all forget that we want what is best for the child and in doing so we may forget that our advice may not work for that child. Depending on the advice and the child it could be valid or outdated it really does depend. There are tons of books and resources available but there really isn’t anything written about your child. I have taken advice from my mom on certain topics and it has helped me but I have also refused a lot of it as well as it didn’t apply to my daughter. Let me give a personal example, from Nikki’s first year of life. It was Christmas Eve and Nikki woke up from a nap in a lot of pain. I was soothing her and comforting her as I knew it was tummy pain from gas. This had been my life for the first three months. My mom told me that it was teething pain and suggested some home remedies but I knew the difference in her cry. I refused her advice and cared for Nikki with the steps I did to help her through the gas which worked. Unfortunately, my not taking the advice was a sign of disrespect and it wasn’t as I knew my daughter’s cry and I was right with what was wrong with her. It isn’t to say that the advice is outdated but that every child and parent is different and we are all adapting to the changes in our fast paced world.
Should grandparents parent their way or our way when watching children?
This is a tough question for me as my daughter is currently being cared for by her grandparents. I think it is tough for grandparents to parent the way they parented us. We have always heard that grandparents spoil their grandchildren and their love for them seems to be greater than for their children. I can see that with my parents. So of course they spoil Nikki and at times it proves difficult for me to set rules and boundaries. We are slowly working together to create a style of parenting that can work for both of us. There are (a lot of) bumps along the way but ultimately we are all trying our best for Nikki and we all love her dearly. This is how we are trying to do it in our family. But if grandparents are just watching your child for a day then it’s a day of spoiling and sometimes we should give that one day. 😉
Thank you Momma Braga for your wisdom and advice! Be sure to join us for Momma Braga’s interview next month.
Parenting practices can vary from generation to generation. They change because of many factors, new discoveries, philosophies and insights. They have to change because our world changes. Technology would be in our opinion the greatest reason why parenting practices have changed over the last few decades. Our parents certainly did not have to worry about cyber bullying, the privacy of photos online (or lack thereof), and more. Though grandparents can offer insight and wisdom during these difficult times, it is the parent who must understand modern technology. Our children have never been more exposed to the public. Parents have to make a decision to either embrace the lack of privacy, delegate what can go public and what should not go public or keep a strict watch on their child’s photographs.
It is integral for each family that is multi-generational to find a happy medium in parenting. It takes a village but with a village raising a child comes balance. Can that balance be achieved? We have seen some great success stories and a lot of works in progress. What do you do? Do you let things go or do you confront parenting practices that you do not agree with to your family members?
We want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Got advice for some of our readers? Want to share your own story? Tell us your own multi-generational parenting experiences below.
To read more about Momma Braga, visit her here