Parenting is no joke. We’ve heard it time and again. Those who are not yet parents tend to shrug this off since they still can’t relate to it but becoming a parent is both a fulfilling and frustrating journey that parents all over the world can relate too even if they come from diverse backgrounds. From the news of the pregnancy to labor and delivery and the actual raising of the child from infant to adult, there are many experiences that will bring tears and sadness but are all a part of the very fabric of life. It’s not always a walk in the park, so do not delude yourself into believing it will be if you are a new parent because it won’t, so deal with it.
However, the times have changed. While the very essence of parenthood remains the same, there are obviously many changes and factors that we need to take into consideration. First, technology is a big part of our lives today. Just how much technology will you allow your child to use or expose them to are perennial questions? Next, the environment itself has changed. People’s behaviors and accepted norms are no longer the same as it was twenty years ago when most parents today were kids themselves. And since our basic role in this world was to go henceforth and procreate, let’s try to unravel how parenting has changed and evolved in the 21st century.
Other findings include that 95% of families with young kids have smartphones (up from 63% in 2013 and 41% in 2011), and 78% have tablets (up from 40% in 2013 and 8% in 2011).
“In today’s tech-driven world, where things are moving so quickly, it is really important to step back and take a hard look at what technology kids are using and how they are using it,” James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, said in a statement. “Over the last six years, we have seen massive growth in media use and tablet ownership, and we haven’t even begun to experience the explosion of new technologies like virtual reality and voice-activated assistants in our homes. If we want to ensure our kids develop well and are successful in life, we have to make sure they get the most out of tech while protecting them from potential risks — and that means paying close attention to the role media is playing in their lives.”
Yes, the facts have spoken. Technology rules the world, our homes, and our kid’s lives. They use too much technology that they miss out on many things parents used to do in their childhood like playing outside, making meaningful and real relationships with the people around them, and actually doing things rather than watching people do it on Youtube or whatever SNS accounts they are using. It is obviously a major cultural shift that affects millions of kids throughout the globe where technology plays a dominant role in the people’s day-to-day lives. The danger here is that since parents work during the day and usually don’t have the time to supervise their children 24/7, they aren’t aware of their child’s social activities on the web and its impact on them.
“We postulate that socioeconomic conditions drive how much control or monitoring parents exercise on their children’s choices.”
Using the World Value Survey, the co-authors asked which values they found most important in child rearing. They found permissive or more laid back parents emphasize the values of imagination and independence when bringing up their children. The authoritarian and authoritative parents insist on the importance of hard work and obedience, respectively.
They show that parents in countries with more unequal economic conditions are more authoritarian and authoritative in style. In countries with better redistribution of wealth – more social expenditure and stronger civil rights protections, parents are significantly more permissive or relaxed in their parenting style.
The researchers believe their theory can help explain the recent rise of ‘helicopter parenting’, which is a version of the authoritative style in which parents try to influence their children’s choices with intense monitoring and persuasion.
Parenting styles differ from one place to another as socioeconomic factors are taken into context. In a progressive country like ours where everyone is competitive but opportunities are kind of limited, you can expect parents to teach their kids to value education at an early age especially that there are exams they should pass and other kids are studying hard as well, so competition is tough. Ivy league schools are highly selective and you really have to invest in good study habits at a young age to make it there. Helicopter parents ensure that their kids achieve their dreams (or most likely their parent’s dreams for them), so they oversee everything they do day in and day out. Even tech use is limited (a blessing for parents and a punishment for the kids) so they can focus more on studying and less dilly-dallying.
Meanwhile, things are done differently in other nations because of cultural differences and the big economic gap. Yet one thing remains, parents only want the best for their children and whether they are pushy or lenient in their upbringing reflects what they think is best for their kids from their own point of view with all factors taken into consideration.