BN13: How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the…
PARENTING AND CHILDHOOD HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANT WAYS SINCE THE 1980s
No one can question a parent’s love for their kids, but how they express this love is a different story. Our environment influences us in great ways, and parenting doesn’t escape this impact. While trying to help children learn to talk, walk, and succeed in life, parents have gone the extra mile so that their children have no miles left to walk. Whatever happened to the days when we bruised our knees while learning to ride a bike! These days, parents could hit the brakes for their kids remotely from their phones. All these measures to keep them safe and sound pretty much make them eternal kids. But who’ll tell that to a doting parent?
Parenting wasn’t always like this. Before the ‘80s, children learned autonomy early in life, which helped them handle adversity and surmount obstacles later in life. In this category, we have those born between 1946 and 1964, popularly known as Baby Boomers, and those we call Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). The Baby Boomers gave birth to the Millennials, while Gen X gave birth to Gen Z. The Boomers were the first to change the status quo, and Gen X just followed the trend.
But why did this change happen?
We can trace this shift in parenting style to some ideas that became popular between 1983 and 1984 — news about child abduction became widespread, and parents became aware of strangers.
The academic performance of American kids as compared to those from Singapore, China, and South Korea revealed that American kids were doing poorly. In response, the government made policies encouraging rote memorization and more homework for kids.
About that time, the self-esteem movement began to trend. Focus shifted from children’s outcomes to their personhood. Its little millennials are called the “Everyone Gets a Trophy” generation.
The following chapters of this summary will discuss how these trends affected the way we parent and the effect parenting has on children. Then, we’ll discuss pragmatic steps we can take to right the wrongs.