Parenting has changed unequivocally over the generations. Freedom and independence were staples of good parenting a hundred years ago, but parents also left babies dangling in cages outside apartment block windows to get some fresh air. Certainly, no generation had it easier or was right in how they raised children.
Every decade has parental issues to overcome, work through, and live with. Our generation has watched parenting take a significant shift as the world becomes increasingly dangerous, technology has taken over our lives, and children are growing up faster. We will always face challenges as we parent, some we can contend with, others which may make our parental journey a little demanding.
1: Work-Life Balance
While we know there is no fair work-life balance when raising a family, we will still look for it, which can cause stress, depression, and anxiety. We will, at stages, find ourselves torn between family and work commitments, and this is a challenge you will have to face by doing what is right for you and your family.
2: Information Overload
For every possible eventuality of parenthood, someone somewhere has an answer. And someone else. And a third. We live in an era of information overload which has fallen in on itself, as too much information is essentially no information. Every family is unique. There is no "one size fits all" answer to the emotional problems of a colourful family. Find your niche and trust your instincts.
3: Parental Comparison
We tell our children not to compare themselves to their peers. They will excel where they are most comfortable, so if sports are not their thing, we will likely encourage them with coding, music lessons, or whatever they are interested in. As parents, we have a funny habit of comparing ourselves to other parents at the school gates and aiming for a level of perfection that is unattainable. We feel judged, shamed, or guilty. This may not be a new challenge for our generation, but it is certainly one we continually fight against.
Watching our children go through heartache, rejection, and the natural hurt of experiences is difficult for a parent, but going through these emotions is important for our children. We cannot, nor should we try to, fix every problem our children have.
5: Letting Go
This may be one of the hardest challenges we will likely face. There is a strange duality in parenthood where we want to see our children grow, learn, develop, and become the people they are destined to be, but it can be agonising watching them find their feet and then gently letting them go to explore their own lives. Children are often like boomerangs, though – they always come back.