Parenting challenges through the generations 48



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As a parent, I’m fast finding out there are certain stages you go through. We had one of those stages in the early hours of Sunday morning when I discovered my child wide awake logging onto his computer – it was 2.08 am.

Mindful that sleep would be far more beneficial for him at this time, I told him to go back to bed. Less than an hour later, he was still awake, this time on his iPad which was promptly confiscated.

I’m sure every generation has its own parenting dilemma – in my stage of life, it’s the dilemma of technology and the need to set time limits and appropriate hours of the day for being on the various technological gadgets in our house.

If I think back to when I was growing up, my parents faced their own parenting dilemmas. A game called ‘Rocko’ was a favourite among friends in our street. We drew a circle on the footpath, put a rock inside the circle and someone kicked it out while everyone else ran to hide. The idea was to sneak back from your hiding place and kick the rock back out of the circle without being caught by the person who was ‘in’. Simple, harmless fun. But there was a strict curfew for being home at night.

When I think back, I’m pleased to say I don’t think I gave my parents too many dilemmas, unlike some other friends who have since confessed to sneaking out of bedroom windows to meet boys and pinching their dad’s car without him ever finding out.

As they say in the classics – everything old is new again – and the same can be said for parenting. Each generation has a parenting dilemma relevant to its time.

We are taking a snapshot of parenting through the generations.

What was the parenting dilemma you faced as a parent and how did you deal with it? You probably have a whole new set of modern day dilemmas as a grandparent too. We’d love you to share them with us.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes, it is the most difficult generation to raise, because there is so much to choose from, and we have become very materialistic – I am from the “simplicity” generation

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  2. A lot of “problems” could be less if some parents learnt one little word. NO.

  3. 35 years ago when my daughter was a toddler she became an escape artist, we would find her down the road sitting in a puddle, up on the highway, and her best one was climbing through the balcony onto the carport roof we had to barricade one end of the balcony to try and stop her from trying to fly. So we did what all good parents do we moved. It is not a generational thing but a child thing with an adventurous spirit.

  4. I didn’t have the technology woes that parents today face, except with my 8 year old grandie, who has been found under her bed covers after bedtime, playing with her iPad. My girls were allowed to have quite a bit of freedom growing up, I would allow them to ride their bikes around the neighbourhood during daylight hours. Sometimes I would go over to the neighbours for a coffee and visa versa, and our kids would go off together….nobody die, as the ad says. When we moved out of the house, I was removing stickers from the girls’ bedroom doors, and was surprised to find clay covering a perfectly round hole in one of them. Turned out that the girls had been playing with a broom, and one of them had slammed the door and the broom handle had gone thru it. The eldest (about 10) had come up with the idea to fill the hole with clay from our local lake, (I was always cooking some creation or another in the oven for them), and cover it with a sticker. Hence 5 years later, I found the hole when removing the sticker. It was a more relaxed time.

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  5. I feel there was less stress then. Too many gadgets!!! Outside, fresh air,cubby houses out of blankets, playing with big boxes. Simple life. Game of footy with neighbours in street. Would rather do it back then than now.

  6. I am glad we raised our children during the 70’s, far less challenging back then, kids were kids. Mostly, these days they’re way ahead of their years; too much technology, not enough discipline, and parents have forgotten how to say ‘no’.

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  7. Different generation say no and mean no more discipline in a nice way, too much reading from the books today commonsense is all that you need. Some children act like a parent and their mother and father let them get a away with it the old saying goes spare the rod and spoil the child.

  8. Please! I witnessed a woman cowtailing to a spoilt screaming toddler just yesterday. He didn’t want to be strapped into his baby seat and was carrying on like he was being murdered. She let him go and he stood on the back seat triumphantly while she just stood at the back door trying to bribe him with all sorts of stuff. God help that family in a few years.

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  9. Not all children today use gadgets or electronics constantly. My daughter lives in a cul de sac and the children regularly play cricket, footy, ride bikes and get their share of fresh air

  10. We moved to a country area so our 3 girls could be involved in animals and pony club. They still tell me what a wonderful upbringing they had. They had to think about their animals first and Im sure this is what kept them out of mischief always things to do.

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