Popular Australian columnist Angela Mollard is frustrated with modern parenting. In fact, she’d go so far as to say today’s methods are not working.
Instead, could the way baby boomers raised our children prove more effective than modern-day approaches? How can we help our children raise the next generation?
According to Mollard, today’s kids are “stressed, entitled, fat, over-medicated, fragile and lacking resilience”.
“They’ve got that way because parents have assigned their power over to their little princes and princesses”, she says.
Mollard believes a lack of governance starts when today’s kids are only young.
A “toddler was running up and down the escalator blocking a long queue of fellow shoppers”, says Mollard about one recent example she witnessed.
“‘Come hold my hand’, called the little girl’s mother, at which the child laughed and dashed ahead”.
“Did the mum scoop up her child? Did she tell her that we don’t play on escalators? Or that we need to consider others? No, she laughed”, describes Mollard.
As grandparents, there are often interactions we observe that we would like our children to correct as they become parents themselves.
Some of the most pressing concerns that grandparents have include their grandchildren spending too much time on screens, being given too many material things, not spending enough time with extended family and having no firm rules to follow.
Modern parents often spend more money on their kids, in lieu of quality family time. Children aren’t always disciplined because today’s parents feel guilty and anxious about being strict.
As grandparents, we often want to encourage our children to set firm rules and instructions, have dinner with their little ones, or do simple things like go on walks and picnics as a family.
It’s hard to broach these subjects without causing family friction though. In approaching difficult conversations, sometimes it helps to practice the dialogue with someone else first.
Pick a quiet time to raise this conversation, and let your children know the topic is important to you. Ensure that everyone is feeling relaxed and there’s plenty of time to discuss the issue.
You might want to remind your children that their own kids could benefit from additional structure, leadership and discipline.
As Mollard puts it, modern parenting is “very loving and everyone is heard, kids are asked what they’d like to eat, prizes are plentiful, bedtimes are flexible and everyone has the newest iPhone”.
“But in focusing on nurturing we’ve forgotten that other key pillar of parenting: governance. Someone has to be the boss”.