Within the past decade alone, the upbringing of children has completely shifted.  As society changes, so do effective methods of parenting. While the basics of raising a child haven’t altered dramatically, certain societal shifts and technological developments have compelled modern parents to use different strategies that their parents used the generation before. These new strategies may trigger positive or negative results depending on each person’s parenting style or familial values.  

Learning from Conception

Studies have reported that higher IQ scores are correlated with listening to music. Many parents take these research findings too literally and invest thousands of dollars in relaxing music CD’s to play for their children in the womb and throughout infancy. Some of those parents supplement music with learning CD’s, videos, and toys. Whether exposure to such items positively impacts the development of infants’ brains remains unsettled.

Teaching Open Communication Over Modesty

Parents used to teach modesty to their children.  In 2018, parents understand they must teach the concept of open communication by modeling the behavior themselves for their child. Allowing your children to talk, vent, and express their ideas makes them feel important and think they matter.  Genuinely listening to what your child has to say shows them respect. If a child is persuaded to believe they are important and respected, they will develop self-esteem.


Technology has transformed so many things about our planet, let alone the upbringing of children.  Societal growth and integration with the newest technology has simplified communications processes and interaction with the practicalities of daily life.  It has also affected the influences that young people encounter every day. Children today can access so many things that were not available children of the same age in prior generations.  They can obtain information from sources all over the globe and initiate friendships with individuals internationally. Of course, this is not something that parents from the previous generation had to ever even consider. Parents in this technology-ridden world are both blessed with the accessibility of knowledge for their children online, but also cursed with the vast uncertainty of negative influence that can be discovered as well.


Kids Do Most of Their Homework Online


Doing homework in the ’80s meant visiting the library, reading books, and writing extensive essays by hand.  This concept is almost completely foreign to most modern students. The Internet triggered a shift in the way children learn, as well as how they complete their homework.  While today’s parents still insist that their kids get their work done, they realize that doing so will involve some form of electronic device.


Instant Gratification is Expected

Today’s children expect to receive the things they want as soon as they want it.  This sense of entitlement results, in part, from the instant gratification culture created by social media and the Internet. Prior generations of children understood the concept of delayed gratification by necessity, but in today’s world, everything a child wants is almost always one click away.


Child-centered Rather than Parent-centered

Today’s parents are more likely to raise their kids with a child-centered approach, rather than a parent-centered one.  The parent-centered approach sets strict rules that are thoroughly followed-up with on a consistent basis. In this scenario, the parent would intently study their child, watching for and protecting against mistakes.  A child-centered approach focuses on the children’s needs, allowing them to explore their interests and learn from their errors. As this method of parenting gains popularity, more children are encouraged to make mistakes to learn from them. There is also an emphasis on experience and hands-on learning.


Navigating Hazards

Looking after a child has always been associated with a bit of apprehension.  Parents and other caretakers have been navigating all sorts of hazards forever.  Parents have always had concerns about their kids becoming involved in substance abuse and criminal activities, as well as outsiders taking advantage of them. Parents in contemporary society are savvier and more equipped to guard against such risks.  Their heightened alertness makes contemporary parenting both more defined and more challenging. News outlets provide today’s parents with insight and clues that can help them in ways previously unavailable to parents in past generations.


Parenting considerations and experiences have undeniably changed dramatically in just a few short years. From broader communication within the family unit to the introduction of technology, or shifts in specific parenting styles, it is clear that the way society views the upbringing of our youth is constantly evolving. Understanding those changes is important for parents trying to grasp their roles in the 21st century in order to make positive decisions about the values that they want to instill within their children.