Parenting is different today…

Last night we had an opportunity to present to a group of parents in the Twin Cities. The topic was setting limits and boundaries for children. It was an exciting evening as we once again experienced the wisdom of parents and the challenge of parenting.

People noted the importance of parenting, while lamenting the lack of training they receive. It was stated that for many of us, the only training we receive is to recall how we were parented and that in many ways parenting is different than when we were growing up. Some of the differences sited this evening were technology, issues of safety, information overload, media, and over scheduling. 

Another difference discussed was how families are less autocratic than they used to be and how kids today are not being told to do whatever adults tell them to do. We think it’s a good thing that kids are being taught that they can be part of family decisions and that they should not do whatever any adult tells them to do. However, this does create some changes in how kids need to be parented these days. If we’re going to teach kids to question adults, guess who they are going to practice on? 

That’s right–US!! So as parents we need to be ready to respond to their questioning and boundary pushing. For many of us, knowing that kids are practicing these life skills on us, in the safety of our homes, we can step back a bit, emotionally, and not always assume our kids are trying to create problems. Author Robert Mackenzie describes this as children doing their “research.” More about this in another posting.

Thank you to those parents who were so generous with their comments last night. As usual, we learned a lot from them.


October 26, 2007. Uncategorized.

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