Raise your hand if you think parenting has changed profoundly in recent years. There is an evolution in parenting ways. Science started focusing on childcare and parenting ways quite recently. Maybe it was wars or changing technology or revolutions of past centuries or a composite of all that made us think about the best ways to raise a child.
The responsibility of nurturing a healthy and happy child is becoming overwhelming for parents. We all look for expert parenting advice, books, classes to grip on the best possible solution. Not to forget about the unsolicited advice offered every now and then that adds on the pressure.
Does this make you wonder why is it so challenging to be the parent today? What changed in the past few decades? Or was it always so hard? And how did our grandparents survive with half a dozen or more kids?
To think of it in past century science made its way to our homes. Not just we got electricity or water from taps, we moved from messenger birds to compact smartphones quite rapidly. Our grandparents were talking about growth in population, partition, war, unemployment and our parents started to explore job opportunity outside the homeland. Globalization had just started then. The ’70s – 90’s kid saw how home got upgraded from bicycle to scooter and cars, kitchens got a grinder, living rooms added television sets. The economy bloomed. The world around us changed rapidly. Before we realized our parenting styles also changed.
Most of our Indian grandparents lived in a village as a large joint family. Many still do. When a child was born there was practically a village to raise the child. They never dreamt the food that they ate then would be sold as healthy-organic food in fancy markets and their grandchildren, now a parent would seek for it. Neither they thought of vaccines that would save their babies. Today’s parent debate over painless vaccination, which actually is not. Our parent’s generation unknowingly joined the revolution of powder milk -Dabba milk. For long many strongly believed the potential goodness of formula milk much higher than breastmilk. The misconception is still at large.
Parenting just evolved from our grandparents’ times. Today we talk about equality in every aspect in career, home and definitely parenting. Fathers are more involved in parenting. It is no longer expected to be just a mother’s job. Meanwhile, parenting has become a choice for some slices of society. Going child-free is not exactly accepted openly but is considered now.
So, does it make the parenting job easier? Does a parent feel empowered with choice, education, finance, lifestyle, little awareness etc? If you think positively yes, think harder.
Parenting starts from conception. Agree or not science has helped us. The well-being of fetus is monitored, actions are taken for most medical hitches, which was unthinkable years ago. But then there are also disagreements of saving baby’s cord blood. Then comes the birth of a child(ren), moms are judged bluntly if C-section happens. It is a struggle to escape the clutches of breastfeeding vs bottle-fed. Oh, you joined the job after baby vs why you quit that job. New-Dads get quizzical look upon changing soiled diapers. Poor fathers care is critiqued as a babysitter, while they were just parenting. Again, the mental health of a mother is compromised often.
When a new parent’s choice is subjected to societal grill, then is it really easy to raise a happy healthy child. Adding to peer pressure the market targets them. According to a study, it is excepted by 2020 the mother-childcare hospital market in India to be $27 billion. Indian baby care market is booming exponentially with little hurdles.
New-age parents are not spoiled by choices rather they are more confused. They are unsure about what exactly to feed, what to watch and whatnot, where to play, whom to talk, which form of school, the list goes on.
Thinking of this, our parents learned from their parent’s mistakes, so did we. Remember how the gentle parenting slipped into our mind as we hold our newborn. Our parents, in most cases, believed it was okay to hit the child to discipline. In an era with accessibility to information, ideas, theories are we diving into parenting with fear. Fear, if the child would be successful and happy. Are we slowly moving to a time of over-parenting? Micromanaging life of kids. Okay, newborns are dependant on us but this dependence should turn into independence as they grow. Is shielding them for harms of the world bringing out any good?
Long story short, how are we going to raise a child who is happy, happy inside-out, can bounce back from adversity, independent yet bonded with parents, confident and curious. All at the same time.
Recently a study was conducted on Child-wellbeing index in India, stating the dimensions on healthy individual development, positive relationships, and protective contexts. Children are the future of the world and as parents, we are the first teachers shaping them. We, parents, can not turn external factors related to well being yet a major portion can be impacted by us. Especially in the early years.
Stay glued as this September as we take you on a conversation about “Dilemma faced by modern parents in early years of childhood”.
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