It has never been easy being a parent and it is especially true in today’s world. There is no doubt that parenting is a challenging journey for most people, having to deal with the mental engagement, physical involvement, emotional caregiving, and financial responsibilities of raising a family.
Parents around the world share many similar worries when it comes to their kids. Studies have found that their children’s future career, mental health, physical well-being, and social media engagement are the top concerns among today’s parents.
Parenting philosophies are always evolving as new generations attempt to parent their children differently from the generation before them. Terms like helicopter, bulldozer, tiger, free-range parenting have emerged as modern parenting styles.
Parents are now spending more time, attention and money raising their children, becoming more protective and interfering than ever before. To help parents identify and better address the challenges in the world today, here are some of the challenges parents today are up against.
Insufficient Quality Time
Many of us are working longer hours. And if we are single parents, we may be either relying on our older children to take care of themselves until we are home or leaving our younger ones with parents, relatives, and caretakers. That means we are spending less quality time with our children and therefore, we have fewer opportunities to make a positive impact on their lives.
Stretched Financial Position
Despite working longer hours, we may often not make enough money for our family. Inflation is felt everywhere, so even trying to provide the essentials for our children may also put a huge strain on our bank accounts. It is always the dream of every parent to fulfill our kids’ dreams and wishes; but sometimes, we just do not have enough financial resources to do so.
Rising Social Expectations
Sometimes, the social expectations on us can be challenging to how we live out our lifestyle. As adults, we may often compare ourselves with our peers on the type of house, car, holidays, career choices etc.
Our children also face this issue with their peers, comparing their grades, bags, stationery, gaming consoles etc. They are not just pressured by peers in school, they are also being pressured online. Many brands try to influence our children to buy their products and “be cooler” than the other kids.
As parents in today’s world, we must deal with physical dangers as well as digital ones. Educating our children on how to avoid problems that could possibly haunt them forever, especially online, is becoming a huge challenge when it comes to keeping them safe.
While schools do put in their best efforts to educate their students on the dangers of the online world, it is still up to us as parents to educate and mentor our children at home.
Sex And Drugs
While this issue will remain a constant challenge to every parent until the end of time, it is becoming a bigger one right now. Being open and teaching our children about sex and drugs is essential to ensure their safety.
As more people are engaging in online activities (e.g. playing online games, engaging in online chats, watching online videos etc), many of our children could be exposed to such subjects at an earlier age than us.
One of the greatest problems we have today is the thought and feeling that we must do everything the world offers. Many parents send their kids for martial arts, dance, sports, coding, tuition, and many other academic and enrichment activities.
While some of these activities are good for our children’s development, too many of such activities may result in mental, physical, and even emotional fatigue for our children. It is important for us to teach our children that it is ok to be bored and enjoy some downtime in-between schooling and at home.
As parents, many of us may lack the knowledge on how to cook nutritious meals. Due to our work schedule and having to earn dual incomes to sustain our family’s lifestyles, we may not be able to find the time to prepare home-cooked meals for our growing family. Thus, most of us resort to buying processed food and allowing our kids to eat these processed foods often. Unfortunately, we may be setting our kids up to poor health issues and habits down the line.
Winning isn’t everything. Many families are earning dual incomes to give the best to their children. With more families becoming more affluent, many of our kids are learning that even if they do not really try, they can still get what they want. This may send the wrong message to our kids.
As parents, we should also instill in our children that working hard for what they want builds resilience and character. We need to show them that even with hard work, they may not always win and that is okay.
What is important is the ability to accept failures and learn from these setbacks to improve themselves in order to achieve a better version of themselves.
Conclusion. While we recognise that modern day parenting needs to adjust to the different environment we are now living in, the fundamental responsibility to bring out the best in our kids still remains an important part of parenting, regardless of the styles we adopt.
As the world evolves around us, we should ensure that our children are brought up as independent and confident individuals who have the right mindset and attitudes to face their own challenges.