Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A question about parenthood

Do you think parenthood is easier now than in our parents' time? Or do you think our parents had it easier? What about in our grandparents' time?

Do let me know what you think. I will put down my thoughts on the subject, along with your inputs, after I hear from you all.

Please note that I have said parenthood, and not motherhood. Dads are welcome to write in too. From a mom's perspective, or a dad's perspective, or in general, a parent's perspective.


chitra said...

Just wrote about one aspect of it : Exams pressure in my blog.

parijata said...

Parenthood is a lot more difficult now, IMO. On the other hand, we have made it difficult on ourselves.

My pet peeve is about watching the TV. Kids are exposed to a lot of stuff that is totally inappropriate for their age. Throwing out the TV is not an option, especially when you are the only one in the family who are against the TV. (Seriously, one of these days, when I am alone at home, I am going to open the darned box and cut off some important connection!)

There is another thing. Since there are only one or two kids in a family now, our capacity to yield to their demands and consequently their demands have also increased. In such a scenario, it takes a lot more effort to make our kids gentle, unselfish and responsible. To put it differently, we can spoil our kids more easily than our parents could us.

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of the time/generation parents always give their best to children.

In today's generation parenting is considered a challenge because we yield to peer pressure , society pressure.
A lot of stress is created because we want our children to study in the best school, participate in all possible extra curricular ativities and overall be the best in everything.

- Anitha

Usha said...

Have lots to say. will mail you. Look forward to your post on this. :)

Swati said...

Looking forward for your post. Depends on situation and people. Can it be generalized by generations ?

Anonymous said...

IMO I think our parents had it easy and that our grandparents had it even easier!

Like other people have already commented I think the most challenging part of parenting today is how to provide our children with the very best of opportunities and still keep them from being exposed age in-appropirate things.

With our parents they had no worries about TV(Cable/Dish TV in particular),Computers,Violent Video Games,Internet etc. etc.

In todays world we all know how important it is keep the modern conviniences handy and how much beneficial to kids they can be if used properly.

TV programs educate kids,Video Games teach tactical skills that will one day help them solve real world problems,Internet help kids to network and communicate with almost anyone in the world and list goes on and on.

The tough thing for parents today is to decide when is it too much, where to draw the line etc. etc.

Looking forward to see what other parents have to say.


Veena Shivanna said...

Wonderful question and definitely lots of thoughts wander around the head and I am sure you would have already experienced a few.
Certainly there are certain difficulties which have come up during the growth/discoveries around. Not everything is a boon though. However we can always use them with limitations...
An article which I had written looooooooooong back about the
then-and now-children-parents!
will send across the link little later, it was published in in 2005 :-)

rajk said...

Shruthi, I surely think our earlier generations had it easier, at least when it came to child-rearing. I'm not saying it was easy just easier compared to today's challenges.
1)The joint family system meant there were more adults in a family so, that many more people to take care of the kids. It also meant more kids so plenty of playmates and friends to keep them occupied.
2)While I love the fact that kids these days are more independent and expressive than before, earlier because of the "Respect and obey your Elders" dictum, it must have been easier to set down rules and see that they were followed.
But those are just my thoughts. I may be completely wrong. I wish people from older generations gave us their point of view.

Kadalabal said...

There is total change in the scenerio now. earlier it was definetely much easier and things will take their own shape and will go on. even during my childhood I felt there was gap because there were certain parents who were taking care of their children too much compared to us.( my friends)
today right from getting into admission to pre school there are tensions in the house and diferences between the parents. exams pressure is more on parents in the school stage litereally they read and make their child learns ( excepations will always be there) then child is under peer pressure and parental pressure. many parents are not undertstanding the needs of the child.
No. of parents fell it is over once they get their child admitted to a college and I have personally seen they even not bother to check their progress and child getsaway with lies. other parents too much concerned they watch every moment of child and marks scored in class tests to internals to main and compare the child with their neighbours and make the child very unhappy and they start getting aversion to parents.
how much good the TV and media internet has broughr so much danger also accompanies because of so many things open for them which otherwise not available so no. of children get spoiled by this. so also the college/school atmosphere the peers make them jokers if they dont want to bunk classes or go for a picnic without informing parents these issues are very dangerous where growing up child will end up in bad companhy so more the the pressue on present day parents their responsibilities have increased they have to take care of so many aspects which should not put child into a wrong place and company.
I have come across many parents (educated) just believing their in toto without cross veryfying. for ex results of semester exams educated parent can check the result when it published in net or from college but I know many cases where students bluff about result and get away.
now a days the life is so fast changes takes place so fast so child needs to be updated and their IQ is certainly much higher and they can grasp fast. Presssure on them to get 90% 95% should go you must encourage their interests and ask them to pursue their career rather than thrusting your interests. goes on and on
pressure on present day parent is certainlhy more one because of nuclear family, less no. of children 1 or 2.
It is very important for parents to teach about morals, ethics and principles of life which should make them good citizens. this responsibilities lies solely with them and teachers can add to it. our soceity today is going away from our culture, so all parents of the day should take this as a issue and teach and uphold of great cluture and heritage for which we are knows from ages.


Anonymous said...

Ah, interesting topic! Tried to condense my thoughts, but couldn't, so will send mail! :)


Anonymous said...

umm.... a profound question indeed. :-)

Well, I think parenting, like any other task is difficult when we first set the target and then try to achieve it....essentially thru other individuals. we did so more than our parents and your generation may do it more than us.

Incase someone in our previous generation tried to make a MSSubbalakshmi out of their reluctant daughter, they would have found it equally difficult.

We do not get the training to be parents...and we need to relearn the skill for each child.

I think it is difficult always...but exquisitely joyful.

Jayashree aththe

Gopal M S said...

Each age, it's own challenges. Good question. No answer.

Anil Jagalur said...

Gopal M S Seems to make the most sense. This question IS, perhaps, unanswerable. If we think that it is a greater challenge now, how are we sure that it is not a case of "the grass is always greener .. . "

We also answer the question from the perspective of the middle class (which appears like the privileged class of a few decades ago). What about the poorer sections of society?

The family of the watchman of the apartments under construction in front of my house: The parents work. The eldest daughter - all of 9 years of age - looks after a sister and a brother. Father gets drunk in the evening. Parenting is as easy as ever before?

Shruthi, please withdraw the question and ignore the responses. Of course you can ignore only mine!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I guess its difficult now.

Anonymous said...

I think older generations had it easier than newer parents. And that's because they didn't bother much about peer pressure. But now every parent wants their kid to be first in the class, to cultivate innumerable hobbies and excel in those too. And the kids are maturing fast now. So the speed with which they start gaining info (which might be age inappropriate) is struggled to be matched with the wit of the parent who carefully guides them towards what is apt. And the bonding has bettered I guess.

LAK said...

Hmm, interesting Q! I was planning to write a post (diatribe, rather) on today's parenting actually, so---! I think the earlier gen had it easy mentally, but difficult physically. Now, it is the other way.But earlier, there was also the trauma of losing a child(or two)to diseases like cholera, typhoid, TB, small pox.(Both my parents lost a sibling each in their childhood)That was the reason why the previous generations went in for 7 to 10 kids, so that at least some would survive to adulthood.

Poppins said...

LOL how did I miss this post?

If you ask my mom she will say that she had it harder than me, because she is merely referring to the gadgets I use to help physically care for my child (think diapers, wet wipes, bouncers etc). Plus our financial situation is obviously better than theirs.

Parenting however is a lot more than just the physical care of the child, or so our generation feels. Hence we have made it harder on ourselves.

Collection Of Stars said...

I agree with what Poppins has to say.

Sanjay M said...

In a way parents now are handling more tougher questions than leaving things for granted. Due to so much of availability of media and information, parents cannot afford to just send their kid to school to learn and forget about them. They are more concerned about different things that the children can get influenced by, and its much more important to strike a closer bond with the children.

On the other hand, its become easier because its more fun. Earlier parenting was an obligation, a struggle - on an average parents spent more time making a living and various other issues than spending quality time with their kids. They may have had the convenience of relying on closed knit family support system, but it was hard because parenting was seen as an obligation or a duty to fulfil.

Now more parents take on ownership of their children. They are doing things more out of real love for the children and less out of obligation. It is becoming more fun and enjoyable.

Of course not that earlier parents did not love the children, but they were not focussed on finding enough ways to be closely involved and engaged to express it.

So I feel the answer is both! :)

Nagesh.MVS said...

we have made it difficult on ourselves..

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