It’s funny how every generation will have parenting trends that just sweep the nation—if not the world. You can tell that we feel that this is the best way to parent and this generation of children will grow up to be so much better/kinder/smarter/healthier/happier than the last one. But the truth is, our parents turned out pretty good, right? And their parents did things a different way. And our grandparents turned out alright too, and their parents did things a different way. I can’t help but wonder how much of an effect all of these trends really have on a child once she becomes an adult. For the most part, I understand that change is good, but I also think that there are some core values of parenting that are probably what really makes for a good kid, and probably haven’t changed much over the centuries. Nonetheless, here is how expectations for good parenting have changed over the last half century.
Not only is it severely frowned upon to spank a child today, but also even saying the word “No” can be a bad thing. Times outs, restricting playtime, pulling dessert, and other forms of punishment are being phased out. The idea seems to be that these experiences can be traumatizing, and don’t actually teach a child anything. I don’t know what to say about that. I was put on time out and spanked occasionally. I still love my parents and don’t look back on my childhood in terror.