Being a parent myself, I understand that every generation’s challenges are a bit different from that of our parents, or, the previous one. This can be somewhat disconcerting, since we learned how to parent … well, from our parents (or guardians as the case may be)! Some things, however, don’t change.
For example, you want to spend quality time with your kids. This can be quite a challenge, since parents – both – often work whether it be outside of the home or more so in this generation, at home. Each situation has its unique challenges. You want to help your kids know that you care through actions, so more than ever before, you want to actively participate in your kids’ activities having to do with school, or just other activities like ball games, recitals, awards ceremonies, etc.
This is the generation so far that uses the most technology! I’m not even sure that cursive handwriting is being taught in most schools anymore. That’s a shame, in my opinion, but we can go into that another time! Schools are providing kids with small computers, so paper is becoming obsolete. That has its pros and cons, but again – that’s for another discussion! If you’re not too good at using technology yourself, now may be a good time to start. Free classes are often available.
Pardon me for being trite – but being a parent doesn’t come with a manual – LOL. Yes, I know it’s been said probably millions of times before! In previous times, parents (in the 1990s) spanked their children, read to them, and showed them affection. Based on a landmark study, it was found that parenting patterns are mostly passed down generationally. One thing that happened in the next generation was that parents are reading to their kids more. Also, more parents are showing physical affection.
However, of those who were spanked by their parents, only about half of them continued to spank their kids. In another landmark study, today’s kids have more freedom inside the house in terms of being allowed to express their own opinions and disagree with their parents, but on the other hand, kids outside the house are being kept on a shorter leash, due to fears of their kids’ safety. Does this mean there are more dangers lurking out there or are we just hearing about it more? It probably doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution!
There are a few parenting trends we seem to be embracing in 2022. This theme is prominent right now – we need to have a federal system of paid leave for parenting! Parents will have better relationships with their kids if they have more paid leave, and this can positively impact the divorce rate by lowering it. Fathers want to be more in their kids’ lives, and they also want a career, to be a good husband, etc., and paid leave would be helpful.
Believe it or not, social media is also trending as a parenting tool (usually with laughter – good for the body, heart, and soul), and we are seeing many more useful, healthy parenting hacks, mostly on TikTok! Parents are using social media to share experiences like fostering a child, being a parent to a kid with disabilities, and even having a miscarriage.
It’s being predicted that this year will showcase or focus on kids’ coping skills. With the shutdowns of the pandemic, kids’ (and adults’) lives have been disrupted leading to a sense of isolation, fear, anxiety, and depression. There are hundreds of thousands of searches relating to mental health – it may be one of the largest trending dynamic this year and likely to extend to the next years. And we and our kids need help.
I could go on and on, but I just want to close by talking about community … especially community support, not only for kids, but especially for parents. Many governors across the United States are very concerned about the growing mental health crisis that is afflicting us, and they want to be sure that families can access community-based services for kids and families. They are also concerned that we provide enough education to our kids and parents on getting employment and that of supporting healthy child development. Also, rising food costs are a huge concern, and more education is needed about healthy nutrition.
If you find that the community you live in does not offer too much support for families, why not start something? It could just be a few parents meeting together to share burdens and solutions. If you think your government needs to help more, go in and talk to your mayors, governors, etc. Even better, go in groups and get the ball rolling! Go in and visit your mental health treatment facilities and see what they have to offer. They can likely more easily set up programs to help.
Also, try to be a good neighbor! Hey, it’s a very old-fashioned concept, but do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Perform random acts of kindness! If you know of families who are struggling, reach out to help in any way you can. There is a lot of free food (and some of it is actually healthy!), there is free clothing available, etc. Reach out to your church and temple leaders and see what can be started.
Many people in this day and age need professional counseling, so either get an organization to research and find out where people can get help, especially if they can’t afford it, or find out what is available.
Finally, form bonds with your schools. See if there isn’t a good source of community within the faculty, staff, and other parents. Sometimes it’s just a matter of connecting with them – they’re already out there.
Does it take a village to raise a kid? Most likely, the answer is – YES!
And as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.