18 Ways Modern Parenting Is Failing Our Kids

Every generation will think the one before them and the one after them are doing it wrong. Being a parent is one of the most criticized jobs, with more unsolicited advice than we need. But here are 18 things we may want to take into consideration to not fail our kids.

Defending a child’s actions indiscriminately

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As parents, we should always be on our children’s side, but sometimes to be on their side, we have to tell them when they’re wrong. Parents are now too concerned with the appearance of being good parents to the point where they’ll defend their children even when they’re in the wrong.

Buying children everything they want

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Even if you can afford it, it’s never a good idea to buy your child everything they ask for. Yes, they may cry, but it’s a good lesson. They won’t always be handed what they want in life and need to learn to work for things and handle the word “no.”

Keeping children entertained 24/7

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Parents in the past let their kids do their own thing, to the point where the TV had an announcement “It’s 10 p.m.; do you know where your children are?” Parents today feel the need to keep their children constantly entertained, leaving no space to foster independence or imagination.

Focusing on desired outcomes

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“A carpenter decides in advance what they want to create, and then they shape and mold their material to match their blueprint, avoiding any kind of variation or deviation from that predetermined idea. In contrast, a gardener lays a foundation for growth, providing the resources needed to create and nourish life, but allowing that life to find its own path and grow and change according to its own needs. Our current model pushes parents to be carpenters when they should be gardeners,” according to Alison Gopnik.

Treating parenting like a job

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Parenting is a relationship built on love, not a job with specific goals and objectives. When you don’t come into parenting like any other relationship with another human being with room to grow and be themselves and instead treat them like a project at work, the child can feel unloved and neglected.

No village

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Modern parents lack the “it takes a village” mindset that their parents had. We often also miss out on the generational knowledge and support from older relatives, as many people have moved away from their hometowns and families. Instead, modern parents rely on the internet and online forums when they need advice or information.

Overprotection

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Modern parents often try to shield their children from all forms of adversity, which can hinder their ability to develop resilience and problem-solving skills. They’re also known to create environments where they’re never uncomfortable because of their own anxiety. Embracing uncomfortable moments can improve mental strength and open the world up for adventure.

Caught up in busyness

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Modern life can be busy, especially for career focused parents. However, not finding the time to have family meals, participate in your children’s activities, and overall spend quality time with your children can leave them feeling disconnected and unable to form secure emotional bonds in the future.

Poor role modeling

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Children mirror what they see, and the first main influence on them is their parents. If they see parents who are quick to anger or emotionally unavailable to them, they’ll mirror this as they develop. Putting down your phone when spending time with your children is also a good habit to teach them to engage with the people around them.

Lack of physical activity

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Children aren’t encouraged to go outside and play anymore. Sometimes this is due to fear of the outside world and something happening to their children, and for some, it’s more the ease of putting them in front of a screen. But without physical activity, children risk obesity and other health issues.

Teaching life skills

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Only 5% of millennials reported feeling confident in their cooking abilities. With no knowledge of how to cook themselves, they’re not teaching their children this important life skill. Other life skills children need to learn through doing chores, such as laundry, cleaning, and money management, are being completely done for them by their parents, leaving them without those skills when they become adults.

No in-person interaction

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You can walk into any restaurant and see a family seated with the children watching tablets with headphones, drowning out the world around them. The parents may also be on their phones, not interacting with each other. With technology, we’re always connected to everyone without actually knowing how to socialize in person. Manners, empathy, and conflict resolution all suffer without face time interaction.

Over-reliance on technology

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Millennial parents are often criticized for allowing their children excessive screen time, which is feared to impact negatively on children’s attention spans, social skills, and physical activity levels. Millennial parents, having grown up with technology, often use it as a tool in parenting.

Parenting in the public eye

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With the prevalence of social media, millennial parents are more exposed to public scrutiny and criticism of their parenting choices. This visibility can increase the pressure to conform to perceived ideals and exacerbate feelings of inadequacy. We won’t all be the social media mom; even the social media mom isn’t perfect when the camera is off.

Friendship parenting and boundaries

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Some critics argue that millennial parents lack discipline and are too focused on being friends rather than authoritative figures to their children. “Limits help children feel safe, but young people also need freedom to try things out, make mistakes and develop their independence. Boundaries help children learn how to set limits for themselves and develop self-discipline.”

Immediate gratification

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Raised in the age of technology, millennial parents are accustomed to immediate solutions. This could potentially lead to impatience or a lack of resilience in their children. For instance, a child might expect immediate answers to their questions because their parents often use Google to find quick answers, though most of us were raised having to do research to find the answers to questions. “Go check the encyclopedia” was a common sentence from my father.

Overemphasis on freedom

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Millennial parents often reject the “helicopter parenting” style of their own parents and aim to give their children more freedom. While this can foster independence, it could also potentially lead to a lack of structure or guidance. Children need a balance of freedom and structure to develop into strong adults.

High information parenting

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Millennial parents are often described as “high information parents” who require immediate solutions for everything in their lives. This could potentially lead to information overload and stress. As a new mom, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of information and opinions on the internet instead of trusting our instincts or learning as we go.

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