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Victoria Codilla

Project Manager, Union of Progressive Students

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Has the way or style of parenthood changed from 50 years ago or stayed the same?

I am a mom to a recently turned 1-yeard old boy. I have less experience than most parents I know especially my own mother. I am thankful that I have my mom to guide me especially through the early stages of motherhood. However, I have realized that the world has changed from the time my mom gave birth to me up to the time I have given birth to my own son. She tells me things that she believes are the right things to do but I also think that there are better ways that I can do for my son especially after reading or listening to other parents. However, she doesn't listen to what I think could be right or at least my suggestion. Which leaves me the thought if I'm actually doing the right thing or not and worse (which I couldn't tell my my mom) I feel insecure. So here's my question again: Has the way or style of parenthood changed from 50 years ago or stayed the same? If so, should we or not adapt to these changes?

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    Feb 19 2013: Completely, as far as my society/community is concerned. When I was a kid my father used to be aloof and authoritarian. I could sense his love and protection but never considered him a friend. To day my adolescent son seeks advise from me on how to balance between multiple girls in his life :)
    Very obviously the male oriented family head has changed these days. Parenting has become a joint venture and there is no division of labor as such in it. This is equally true for single parents irrespective of their gender.
    Parenting in one part is biological and heath related. The concerns and issues for that part have not changed so much. A baby is sanitized, clothed, fed and trained for early life skills much the same way as it used to be 50 years ago. Your mother's suggestion in this respect will be very useful. I am not so sure when it comes to social training and other complex issues. In that respect you have to use your own best judgements, read a lot to find out things and discuss with as many mothers of your age as possible.
    Last but not the least, never miss an opportunity to earn trust and friendship of your little one. It is not an easy job trust me. My wife and I had to learn video gaming and weird musical genres when our son was growing. Parenting is not a favor rather it's an opportunity to help grow a human being better than you. Best wishes.
    • Feb 19 2013: Hahaha! Thank you, Pabitra. I also agree with you. A lot has changed though my mother couldn't see that yet. I guess it's still too early for her to trust on my way of taking care of my son. Thankfully, I have not made any drastic mistake and I don't want to as much as possible. I guess what really has changed in the parenthood style is the social training and of course minus the superstitious beliefs that our culture has made. I'm just glad my mom doesn't insist on those superstitious stuff which is still visible in our country.
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    Feb 19 2013: Welcome to motherhood:) We all go through this and think that somehow, our method for getting our child to stop sucking thier thumb will somehow scar them for life.

    Relax. Love your son. Love your mom. Take advice from everyone but apply only those that seem right in your heart. You can't go wrong if you follow that. You will still make mistakes and you will also have joy. We all want to be better at parenting than our parents. Your mom will understand that. But she also has the wisdom of having tried some of it and finding out some suggestions just do not work. Just keep talking and respecting her suggestions. Praise her when they really work and let her know if you try something else. She may need to be gently reminded every once in a while that he is your son and not hers. You are a great mom.
    • Feb 19 2013: Hi Linda! Thank you! Motherhood isn't the easiest but it definitely is the best that happened in my life.

      And yes, I take advices from my mom, friends and I also research advices from the experts. Some ideas come as a surprise to my mom since she wasn't able to try it in her time, or sometimes she just forget what she did when it was her turn before. I just hope my mom is as easy as other mothers are. But nevertheless, I am always thankful I have her. Thank you for your answer!
  • Feb 19 2013: Our society keeps evolving and how we raise kids these days is substantially different, on average, than what parents did even 20 years ago esp. for children of school age.

    Parenting kids of very young age (under 3 years?) haven't changed as much as parenting kids attending school. I think the biggest change is parents know much more about what is healthy for their kids (e.g. we should vaccinate our children) and importance of interaction with baby, breast feeding etc.

    I think parents are more involved and fathers are less strict (nowadays which kid is calling his/her father "sir" ?). Fathers are also more involved and spend more time with their families.

    The challenge for parents today is to ensure kids understand today's fast changing world, including social media abuse, the Internet dangers and opportunities etc. This is difficult because many parents are not familiar with current technology and the Internet.

    Parents also let their children to be more independent, explore more, sometimes even question their authority and have say in many decisions (depends on their age). Kids are enrolled in more after school activities, play more video games etc.

    The great thing is that today's parents have amazing amount of information at their disposal. I suggest consulting Wikipedia and other reliable online resources for additional information.

    cheers
  • W T 100+

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    Feb 19 2013: Here is something for you, it is hidden in this talk.....it starts at 12:42....feel free to fast forward.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/billy_collins_everyday_moments_caught_in_time.html
    • Feb 19 2013: Thank you, Mary! I actually watched the whole video and it was funny and true to its words. Plus the tip you have shared. It's worth sharing!
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        Feb 21 2013: I'm glad you enjoyed it Victoria....I was going to suggest the poem "If I should have a daughter", but noticed you already had it in your favorites.
        When it came out I called my daughter so we could watch it together.
        Happy parenting Victoria....a precious blessing that comes with alot of responsibility :)
        • Feb 21 2013: Yeah, it's one of the first talks that I have watched here and really a favorite of mine. Thanks again, Mary! Indeed, a precious blessing. It may not be an easy journey but definitely the best one for me!

          Parenthood has changed me in so many ways. It is now my purpose in life. :)
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    Gail . 50+

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    Feb 19 2013: The world is a very different place than it was 50 years ago. I would NEVER raise my child the way I was raised. No offense to my parents, who did the best they knew how, but I know better than they did.
    • Feb 19 2013: Haha! I agree. I guess parents become better in each new generation. My son might say the same thing about me when he has his own family but definitely, we all become better than the past. My mother wasn't strict and she lets us go to our friends' places whenever we had group projects or birthday parties. However,as much as she claims she's liberal and open minded about certain things, she doesn't listen to what I think could be right. And that has been a struggle between us. I am more independent than my big brother and my mother thinks I just disobey her. Sometimes it hurts me but I still respect her. I just tell myself that I'll become a better mother than she is to me. And yes, no offense to our parents, but now I know better if I had a daughter like myself.