While most people would insist that things today are much better than they once were, I would beg to differ. Years ago, parenting was much different, and while some positive changes have been made, a lot of negative ones have been made as well.
Children are much different today than they once were, and with rising rates of depression and anxiety among children, it’s needless to say that not everything is better than it was before. Parents were much different back then, and times were as well. And I am a firm believer that some parenting habits need to come back in style. Here are 12 of them.
1. Made their kids play outside.
When I was a child, I was encouraged and made to play outside. While this may sound crazy to the generation that uses tablets and phones as a distraction for their kids, it was good for us. Playing outside gave us a healthy outlet that encouraged us to get physical activity in, and we spent time outdoors, which is great for our overall wellbeing.
2. Made their relationship a priority.
Once upon a time, the parent-to-parent relationship was important. Parents modeled good relationship habits and provided a family unit to their children.
3. Encouraged free play.
Helicopter parenting has become the norm or the tendency in which parents now are constantly hovering over their children, watching their every move. But, when parents do this, kids don’t develop a sense of self or learn to navigate the world and social situations on their own.
4. Encouraged hard work.
Okay, hear me out. I don’t mean child labor. However, once upon a time, it wasn’t frowned upon to encourage your child to do something hard. Nowadays, people see their child doing something hard and reach to take over, which teaches the child they are incompetent and need to depend on their parents. Unfortunately, there will be a day when your child will need to do something hard all on their own. And when that day happens, if they have never had to before, it’s going to be much harder if not impossible.
5. Held trust in their kids.
I remember riding my bike to my friend’s house around the block, which was a task that involved my mom having trust that I had enough sense to make it there and back. Now, parents monitor their child’s every move, never allowing them room to grow on their own.
6. Didn’t pressure their kids towards academia.
While all parents want their kids to succeed, pushing them to get a degree they have no interest in is a bad idea. College is not something everyone MUST do to thrive. What about artists, people who take up a trade, and others?
7. Taught good manners.
Every time I go into a restaurant and am met with a customer service associate or server that cannot even make eye contact, I cringe. Whatever happened to teaching kids social skills? Most people don’t even say thank you or respond when you ask them how they are anymore, and honestly, it’s alarming.
8. Made family a priority.
I hate this trend of people saying how they have shut their entire family out because they weren’t exactly the way they envisioned them to be. While I get it if your family is toxic, the majority of people who live like this do not come from actual toxic families. Instead, they just have given up on imperfect people, all the while being just as imperfect. Family is important. And I hate that so many people are missing out on family time because it’s trendy on Facebook.
9. Made family dinner a priority.
Family dinner was a massive priority in our household, and most only a few years ago. During dinner, we would discuss our thoughts, what was going on in our own lives, and we connected. We would laugh, poke fun at each other, and communicate over a delicious meal. Now, many people don’t even teach their kids how to cook, and it’s sad.
10. Made their kids do chores.
As a child, I had to wash the dishes, fold laundry, cook dinner from time to time, and keep my room clean. I remember sometimes resenting this, but as an adult, I am so thankful my mom made me do things for myself and in the household. Otherwise, I might not know how to take care of my own.
11. Disciplined their kid’s friends.
There once was a time when your friends were treated like family when they were over. I remember many times seeing my mom give me and my friends stark lectures on our bad behavior and being made to act right when we were acting horribly. This wasn’t because my mom was mean or cruel, it was because she wanted to treat my friends in a way that would ensure their parents were taken care of while away from home. Now, if you even get onto someone else’s child, they will try to sue you.
12. Kept things simple.
Above all, things were much simpler. Parents didn’t fill their child’s schedule to the brim, they allowed us time to discover ourselves and the world. They didn’t micromanage everything or spend hundreds of dollars giving us some crazy birthday party at the mall, we had cake and ice cream at home. I long for the simpler times. And I am sure many can relate.