How Have Parenting Styles Changed In The Last 100 Years - The Comprehensive Minds

How Have Parenting Styles Changed In The Last 100 Years

How Have Parenting Styles Changed In The Last 100 Years

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Have you ever wondered how parenting styles changed in the last 100 years? We'll I have. In fact, I love parenting. I've studied parenting for years. In fact, I've been teaching parenting now for well over 20 years. The type of parenting I teach is called self-government. So in this article, we're gonna talk about how parenting styles changed in the last 100 years and what we need to know going forward. 

What if I told you that was just about to the point where some parents are gonna come full circle to how parenting was 100 years ago. While we are getting to that place with some parents. Not with all, but there are parenting movements that are happening. In fact, those are the parenting movements that are bringing us back to the way parents were after World War I. 

World War I: Parenting

After WW1, parenting looked like high principles, high morals, hard work, self-disciplined, self-governed. The parent worked diligently at morally training their children, behaviorally training their children. 

In fact, during this time period in the United States, we had interesting things that were happening. There was prohibition that was going on during this time. There were also some pretty radical for the time period movements for women. Who was cutting off their hairs and shortening their skirts and a lot of parents were saying, "Whoah, what is happening to the young people? They're getting a little bit wild and crazy". 

Now, this was all part of this time where the parents were pulling back and paying close attention to what their children were learning and doing during this time. In fact, they were very involved parents. Children worked alongside their parents in the field. 

In fact, it was very common for children during this time to put in a full day's work just like their parents would do. Daughters and sons were trained to be women and men and behave in very mature ways. Often times until they hit about their 20's and then in some cases they got a little wild and crazy. 

World War II: Parenting

In the United States, families felt the impact of WW2 even more than they felt the impact of WW1. Because more homes were affected. Literally, almost every family had multiple people who were participating in the war effort. And at home, the women are feeling the strain and the pain of having the men sometimes not come back or be gone for a very long period of time while they were raising their children. 

Women were carrying heavier loads than they had before and the men were going through trauma, lots and lots of trauma. So what was happening to the children during this time? Well, everyone was in crisis mode and they were trying to help their parents in their societies as best as they could. Well, after the war there was a change that happened. 

So there was a time of kind of like for rebuilding and celebration because it was over. But also there was this feeling of overwhelm. Many families had been changed forever because people didn't come back from war, and because maybe economically things had been adjusted to such a degree that things were drastically different. So, there was stress increased stress. 

There were men with post-traumatic stress disorder and they didn't really know what that was then. And so, they were suffering and they had depression and struggle to connect back into their families. But there was one thing that almost everybody could decide upon and that was that the next generation of people. 

Those young children that were coming up would not ever have to go through war. Because if you remember, we had parents that went through the war, and then their sons went through war again. Huge, catastrophic impact on the mindset of society. So they said, "Our children will not ever have to be in war". That WW2 has to be the war that ends all wars. There can't be another war after this. So our children will have a carefree life. We will indulge them. 

We will be more lenient instead of angry so there was more permissiveness that came on the scene. There was also a bit more bullying and aggression because of some of this post-traumatic stress disorder, and because of that bullying and aggression, other parents decided to be increasingly more permissive. 

Now, at this time there was a guy, Dr. Benjamin Spock who presented the idea that parents should think of themselves as their child's friend instead of their parent. This changed parenting forever. Before I move on I'm kind of curious, how were you raised?

Were you raised in a permissive way where mom and dad let you do pretty much anything you wanted to and how that turned out? Or were you raised in a way where things were pretty heavy-handed and maybe you even got spanked and kind of more of a bully-type home, how did that turn out? Or were you raised by parents who had principles and were firm yet kind? I'd like to know how the majority of people who have been raised, who are reading this article. So let me know in the comments below. 

1970's to 1990s: Parenting

So, Dr. Benjamin Spock trained everybody to become their child's friend. That didn't mean that everybody chose to though. In fact, my parents definitely did not. I was raised in the '70s, '80s, and '90s and during that time. There was a different type of parenting trend that was going on. 

In fact, parents during that time did not all agree on how parenting should happen. It was as if there was a kind of absence of principles suddenly. Before this time even though there were some practices that had changed. 

Society as a whole saw adults above children. But what Dr. Benjamin Spock had done is he had put them on an equal playing field. Well, by the time we get to the 9D's. There's this movement to even put children above adults, very interesting. 

So in the '80s what did parenting look like? It looked like that the parents weren't really there. It kind of looks like latchkey children and kids watching whatever TV shows they wanted to after school. Running around with their children. Getting into something that they probably shouldn't have. Drugs, all of the sudden the increase. 

Sexual promiscuity increasing again. After the hippie movement, we had a dearth of that kind of thing and now here it was coming back again because the parents thought everything was safe and over and the children needed to have this additional freedom. 

During this time there was a moral decline that was happening in society. But it seemed as if many of the parents weren't even aware until it was a little bit too late. So, what happened was a lot of the children ended up raising themselves and they hid a lot of things from their parents and when the parents found out about some of the things being hidden from them, they did get aggressive at moments. 

But then tried to go back to being their child's friend if they could. This was very inconsistent parenting and it led to a lot of disconnection within the family unit. 

Early 2000's: Parenting

So this brings us to the early 2000s. In the early 2000s, we see parents being more present and more involved than they ever have been before or what we think they ever have been before. Why? Well because nobody was present and involved with them or very few families were like that at least. They wanted their children to have parents in their lives. 

In fact, it's a normal occurrence that when a child doesn't feel incredibly bonded to their parent or like they got all of the attention or their needs met from their parents. Then they are going to have that experience again in their parent role. But this time their child will get the benefit of that experience. So, we saw a lot of parents going back to their childhood. 

In fact, a lot of the trends and toys came back in the vow. Where the parents now were leaving their childhood again. Even though the parents were so present with their children. They were also incredibly indulgent. Because they were living their own childhood again. So, then we had a situation where the parents were actually going back into childhood a little bit. And maybe even losing a little bit of the maturity that normal adults would have during that time. 

So how does this affect the children? Well, the children could get away with all kinds of things. Talking back to their parents, telling their parents what they wanted to do and by this time, children had actually risen above their parents. We are stealing that place right now in the 2020s. 

Were children are almost perceived as more important than their parents. And if the child wants something the parents do everything they can to try and help their dictator whatever they want. This is out of order. In fact, it's called dysfunction and it was created because of overindulgence and because we had parents who were reactive because they didn't get necessarily what they needed during their childhood. 

2020's: Parenting

So what is parenting look like now in the 2020s? I talked to a lot of people. In fact, people come to me with their parenting questions all the time. And I can tell you I'm noticing something different. I've been teaching parenting now for over 20 years. So I've seen the change in parents. 

Now, there are many brave parents right now who are trying to change themselves. Who is trying to transform their parenting mindsets and their family relationships? And I'm gonna talk about how they're doing that in just a minute. But what I'm noticing is they're very self-focused and this is a hard thing. 

You focusing on yourself. You worrying about yourself. And people feel like they're not living their lives well if they're giving service to other people on a regular almost constant basis, which is what parents do. In fact, parents historically have found joy and purpose in this service we called parenting. 

But right now, the time that we live in. Parents are actually feeling like they don't get what they need. They don't get what they want. They're not feeling fulfilled themselves. This is a very difficult situation that parents find themselves in. And it's probably because most of the time they're trying to a power struggle with their child who was also still being overindulged. 

So, the parents trying to make the child happy oftentimes with extrinsic things. With the onset of the digital age, we have given children more and more adult tools and access to the world that has empowered them to claim dominance over their parents. And the parents are scrambling to try to have a positive impact on the lives of their children. 

When their children are saying they won't have it. At the same time, the world seems to be obsessed with feelings. Our feelings are important. In fact, I spend a lot of time talking about feelings and emotions and how a family can work through those things and help people feel understood and connected. But there have never been times since I've been alive where the feelings of a person have taken such a high priority. 

In fact, we're so worried about how a person feels or if they're comfortable. That we literally do anything, we'll make any change even policy or governmental change. To make a person feel better. This means that we're promoting entitlement like never before. Entitlement at its base is just good old fashion selfishness. 

So if the parents are feeling selfish because their needs aren't being met and the children are feeling selfish because their feelings are happening. Everyones having feelings and nobody knows how to handle these feelings. 


So, what do parents do? Now, this is the exciting part. So many parents have been excited to find out that they don't have to stay in this new status quo. Where there's just function happening at home. Feelings flying all over the place and nobody knowing what to do with them except to try to play cate them time and time again. 

There's something they can do. There's a new way of communication except for here's the secret, it's not new. It's actually a really old way of communication from maybe about 100 years ago or so. A type of communication that is based on principle. 

That's based on the concept, the truth. That a person is perfectly capable of controlling themselves and choosing which direction they wanna head and predicting which outcomes that they want to have in the future. This type of parenting that people are finding is self-government. 

Even in the therapy world, there's a movement called cognitive behavioral therapy. That is very closely related to the teaching self-government parenting skills and principles that I teach people. 

So, there are things that people are doing, they're changing and now I'm seeing this new kind of parent emerge. This parent is a leader. This parent works on the condition of their own heart. 

That pushes off their own selfishness, that bonds and connects and understands and talks openly but doesn't do it in a way that makes victims anymore. Instead, empowers their family and their children to take responsibility and ownership of their own lives and their own feelings. And this kind of parenting style will always be beneficial for both children and parents.

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