Effective parenting in the 21st Century

Isn’t it interesting how almost every type of job requires some form of training, whether it be in the form of formal qualification or on the job training; except for parenting! And make no mistake, parenting is a full-time job and a difficult one at that. Without the necessary knowledge and skill, it can be fraught with challenges.

Over the years parenting styles have changed, as have the pressures parents and children face on a day-to-day basis. Societal norms have shifted affecting our way of living, and this has occurred throughout the world. Just a few decades ago it was common for only one parent to work while the other stayed at home caring for the children. Today however, due to several factors, it has become a necessity for both parents to work. This has made it increasingly difficult for parents to find a balance between their children and work.

Balance is defined as, ‘a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.’ How do we create this equilibrium? Is it even possible in this day and age? Well, as with most challenges in life, if we don’t address the issue and make an effort, it is unlikely that change will happen. Creating a structured routine at home, supported by effective communication and discipline is a good starting point.

Stressed out and tired parents can find disciplining their child difficult, but take heart, you are not alone as this is one of the most common problems parents face. A structured routine means that every member of the family has responsibilities, every person contributes towards the smooth running of the routine. Know responsibilities or chores need to be age appropriate; a two-year-old can put his/her soiled clothes into the washing basket at bath time, while a 12-year-old can carry the bin bag outside to the dustbin.

From a young age we need to involve our children in the daily rhythm of life as it plays out in our family. This creates a strong sense of belonging and instils self-discipline. We want our children to feel proud of their space and their accomplishments as contributors to the family. You might be saying to yourself right now, ‘well it’s too late now, I have teenagers’, but no, it’s never too late. The amazing thing about us humans is that we can change!

Don’t miss our next post! We will be looking at practical ways to deal with common behaviours from children that parents often struggle with.