A new trend is overwhelming our idea of the way we think of and look at the entire act of rearing and nurturing a child. This trend diverts from our traditional concept of parenting as mother-centric, moralistic and somewhat sacred act of bringing up the child.
Reflecting this change are a multitude of terms and phrases expanding the parenting jargon as single parenting, co- parenting and surrogate parenting. To match with these changes of the new age, we need to refocus our idea from traditional parenting techniques to new age parenting.
New age challenges
The whole idea about new age parenting revolves around new challenges thrown before the society in a new socio- economic milieu. The cauldron of urban (city) life our children find themselves in subjects them to multiple pressures from the outside world and somewhat distressing attention of the parents at homes.
The overdose of knowledge and awareness about the world at a tender age makes them perceptible of the world at an early age but with little emotional support to tide over. The parents too find themselves inadequately equipped and not sufficiently knowledgeable to cope with the challenges of the modern life resulting in self-disdaining idea of either ‘over parenting’ or ‘poor parenting’ but not parenting satisfactorily enough.
The problems of parents accentuate as the child reaches his adolescence. Peer pressure, gender consciousness, parental control and aspirations, all bundle up on the child like a dead weight leading ultimately to parent- child conflict. The new age dresses, gizmos and jargon adopted by the children make little sense to most of the parents – it is as if their children have grown up into alien beings, someone who they do not understand at all.
The parents’ focus in leading their children to good comfortable white-collar jobs, in the process scuttles any initiative from their side. More the parents try to impose; the more children resist and desist thanks to rebellion inherent in age and air of freedom inherent in the modern city life style. This leads many a mammas into emotional tatters, wholly confused, bewildered and over worked when their children refuse to toe to their lines. No doubt a multibillion parenting industry is thriving, thanks to the mostly unfound anxieties and fears of the parents.
Back to relearning
However, parenting is not an art to master or a science to understand. It is inherent in our genes and the parents can make it a happy living experience both for themselves and for the children. But as answer to the new world challenges, they must now learn to unlearn what has been taught to us about child care and parental control, ease our control on the children and let them be what they are and want to be. The traditional idea of parenting as a stick wielding figure, ready to crack on any signs of disobedience, diversion and deviation is passing.
New age parenting is not about ideal parenting but smart parenting. The idea is about being more a councilor to the child and acting as a friend, a teacher, a preceptor and a guide to help him tide over- being with the child when you must and leaving him alone when not.