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Is parenting the world hardest job?

22 June
Posted by:
Michael Grose

“Parenting is the world’s hardest job” is one the great clichés of modern times. Raising kids has always been challenging. It always had been and always will be.

Every generation of parents has had their specific challenges. If you raised your kids during the Great Depression then just feeding your kids was a challenge.

If you were raising your kids after the Second World War there was a shortage of resources needed for bringing up kids. Infant Welfare Centres were built, new schools were erected and teachers were trained en masse to cater for this burgeoning population of kids.

The current generation has challenges of a different sort that impact on their ability to raise their children. Lack of time to spend with children and devote to parenting is a massive challenge.

Modern technology is changing the parenting landscape irrevocably, making parenting both easier and harder. Staying in touch with your kids has never been easier as they are only ever a text message away or Skype call away. Yet keeping your kids safe has never been harder as communication technology means that even in their bedrooms they are connected to the world and the predators and bullies that are online.

Many children and young people have parallel lives – an online and offline life – complete with two different sets of friends and acquaintances. This requires new approaches and throws up new questions that parents a generation ago didn’t even consider.

In the face of these changes many parents feel powerless and confused. How should I raise my child to be take their place in the world is a big question for many parents. A more significant issue is that many parents are unsure of their place in the parent-child relationship. Should I be my child’s friend or his parent? How do I effectively discipline my child and still maintain a strong relationship?

These are the types of dilemmas many parents face. What challenges do you face that your parents didn't face?

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