*Sponsored by Johnson’s Baby*
According to dates I am officially A Generation X parent – I was born in 1979 and I am just a year off my 40th birthday. However, I guess I am also lucky enough to be somewhat of a millennial parent too. The reason? Well, I have parented children into nearly 2 decades.
Why am I thinking about this? Well, it’s simple as part of my role as a Johnson’s Baby Ambassador I have been privileged to take part and watch some fantastic debates, conversations and even training workshops and at the last meeting the discussion was based on how parting has changed over the years so I have been reflecting upon my own parenting journey.
My eldest child is soon to be 18 and when I was 21 I became a parent for the very first time. It was amazing and mind blowing and certainly hard work, especially being so young and with an unsupportive partner. However, with over a decade between my first child and my second I can honestly say that so much of the way we parent has changed and if I am honest I expected second time parenthood to be easier when in fact in parts it so much harder.
Over the generations attitudes, beliefs and expectations in parenting have changed as we have learnt more about child development, and are exposed to differing cultures and philosophies and even technologies. This however doesn’t mean one generation is better at raising kids than another it means things change. After all who hasn’t heard their parents say at some point “we didn’t do that way in my day”
For me this has meant that when I parented my first child it was normal practice to be more focused on scheduling her time and making it super balanced. I guess I seemed stricter with everything however now it seems that the approach maybe a little more laid back with the expectation that the kids will take the lead on how they spend their time so to me it seems painfully laid back. Although I am trying not to be such a worrier over every aspect of my children’s lives.
Parenting over the last 2 decades really has changed. At one time there was no family ‘team’we were just parents and kids but increasingly the family ‘Team’ has developed and I am jumping on the bandwagon and embracing the fact we have to work together as a family instead of it all being on me.
Parenting for me is about taking whatever bits you like and that work for you as a family and then leave the rest. I will never be a ‘super parent’ In that baking with the kids weekly or even doing lots of crafting will feature heavily but I will be remembering that just because we didn’t do it in my day that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t consider doing it differently now.
I do however draw the line on allowing my kids free reign on the internet … I am still actively encouraging fresh air and none screen time. My childhood was massively outdoorsy and free in essence so for me I need my kids to enjoy their surrounds, what’s in their area and to go outside and enjoy nature. I guess there is nothing wrong however in taking that tablet with them, to take photos maybe? It will be small steps for me but I am trying to be more open minded about technology and where it can be used in our lifestyles to make the best use of it and not take it too extremes.