Being a parent is certainly an interesting journey. Our children are our biggest teachers, and they inherently know how to keep the lessons coming.
From exploding nappies to back seat voms, many of us have had to learn the hard way how this parenting gig works.
Parenting in the 21st century is so different to our own childhood, and at times it’s a challenge for the generations before us to understand the new territory we are walking through (with a half dead flashlight, in the dark, on a floor riddled with Lego).
The thing is, I can’t imagine my parents ever worrying about the things we have to consider now as parents. I believe this is mostly due to new technology and a majority of us being so time poor. I see the strain among so many parents who are trying to juggle endless emotions, tasks, “I’m bored” remarks, trying to fit in a career, and (if you’re lucky) working from home if your child has even the slightest sniffle.
I think the judgement we feel as parents is actually the hardest to navigate. It’s tough enough being a parent, let alone with the added judgement from our family, friends and society on how we choose to do it. Be it our kids’ behaviour, diet and belongings, or whether we vaccinate or medicate them, let them play online games or have their own phones. No other generation before us has had to deal with so many decisions that we really don’t know if we are making the right one or not. Sometimes it feels like we should just flip a coin and let luck decide.
“Oh you want to play Fortnite? Sorry mate, coin said no”.
We live in a time where we have information at our fingertips. We also have ample misinformation at our fingertips, and knowing what to believe is a challenge, making us more sceptical than a 6 year old looking at the spaghetti bolognese you’ve hidden tonnes of vegetables in.
It’s great – many of us are becoming more critical thinkers (not just critical people), but I think we need to be mindful of when we are more hypocritical too. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my kids to get off a device, as I hop back on my laptop, or I tell them to stop yelling at me whilst I am yelling this at them.
In the end, all we can do is what we think is best for the world, our family and ourselves, and learn as much as we can, with the information we trust, or from the experiences we’ve had.
And hey, at worst – we can always flip a coin.