Back in the day, some of the parenting principles were the same. We still had to feed the kids, clean them up, put them to sleep and keep them out of danger. Keeping these basics of parenting aside, everything else has changed.
Let us take a look at what has changed from the time that we WERE kids to the current times, now that we HAVE kids:
1. The food they eat
What the kids like eating today are different from what they liked to eat before. Kids would just eat anything their parents gave them because they were hungry. At most, they would ask for an extra spoonful of mom’s homemade kheer. Now, the kids prefer salty/fried foods, fast foods, chocolates and ice cream.
The only way to get them to try and like healthy foods is to not expose them to the unhealthy options too often. You can start by not keeping any of those ready-to-eat/instant snacks at home for 3 months. Introduce them to different kinds of healthy foods first and make sure they like it. Introduce them to unhealthy foods only after they have developed a liking towards fruits, vegetables and other healthy food items. This way, they will not leave those vegetables on the side of the plate - even when they know there is ice cream in the freezer.
Bonus Tip: Introduce one new fruit and one new vegetable every week.
2. The games they play
Their needs and wants were much simpler and it was easier for parents to make the kids happy. A classic yet simple wooden toy (like the cup and ball string toy) was enough to keep them entertained. The best part was that they would spend almost all of their time outside playing in the sun with the other kids in the neighbourhood.
Now, they will try and coerce parents into buying the latest XBox game and gaming controls. They want the best quality gadgets just so they can have fun with their friends. They don’t enjoy playing with board games as much as we do. It is up to us to introduce them to intellectually engaging games like Chess or Pictionary and simpler yet fun games like Carrom and Ludo.
3. What the others say
People always had a say in what we did or said - this is human nature. However, it was not prevalent to the extent to which it exists today. Nobody likes being judged by other people. What we choose to do as parents may not fit in with somebody else’s parenting methods and that is alright.
We all have different views on different topics. There is no hard and fast rule on anything. As long as we are not doing something completely unethical or illogical, it is fine. If Sunitha is saying that you should sign your child up for ballet classes and you simply don’t want to, you don’t have to. If you don’t feel it is right to pierce your child’s ears before they turn one, don’t do it. Do whatever you think is right for your child.
4. Clothes they wear
When we were younger, we would just wear whatever our parents could afford to buy us. If we longed for clothes that were expensive, we would have to wait and earn them by being good and doing deeds. Sometimes, we would have to wait a full year for our parents to agree to buy it for us.
These days, kids demand new clothes all the time and the same pieces won’t be available in the stores after a year. The times have changed so much and now the kids have such a vast wardrobe compared to the modest wardrobes we had growing up.
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