This is a collaborative post.
The world evolves and changes at a rapid pace, and when it comes to the world of parenthood, it seems to change on a daily basis. When you pick up a current pregnancy book it will be vastly different from those from thirty years ago.
Change, evolution and a ton of research has meant that we do things very differently now compared to our own parents and grandparents. You just have to tune into Mummy groups on Facebook to really get into the hot topics out there. And you’ll be able to debate that what we know now is different to what we knew back then.
The phrase my parents did it and I’m fine has become a thorn in the side of every parent who has carefully researched all the decisions that they are making for their child. And this is for good reason. Here are some ways that parenting has changed over the last fifty years:
Why Back In Your Day No Longer Matters
Back in the Sixties, the world was a very different place. Men went to work, and it was expected for women to stay at home and raise the babies. Now, we live in a world where he can get up and share the night feeds (and if you’re breastfeeding, then he can change the nappy).
Back then, babies were weaned onto baby rice or mashed dinners by 12 weeks. This is because it helped them sleep through the night and it meant there was no need to make bottles every two hours. We now know that early weaning has been linked to digestive issues in later life and the WHO guidelines now state to wait for six months.
If you’ve been close to your parents and grandparents, they’ve probably uttered the dreaded, I weaned you and you were fine. And that’s wonderful for them but nowadays, we know better about our decisions. Had the doctors and nurses of the Sixties known the risks of early weaning, they would have said to wait until six months, too. Parents now have updated research, updated technology and updated opinions on how to raise children, but there are some things that parents have to prepare for that are still stuck in the past – and that is not a bad thing.
Fifty years ago, it was normal for a child in the classroom to face a cane when being reprimanded for bad behaviour. Thankfully, we’ve grown into a generation that doesn’t believe in hitting our children when they’re in the wrong. Instead we choose to guide them to make the correct decisions with natural consequences.
When your child turns 4 years old, they become eligible for a place in a school reception class. It is a bittersweet moment when you realise that your baby is going to be away from your side. But it’s something that you need to learn to accept if you want your child to go to school.
That first photo of your child in their school uniform is a big milestone. And you may even want to compare it to the photo from your first day. School uniform has changed over time, and there are still some schools out there that keep the rules strict and professional so that individuality doesn’t have a place in the walls of a school.
Every parent who was ever bullied as a child, or who has a child who is opinionated about their style will be thankful that their child wears a school uniform. The strict list of uniform rules that is given out when your child receives a school place may feel overwhelming. But school uniform definitely has its benefits.
We may live in a modern society, but the rules of school haven’t changed much. Sadly, children still get picked on for not wearing designer labels or the must have trainer. And this makes that fact that smart school uniforms are encouraged a blessing. Everyone looks the same, which means no one can stand out and potentially be picked on for their style or labels.
The cost of the best, safest car seats is an issue that many parents face. But back in the Sixties, parents would walk home from the hospital with their babies in a pram. If they were lucky enough to own a car, then the baby would be put on the backseat in a Moses basket or would be held in the arms of their mother.
Thankfully, research over the years has contributed to the creation of the car seat; a chair that is designed to transport children safely. But the rules around car seats have become stricter over time, and rightly so.
People drive in more modern cars at higher speeds, which means that it is essential to have a safe car seat that can withstand a heavy impact. However the huge range of choice can seem overwhelming. But it has proven that extended rear-facing car seats are the best option on the market.
If you are unlucky enough to be in an accident then your children are much safer in a rear-facing car seat than in the arms of their mothers. You’re bound to hear that old adage back in my day from anyone older than you. But always remember that the research has only been conducted because that there is a high infant death rate for travelling without car seats.
Parenting is not an easy venture. Children come with their own personalities and their own way of showing you what they want. It’s easy for older relatives to impart their wisdom, but when that wisdom is years out of date (hello, whisky on the gums), it’s not easy to deal with. The best advice you can be given is to research the heck out of everything that you have ever wanted to know. If you arm yourself with some good old fashioned science then you can be confident in your own parenting decisions.
This is a collaborative post.