The Past, Present, and Future of Parenthood

If you think being a parent is tricky now, then you have no idea how hard it was in the past. Likewise, in a few decades time, parents of the future will think we had it extremely tough! I think it’s fun to take a look at different things in life and how they’ve changed over the years. Today, I’m looking at something dear to my heart; parenthood. The title pretty much gives everything away, but we’re looking at the past, present, and future of parenthood. What was it like for our parents and grandparents? What’s it like for us now, compared to them, and what will it be like in the years to come?

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As a parent, I think it’s good to look at all three different periods as they all offer some interesting bits of knowledge for us. Who knows, you may learn some vital parental advice that helps be an even better parent to your children.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into this article, by taking a trip into the past…

Being a parent in the past required a more ‘hands on’ approach. Source

Parenthood In The Past

Looking at parenthood in the past, it’s clear there’s one key thing missing compared to now; technology. Our parents didn’t grow up with cool tech at home, and neither did their parents before them. As such, they didn’t get as much help as a lot of us get nowadays. Being a parent was very much a full-time job back then, and most families saw one parent quitting work to stay at home. More often than not, it was the mother, leaving the father to be the main breadwinner for the family.

I think being a parent was definitely more difficult back in the day because you had to depend on yourself or your family more. Simple things, like entertaining the kids, was way harder back then. You had to actually find toys for them to play with, or figure out ways to keep them happy and entertained for hours. We definitely take technology for granted these days, particularly when you think about how much it helps us entertain our children on a rainy day. Rainy days during my childhood usually consisted of painting or coloring in books – both of which got boring very quickly!

Children pretty much took over your life if you were a parent to our generation. If you ever needed to go shopping, then you had to take your child with you, which was quite an experience in itself. I know for a fact I had a few tantrums in my pram while my mother tried going grocery shopping. Compare that to now, and you can sit at home and order your groceries to be delivered right to your door, ensuring you haven’t got to go through the hell of a big shop with a screaming baby.

Would You Have Made A Good Parent In The Past?

I think I’ll end both the past and future sections with a question like this; do you think you’d have been a good parent if you grew up in the generation before your own? It would’ve been very tough, having to try and do everything without a lot of help. If you’re already quite hands-on with the kids and you don’t like to depend on technology, then maybe life wouldn’t have been so different for you?

What Can We Learn From The Past?

This is the killer question; what can we learn from parenthood in the past? Personally, I think we need to learn how to look after and entertain our kids like they used to in the old days. We shouldn’t 100% rely on video games, Netflix, YouTube, and so on. We should encourage our children to go outdoors and play, much like our parents did to us. I think this is very important in their all-around development as healthy children.

Photo by Nadine

Parenthood In The Present

Moving on, we’ve arrived in the present. This is the easiest period to talk about as we’re living it right now. We know what it’s like to be a parent in modern times, and it’s still stressful, but we do have a big helping hand. Yes, I spoke about it earlier, but technology has played such a massive role in shaping how we act as parents. It helps us in so many ways we don’t even think about half the time.

I mean, just take a step back and have a look around your house. How many pieces of technology do you have helping you be a parent? As you can see here, we have baby monitors that show us live video feeds, meaning we can keep an eye on our child while doing some work in the living room, or cooking dinner. There are educational children’s tablets that help develop our kid’s basic learning skills. Of course, we also have normal tablets and modern technology to entertain the children as well. I’ve even seen things like a pacifier with a built-in digital thermometer to tell you if your child has a fever or not.

Then, on the most basic level possible, we have the internet. Yes, like I touched upon before, we can order our shopping online, which takes some stress out of parenting. But, we also have instant access to millions of web pages providing advice and tips for us. If we notice something out of the ordinary, we Google it and get greeted with loads of solutions. It helps us be better parents because we have knowledge at our fingertips!

How Can We Become Better Parents Right Now?

I won’t ask if you think you’re a good parent or not because I think that’s a bit harsh! Saying that, do you think there are any ways in which you can become a better parent right now? The main thing for me is to learn how to use technology in the best way possible. We shouldn’t use it as a crutch but call upon it to help us when we need solutions. If you live a very busy life and are working all the time, then I think an educational tablet is a great way to ensure your child still learns without you by their side teaching them all the time. Likewise, using technology to relieve the stress that comes with being a parent is also a very good idea.

Photo via Wikimedia

Parenthood In The Future

Now, we move into the unknown. It’s easy to talk about parenthood in the past because we can just ask our parents about it, or ask their parents. We can talk about the present day because we’re living proof of what parenthood is like right now! But, how can we talk about what lies ahead? For me, the only thing we can do is make predictions based on some of the current trends.

So, prediction number one; technology will become more advanced for parents. There will be new and exciting things that parents can use to look after and raise their children. Virtual reality headsets are kind of taking off right now, and people are keen to take this technology away from gaming and make it more practical. I can 100% see some type of children’s learning toy being made out of a VR headset. Another thing I think we’ll see in the future is GPS tracking. Kids can wear a band or have something put on them that gives off a GPS signal so you can track them. This comes in handy if you ever go somewhere with a young child and they get lost. Just in general, there will be more technology for parents to use, and to make life easier.

Prediction number two; robots. Now, hear me out before you start calling me crazy, I have some pretty good thoughts on this matter. We know that robots and androids are constantly being developed for various uses. In the future – say ten years or more from now – we’ll see robots in the home. They’ll become personal assistants for parents, providing you with additional help. They may start doing different tasks like helping you clean or cook, and then over time develop into more sentient beings that can actually look after your children while you go out. It’s a creepy thought, and I almost hope this prediction isn’t right!

Would You Like To Be A Parent In The Future?

After reading this, would you like to be a parent in the future I’ve just predicted? Personally, I think it’s all a bit scary when you think ahead like this. It worries me that we’ll grow so dependent on home technology that we’ll almost lose out on valuable time with our kids.

There you have it; the past, present, and future of parenthood. As I write this, I’m really quite glad to be in the generation I’m currently in. We parents almost have the best of both worlds right now. We have enough technology to help us, without it consuming our lives and stopping us from being great parents. I hope you enjoyed this piece, and feel free to leave any comments down below relating to anything I’ve discussed!




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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