Parenting trends through the ages

Odds are, the way your grandparents raised your Mum and Dad was very different to the way your parents raised you.

And the way you raise your own little ones will likely differ substantially too – that’s all part and parcel of parenting in an evolving world.

Here are a few ways in which parenting trends have evolved over the past few decades.

Mums go back to work

It’s no secret that modern parents are going back to work more quickly after the birth of their children. Whether it’s because of financial pressures or simply a lifestyle decision, millennial mums in particular are returning to the workforce faster than ever before.

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, 65 per cent of Aussie mums with children under the age of 18 reported being employed in 2011, either full time or part time. That’s compared to just 55 per cent in 1991.

2013 study of 135,000 Danish children unveiled results showing that “maternal employment has a positive effect on children’s academic performance”. In laymen’s terms, that means children of working mums tend to do better in school than kids with stay-at-home parents.

Of course, at the end of the day, it is your decision and your decision alone whether you decide to work during your children’s formative years. However, studies like these will be comforting for those parents managing the careful balance between raising a kid while working full time.

The baby information super highway

When your parents were raising you, it’s likely they picked up the phone and made a quick call any time they had questions or concerns about your wellbeing. Doctors, relatives, friends and other baby experts were all on speed dial, ready to chip in their 2 cents at a moment’s notice.

Surveys have shown, however, that modern parents prefer to log onto the World Wide Web in order to access up-to-the-minute parenting advice.

A 2012 study by Growing Up Milk Info found that 33 per cent of all modern mums are using Google for help with raising their children. For under 25s, Facebook was also found to be a popular tool for gathering top parenting tips.

Psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson has attributed this shift to more parents moving away from the places where they grew up, meaning they no longer have access to the maternal advice offered by their own mum and grandparents.

However, it’s worth remembering that your own mum and dad have been through everything you’re going through as a parent, probably several times over! So why not give them a ring the next time you’re in need of advice?

Can you think of any other ways in which parenting has changed over the years?

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