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Changes in parenting over the last 30 years

Dr. Frieda Birnbaum
Dr. Frieda Birnbaum
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Being a parent is a tough job!

Each generation takes its own approach to the difficulties of parenthood.

Dr. Frieda Birnbaum, therapist and the oldest woman in the U.S. to have given birth to twins at 60 years old, joined Fresh Living to share her insight on how parenting has changed over the years.

Today, parents are waiting longer to have kids and having few children.

Benefits of this include parents having more time and money to spend per child than before. This means more quality time and fun recreational activities. (Time means more to children than money.)

Older parents are also less likely to second guess themselves and have a calmer demeanor than younger parents. They are more confident and less stressed.

There are a few cons to having fewer kids, however. Kids growing up with fewer siblings may be con. Siblings teach concepts like sharing early on. They may also lose out on the life-long friendship of a sibling.

Social media has also had a huge impact on parenting!

Kids are more connected to their social circle through media. They are more likely to set up virtual hangouts than in-person play dates.

Dr. Birnbaum feels it’s necessary for parents to set screen time limits, monitor content, and watch for cyber-bullying (both ways). This is a huge area for improvement.

Dr. Birnbaum has also noticed that kids (and their parents) have become extremely competitive in everything, from grades to sports. Some parents even hire professionals to do their kid's assignments!

It’s important to teach kids self-worth and confidence in themselves to combat this pressure. Encourage them to grow in their interests.

Finally, the roles of fathers in the home are changing! There are more single dads today and most dads have started to help with childcare and housekeeping.

There are some parenting things Dr. Birnbaum feels will never change, such as the importance of sleep. Kids need their sleep! It’s important for growth and brain development.

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