Do You Believe We Are Living Through a Pandemic of Terrible Parenting

Krystal DeVille

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Mother becoming frustrated with daughter whilst doing homework.

An individual on an online platform was concerned that we may see parenting in the earlier years with rose-tinted glasses.

According to them, parents are now too tolerant, entitled, and rely too much on technology. Grocery stores are now a war zone of ungovernable children and their bad parents. Here’s what thread contributors had to say about this observation.

It’s a Different Manifestation

What lousy parenting looks like today differs from how it looked ten years ago. One says that while parents left their kids at home unsupervised in the past, parents now bring their kids everywhere to be a nuisance to everyone. Both are cases of bad parenting, just that one affects other people.

Nobody Believes in Discipline Anymore

Another commenter shares there’s a weird thing about not disciplining kids. When they were little, there was a good chance a random stranger would chew them out if they threw a tantrum in a public space. Sometime in the 90s, this was no longer acceptable.

Parenting Has Always Been Trash

There’s never been a golden age of parenting. One acknowledges that parenting has never been good. Before labor laws, most parenting was not beating your kids until they couldn’t work. Parenting today is terrible for other reasons.

People Misinterpret Gentle Parenting

Gentle parenting doesn’t mean the absence of discipline. A parent writes gentle parenting is about listening to children and teaching them how to handle emotions. Parents need to acknowledge their child’s feelings and help them understand why they feel that way and how well to process that.

Society Has No Value for Human Life

Another suggests that people are getting poorer and poorer and need to work more. Parents spend less time with their kids. The cost of living needs a full-time investment, and no one has the emotional energy to handle kids.

Since birth, guardians shuffle kids into the faceless child-minding infrastructure of daycare. Most daycares are underfunded, understaffed, and do not have the child’s interest at heart. It’s an awful world to raise kids.

Everyone Is Winging It

A speech therapist agrees that most parents don’t know how to parent. It’s not a surprising trend since nobody taught them how. However, most are willing to learn, which is a good sign.

It’s Getting Worse

Numerous thread contributors think that the situation is getting worse. A teacher said they talked to other veteran teachers, who agree that things have been slipping in the past ten years. More schools are falling apart, and most teachers want out of their careers.

Teachers Are Glorified Babysitters

A commenter who has teacher friends shares that the attitude towards teachers has switched significantly in the past ten years. Parents no longer teach kids how to respect people. Teachers are also afraid of disciplining or scolding kids due to the numerous cases of trouble arising from unfair punishment. 

They explain a situation in their country where a teen shot a BB gun at a high school professor and filmed it for TikTok. The court of public opinion stood with the professor until she filed assault charges.

People shifted to the moan and dance of “he’s just a kid.” Adults bending backward to justify poor behavior doesn’t help. While kids may lack adult-like emotional intelligence, nobody needs a master’s degree to know they shouldn’t hurt others. Kids need to learn social behavior. 

Let’s Blame the iPads

Finally, a 41-year-old contributor says that when growing up, they always went out on their bikes and returned at the end of the day. Today, parents allow their kids to stay glued to their iPads, to avoid tantrums. As a result, kids do not learn how to socialize and talk to other people. 

They had an incident where their partner’s nephew was found trolling and bullying kids at his school. After a meeting with his parents, he was grounded. A week later, his parents were called back to the school since he complained that sending him to his room with no gaming devices for seven days was too cruel. They’re afraid that there is no hope since parents cannot set boundaries, and parenting experts call this abuse. 

1 thought on “Do You Believe We Are Living Through a Pandemic of Terrible Parenting”

  1. As a parent, and former teacher, I feel like the definition of parenting has changed. When I was growing up, my parents used the guiding principle that their job as a parent was to make themselves progressively unnecessary to their children. I always thought that was a great philosophy and I have adopted it as my own. Too often it feels like parents now view their primary responsibility as protecting their children and ensuring their comfort.

    For example, we are fortunate enough to live in a village in which the elementary school is located within the boundaries of the neighborhood. Every morning I walk my child to a neighbor’s house where she meets up with 3 other children, all slightly older, with whom she walks to school, otherwise unsupervised. The journey is less than a mile, on sidewalks, the route nearly overrun with crossing guards and multiple other groups of parents and children, so the risk of incident seems very minimal. However, on multiple occasions, I have been stopped by neighbors who ask if my daughter would like to ride with them to school in their vehicles.

    While I am grateful for their kindness and am quick to thank them, I also immediately decline. When they press the issue, and they nearly always do, I try my best to politely explain that my wife and I want our daughter to be responsible for getting to school on her own, and that we trust her to do so. Without fail, the neighbor’s response has been slightly snarky and always references child safety. There is the unmistakable implication that my parenting skills or technique is inferior because I have, in their minds, ignored my responsibility to guarantee my child’s safety.

    In the same vein, visitors to our home often comment on the consistent cleanliness, the helpfulness of our daughter, and the relative maturity with which she carries herself. In fact the compliments have been so universal that my wife and I often joke about it when others aren’t around. At the time, we always downplay the compliment by pointing out that we have only one child, but it’s also very difficult for us to mentally overlook the differences in our parenting philosophy with these neighbors.

    When we have these shared experiences, my wife and I often come to the same hypothesis regarding parenting in middle class households: Many parents today don’t seem to set expectations for their children. They seem to try to remove consequences instead of reinforcing them and helping the child cope by identifying their mistakes. There is a focus on giving or providing for the child rather than an expectation that the child earn. As a result, it feels like many children we encounter don’t seem to understand the value of anything. So many children in our neighborhood seem to treat their possessions with an appalling level of nonchalance and disregard, and the behavior seems to be reinforced by their parents.

    I remember teaching at a rural middle school, most of the students belonging to lower or middle class families. Yet the vast majority of the students that I taught had a better phone and more expensive clothes than me. I remember one student dropped his new iPhone on the ground while running to catch a bus. It shattered the screen and even dislodged one of the side buttons from the outer shell. The student hardly blinked an eye, picking the pieces up off the ground he responded with a shrug and made the claim that his parent would simply buy him another. The next day, the student indeed had a new phone, his regard for protecting the device apparently no more heightened from the previous day’s mishap. Sadly, this was not the only such incident I witnessed while working in education, and my teaching career ended about ten years ago. I can’t imagine what it must be like now.
    Is there an epidemic of poor parenting? I believe there is in certain segments of the population. Unfortunately, there is no cure or vaccine. It is both a symptom and primary cause of many of our social missteps of the past twenty years, not the last ten as your original article indicates.


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