Why are parents not able to educate anymore?
Mothers and fathers don’t seem to be academically or psychologically prepared to educate.
Parents were good educators in the twentieth century, especially at the beginning, when they had a single priority: that their children would survive without starving.
Having overcome hunger, parents of those born in the late seventies and eighties added a new priority: training children and provide them with the opportunity to have a job that would allow them to prosper.
Today, with food, education and even a subscription to Netflix guaranteed, educational objectives have changed significantly.
Education in values, emotional intelligence, academic training, extracurricular activities, language learning, sports, healthy eating, etc. But now, the task of educating has been complicated as much as their inability to instruct themselves in order to educate children who seem to come from another world.
Has education escaped from the control of parents?
Today, parents need to be paternity professionals, but they are not. Few parents prepare for the arrival of their children, beyond buying the crib and clothes.
We are facing the most trained parent generation of all time, a generation with great personal and academic achievement, demanding careers, and of course, the role of parents.
Parents want to be the best, but choose the wrong points for improvement. They want their children to be happy, to give them everything they need and more, so they don’t suffer and prepare them not to cry or get frustrated.
Such planning makes both parents and children live in constant anxiety because that perfect life where nothing is missing and where there is no stress has long ceased to exist. It goes without saying that material things never replace an appropriate education.
Everything has to be controlled and go well and they don’t realize that anxiety pollutes the family environment. Control does not help professionalize the work of being a father or mother. Reading books written by gurus or specialists/experts is not a solution either. Self-help does not positively affect the upbringing of children, but the backward education of parents.
Lately, professionalization has been radicalized. Perhaps that radicalization, which starts with the best of intentions, is not really good for children, nor for those around them.
How did grandparents do it with almost no instruction?
Many of them, experts in raising their children, grandparents now also suffer when they interact with their grandchildren. They do not understand anything, they do not understand that everything has become so complex, they are tense, afraid to screw up.
Each generation seems to be more instructed but not for fatherhood. I see it in the faces and minds of many inexperienced parents, those who have concerns that did not exist when I began elementary school, for example.
The problem I see is that this professionalization also leads parents to maternal and paternal experience with more clear and immovable concepts, which makes people less flexible fathers and mothers.
I wonder if this can have a direct impact on raising children, on their development. If there is little or no room for flexibility, the advice, often also contradictory, with which experts (and pseudo-experts) of all kinds bombard us in books, blogs, social networks, and YouTube channels, ends up enclosing our children in a bubble full of morality that takes them away from the real world.
Food, technology, and education
We can talk about the food bubble. Fortunately, parents are increasingly aware of the importance that good nutrition, with more fruits and vegetables and less processed and ultra-processed food for their children.
There are great disseminators who have managed to create a necessary and important message that fathers and mothers are taking to the extreme. I have heard how the homemade sponge cake that some parents had taken to school to celebrate their son’s birthday was put into question because it had sugar.
Some fathers and mothers suffer because they had managed to keep their children away from sugar and in their idealism they believed that they would do that permanently, as if their children did not live in a world in which they were necessarily going to have to end interacting with other children, sharing classrooms, breakfasts, meals, and snacks.
It is not necessary to say that isolating children from bad food is difficult, but educating them to learn about the difference between good food and bad food is totally necessary.
It is the lack of knowledge regarding their children’s nutrition that makes parents get stressed out because they feel they have lost control. They discover that their son is not a robot, that he is growing up with different stimuli surrounding him.
We can also talk about the bubble of emotions and moralism, which has a great reflection in children’s literature. It’s okay to want our children to learn to identify and manage emotions so that tomorrow they have good emotional intelligence. It is good that they have some basic notions of good and evil.
My question is whether, with that overdose of emotional education and the books with a marked message that constantly explains to our children how they should behave and how they should be, we are not taking away from them other experiences, other feelings, and other emotions that are equally valid, and with that, other ways of thinking.
Aren’t parents just building another bubble that takes them away from the real world? It is common to see moralistic and emotionally successful illustrated materials being sold everywhere, while great works on children’s education are relegated to the background.
We can talk about education, another aspect that highlights the professionalization of parenting, the fact that today we have much more information about alternative pedagogies, about other ways of doing things in the classroom, about the functioning of the brain of children.
The choice of school -the one closest to home- was a natural thing for our parents. Today they suffer to see their children going to a school, high school or college away from home.
Parents invest in the early education of their children as if they were a pension fund with the hope that tomorrow they will provide revenue. Instead of worrying about playing, having fun and being children, parents are investing from early childhood in their supposed future career.
All these reflections, all these examples of professionalization with which parents build bubbles for their tranquility and the “isolation” of their children, should not take them away from the objective: being the best possible parents in the world.
The question is how to achieve that goal without the guilt, anxiety, expectations or voice of experts taking the baton of their paternity and maternity. How to achieve it from coherence and the ability to relativize, which barely separates an invisible border from the extreme, the inflexible and the ridiculous.