The Modern Parenting Dilemma: Why Raising Kids Feels Harder Today

Many people wonder why it feels so much harder to raise kids today than it did ten or even twenty years ago. The answer: it feels harder because it is harder.

Our world is infinitely more complex and connected than ever before. We live in an era that is hyper-connected, with pressures coming at every angle. In some ways, that connectivity is a positive thing, but parents have a much harder job cut out for them to help their kids filter and understand all the information they’re exposed to.

Let’s dig into some of the biggest sources for parenting angst and explore a few ways to help mitigate them.

Our Digital World

The internet has revolutionized the way we work, communicate, gather information, etc. But the internet also poses a pretty enormous parenting challenge. Kids today get hooked early on digital content through online services like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

Filters on these sites are unreliable or non-existent in many cases, and the content ranges from harmless and educational to, at times, shocking and negative. More often than not, video games today contain online access that puts kids in contact with strangers from all over the world.

Even when you do put tools in place that help your keep kids safe on the internet, it still doesn’t change the fact that they’re living in an online world. Even if you manage to keep your children “in the bubble” many of their peers will be hyper-connected. It’s inevitable that your children will have to confront the realities of:

  • Changing social and cultural norms.
  • News about issues like global warming.
  • Tragic events.
  • Cyberbullying.
  • Harmful ideologies.

As a parent, you want to keep our children safe and innocent as long as you can. With that in mind, you can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s also your job to prepare them for the reality of the world. You can’t filter the whole world—but you can teach your kids to think critically about what they see and hear.

Strategies for Navigating Online Influences

Address Information Overload

child laying in bed with parent tucking them in

As a parent, it can sometimes feel difficult to know how to raise your children. In the modern era, there are a thousand voices all shouting for our attention, promising the truth. All too often, those voices are looking to validate their own worldview or cultural ideals—and what works for one family may not work for yours.

Instead of trying to fit your family into a particular mold, look for techniques and strategies that emphasize the qualities that make a family stronger and more loving.

Practice Open Communication

You’re operating in the dark as a parent if your children can’t come to you with their problems. Practice having difficult conversations in a judgment-free way. Ask questions. Be respectful.

Embrace Imperfection

It’s important to embrace imperfection. Children can learn from seeing their parents make mistakes with grace. Acknowledging them is important, too. Screaming and yelling is not likely to get your point across—but they may learn a valuable lesson from an apology.

Teach Critical Thinking Skills

Focus on teaching techniques that allow them to process and discuss new ideas. Prepare to have your own ideas challenged and discussed rather than accepted uncritically.

Preserve Cultural Identity

Our cultures and traditions are challenged on a daily basis by our connected world. Preserve those traditions by making them a source of joy, rather than a burden. Resilience will maintain traditions better than isolation.

Schedule a Consultation

Being a parent in the modern era means struggling with uncertainty and indecision. I work with families all the time to help them communicate in a productive fashion. Reach out to learn how to create a strong family unit through family or anxiety therapy.