Parenting Then and Now

Posted by Shannon Serpette on 8/3/2017 to Parenting Tips
parenting then and now

When many of us were young, our upbringing was vastly different than what our kids are experiencing now as they grow up. Let’s look at some of the ways our childhoods were different than our children’s childhoods are and what we can do about the changes we don’t like.


This is the single biggest change when comparing our childhoods to what our children are experiencing. There are kids out there who know how to swipe a tablet screen before they’ve taken their first step.

It’s pointless to hold your children back from technology, even if you’re not a fan of it. Like it or not, it’s a big part of the world we live in. You may have played with mud pies in your backyard instead of a laptop, but your child will need tech skills in his life.

That doesn’t mean, however, he needs to be using a tablet 24-7. You should limit how much he uses your family’s devices. Make sure he’s not overly reliant on them by involving him in a variety of activities.

Early Onset of Health Problems

Doctors are discovering early stages of diseases in children that used to primarily only affect the older population. Even teenagers are now getting Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Two factors are contributing to this epidemic – poor dietary choices and lack of exercise.

To prevent your child from being one of the kids who will develop this problem, make sure they stay active, which includes limiting their screen time. The more they are on electronic devices, the less time they’ll have for playing outside and participating in various activities.

Taking Pictures

When we were young, cameras were only whipped out on special occasions like vacations and birthdays. After all, who had the money to buy roll after roll of film?

These days, with the advent of digital cameras, you can take as many images and videos as you want. And you should. You’ll be able to capture every phase of your child’s life and someday your child will love seeing all those photos.

They’ll also love hearing your voice in videos, whether they’re watching them two weeks from now or 20 years from now. So make sure you’re taking an active part on both sides of the camera.

Playing Outside

It used to be that kids were outside right after breakfast and only came back in when their parents forced them to. These days, many parents have to practically force their children outside to begin with.

There’s too much to do indoors now – with televisions, video games and their cell phones. To make sure your child gets a chance to soak up some vitamin D, you should encourage outside time whenever possible.

Ask your children to go on a hike with you or challenge them to a game of basketball at your local court.

Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at