Development of the Shift:
In today’s culture, there has been a dramatic shift in the development of adolescents in both social and educational settings. This shift can be identified with the idea of parents who “coddle” their children. The term “helicopter parent” was coined by the author of the book Parenting with Love and Logic. A helicopter parent is someone who hovers over their children, trying to eliminate any pain or hardship on the path to success. In the change in parenting styles, building up a child’s self esteem has become the focus of parenting, leaving adolescents unprepared for the real world and the later obstacles they will encounter.
Why Does the Shift Matter?
This paradigm shift has an effect on all of society. While parents and children yield the effect, this shift encompasses all of civic life. Before today’s modern society, children were given more responsibilities and freedom. They took on roles in family businesses, had independence from parents, and had the ability to fail and succeed on their own. Now, children are held under a microscope in their parents’ eyes. With the newest ability to track people on iPhones and find locations using smartphones, access to children is made easier and easier. Despite the role of technology, children are constantly given praise and attention from their parents, leading them to think the whole world will be this way. Children growing into young adults have grown extremely sensitive to to all criticism.
Tracking The Shift:
The shift is made evident through various developments in society.
- Law – Under the Affordable Care Act, Laws around the country even accommodate this shift as a person can remain under their parent’s health insurance coverage until the age of 26.
- Education – When students are underperforming on tests, parents immediately assume it is the fault of the teacher. In order for children to reach the level of success that their parents require, parents will fight for their kid’s grades.
- Ideological Differences – The idea of winners and losers doesn’t persist in today’s world. Society has the mentality that “everyone deserves a trophy”. Rewards are not given where they are due and the idea of hard work and effort is being diminished.
- Media – Children view roles in culture as realistic when they are meant to serve as a fantasy. Figures like Harry Potter could get away with mischief and receive no punishments. He was a wizard and his role is transcended into the real life of adolescents thinking they too are the “chosen one”.
Further Investigations from the Shift:
- Possible difference in parenting styles between races.
- Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother – Chinese Culture
- Brock Turner’s Father: “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
- African American parents harder on their children so that racial stereotypes aren’t mirrored on their children.
- After college, students often return home to live with parents even if they do have a job.
- More students are waiting to acquire money in order to buy house they deem as “successful” before struggling economy to balance more expenses.
- In a society that is more accepting, everyone has viewed their ideas as correct.
- There has been a greater presence of politically correct ideas which has decreased critical thinking and alternative ideas.
- Different viewpoints are no longer viewed as opinions, but rather, criticisms of the other side.
Why is This Shift Happening?
This shift in parenting styles is possibly a response to the growing pressures on children in today’s world. With the increased technology and education, meeting the standard of these expectations has required teenagers to work harder. In converse, students’ attention span and inability to see the value of hard work has diminished because we believe knowledge is at our fingertips. This shift has allowed parents fight the battles of their children, resulting in a lack of communication abilities in teenagers. Additionally, the allowing kids to take the easier way out and forcing them to conform has possible complications later in life. Students may grow more rebellious once they gain freedom and make poor choices because they never had the ability to make any choices growing up. Shifting back to a society that encourages individualism and independence is essential in developing children holistically.