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Parenting techniques: Old School vs New Addition

Published:Sunday | February 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer

They say we never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves. That appreciation can also be applied to techniques used in disciplining and grooming children.

For many, customs practised are passed down from generation to generation, but for the more modern among us, long-standing traditions are amended and even replaced.

Back in the days, a slap to the hand, the wrist or the bum would function as a form of punishment when a child misbehaved. Today, children are given 'time-outs' and sent to the naughty corner as a new step of reprimanding.

But even before they can speak, children are exposed to differing rituals, based on the approach of the parents. We all know of cloth diapers (nappies) being traded out for disposable ones. For a few, breastfeeding is replaced by formulas, or the weaning process for some comes into play earlier than anticipated to facilitate earlier independence. In recent years, too, the technique for burping babies after feeding has been shifted from gently rubbing the back to giving a light tap for digestive assistance.

For boys, in particular, the old-school belief is that they should not receive a haircut before they attain the one-year-old mark, out of fear that they would not be able to speak, is hardly practised. Nowadays, modern medicine has established a haircut cannot affect a child's speech, making the tale mere superstition.

As they grow older, the rules change even further. Children have changed from playing outdoors to staying indoors, resulting in ring games, tree-climbing and other outdoor games becoming virtually extinct. Instead, video games serve to entertain children as early as one year old. But at the same time, there are advantages to both - the physical activities have significant health benefits while new technology results in early educational stimulation.

The issue of bullying in school back then was followed by advice from parents on how to stand up to intimidation on their own. Currently, parents are intervening and putting an end to this discrimination as early as possible.

While on the home front, interestingly enough, children would eat whatever meal was prepared in the house. Parents are now giving their children a say, and because of this, they now prepare more than one meal to suit the respective palates.

These are just a few of the conventions and their manifestations that exist in today's society. So whether, as a parent, you believe in the old, the new or a combination of the two, one thing is clear: you just want what is best for your children, and hope that you have raised them well to become confident, nurturing, independent, driven and successful men and women.

  • Old School vs New Edition

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