In this age of information and alternative lifestyles, sometimes radically different from one another, it is easy to get lost about what is best for our children. But there are always useful tips in the wisdom of the past.
While we believe that time brings valuable changes to the way we handle the different stages of life, not every old-fashioned thing is to be discarded for blind faith in anything new, and this is certainly true when it comes to parenting.
There are a number of things that our parents did in a time when the approach to raising a child was very different from that of the present that are still worth replicating when we start our own families.
Boy playing outside. I Image: Pexels.
In the good old times, parents gave them way more freedom to children than nowadays to be away from home and from their sights and be out in nature until dinner time.
Nowadays children are likely to spend much more time indoors and in front of a screen than out on their own or with their friends. But nothing that outdoor play to cultivate the imagination, learning about nature, and staying active.
Children at kindergarten. I Image: Pexels.
According to blogger Becky Squire, up until 1980 the early elementary years of education for children were more about creativity and social skills that about pushing for academic excellence and competition.
Teaching a child to be respectful, thoughtful, compassionate, and friendly, is more important for his or her early development that a regime that causes anxiety and stress.
Boy with a backpack. I Image: Pexels.
Saving time to dedicate it to the family and nothing else each day is vital for the development of a healthy child. And there is no better and natural moment to do this than at dinnertime.
No cellphones, no TV. Just having a moment to reconnect and talk about each other’s day to build a sense of safety and familiarity. It also helps parents be involved in their children’s interests and growing pains.
Sacrificing family dinners for extra-curricular activities in unwise, as according to studies, children who take part in family meals on a regular basis are less prone to anxiety and depression.
Girl picking up fruit. I Image: Pexels.
Doing chores from an early age will do far more than making a child helpful at the household. It is the best way to teach a child responsibility and the sense of community that stars within the family.
If a parent gives a child only trivial responsibilities, the child will never know what he or she is truly capable of.
It is important to give the child an early opportunity to learn about making choices and facing the consequences, especially when things go against what was expected.
While no parents feel good watching their children be frustrated and upset when they can’t achieve something too hard for them, this will grow self-confidence in them over time, so when they are out in the real world, they don’t give up easily.
Boy blowing a dandelion. I Image: Pexels.
Parents from the old times didn’t have to micromanage every moment of their children’s lives stressing them into fulfilling demanding schedules. Children need unstructured time to just explore and expand their imaginations.
Instead of drowning a child in activities, it is positive to leave room for more family time and even learning to defeat boredom by their own means, which fosters creativity.
"For children to be able to try things, to try it again, to try it their own way, and not be told that it's wrong, is really important," Dr. Tovah Klein told Insider.
Girl sitting outside. I Image: Pexels.
Learning good manners is not only for socializing and be liked by others. Knowing how to treat others with respect builds confidence and communication skills, and the more people that respect this, the better the society we are creating.
According to psychologist, from the ‘50s to our days, parents have been teaching their children less about manners, and this is a complaint we hear about the youth often.
Boy with a hat. I Image: Pexels.
The best gift you can give to a child is providing him or her with the tools no survive and to succeed in your absence. Old parents didn’t do much for their children beyond feeding and dressing them.
While deep in your heart you know that you will always be there for your child, you must let them learn how to make them on their own, and this includes assuming risks.
Father with his child on his shoulders. I Image: Pexels.
Even when parents have always supervised their children to an extent, there were plenty of times when children had their own business to take care of, and parents didn’t feel guilty for allowing some time off for themselves.
This is not at all about parents being uncaring or selfish. In fact, child-centered parenting can create narcissistic children that can’t deal with disappointment. So it is good to remind children that not everything revolves about them.
Three children. I Image: Pexels.
After having considered all of the above, we can agree that old-school parenting was much simpler than modern parenting, and also less expensive.
Imagination provided much of the entertainment, and the simple pleasures of life were enough for a child to feel satisfied.
Parents knew how to balance care and freedom to make their children first years a source of lessons for the rest of the journey, and this will be valid in any moment of history.