For thousands of years, parenting was a pretty straightforward responsibility. Society offered highly structured guidelines for behavior. Adult’s roles were well-defined, as were children’s roles, and throughout the strata of the community, everyone knew his place. New parents had their own parents as role models, and the techniques to use were time-tested and proven – to fit that world.
We live in very different times. Our society is open. Man has social freedoms that never existed before: greater opportunities for education and social advancement, an increase in income, more choice about where to live and what to do. There are almost no boundaries. Yet this new found freedom has come with a cost. Gone are the norms of social conduct, gone is the family structure, and gone are the role models for socially acceptable behavior. And so, we now find ourselves in uncharted waters in our role as parents without having a clear and definitive path as to how to parent.
This Shmuz, the second on the topic of parenting, deals with the primary role of the parent and gives some practical how-to’s for fulfilling that role.