Challenges for Today’s Parents

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Challenges for Today’s Parents

Challenges for Today’s Parents

        Reruns of situation comedies form the 1950s and early 1960s demonstrate the kinds of problems that parents used to have with their children. On classic television shows such as Leave it to the Beaver, the Cleavers scold their son Beaver for not washing his hands before dinner; on Ozzie and Harriet, the Nelsons dock little Ricky’s allowance because he keeps forgetting to clean his room. However, times have changed drastically. Being a parent today is much more difficult than it was a generation ago since Parents today must protect their children from a growing number of distractions, from sexually explicit material, and from life threatening situations.

        

        Today’s parents must try, first of all, to control all the new distractions that tempt children away from schoolwork. At home, a child may have a room furnished with an MP3 player, television, and computer. Not many young people can resist the urge to listen to music, watch TV, go online, or play computer games and IM their friends – especially if it’s time to do schoolwork. Outside the home, the distractions are even more alluring. Children no longer “hang out” on a neighborhood corner within earshot of Mom or Dad’s reminder to come in and do homework. Instead, they congregate in vast shopping malls, movie theaters, and gleaming fast-food restaurants. Parents and school assignments have obvious difficulty competing with such enticing alternatives. Parents and school assignments have obvious difficulty competing with such enticing alternatives.