More parents are admitting that parenting is getting harder than ever
THERE’S no doubt: It’s a new parenting era than 20 or 30 years ago. Now faced with questions about how to limit screen time, when to give children phones and how to protect them from cyber threats, there are simply some issues that today’s parents can’t get advice on from our own parents. Does that mean it’s harder to be a parent today than when we were growing up? Yes, say 88 per cent of young moms and dads.
According to a BPI Network survey of 2,000 par- ents in the United States and Canada, the leading reasons parenting feels harder than ever include: social media distractions, challenges with two working parents, emotional or behavioural dysfunction, peer competition or bullying, and violence and safety concerns in schools. Of course, most of us weren’t fully aware of the challenges our parents faced when we were young—such as the fact they couldn’t readily call on their own moms for advice lest they wanted to rack up major long-distance bills and couldn’t have anything in the world delivered to their doorsteps within two days.
Regardless of whether it’s true, the perception that parenting is harder than ever has contributed to some two-thirds of the respondents saying they’ve experienced “parental burnout.” “Parental burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion,” says Neil D. Brown, LCSW, author of Ending The Parent-Teen Control Battle. “It leaves parents feeling chronically fatigued… and it can lead to depression, chronic anxiety and illness.”