Parenting children today appears to be completely different than 20 years ago.

What happened to the good ol’ days when neighbors had an open door policy, and children played outside in the neighborhood?

Today, children are living in a virtual world, surrounded by Facebook, the Internet, and all areas of life documented on social media. Children seem to have less face-to-face communication.

Here are some of the differences, based on my observations, of parenting in the past versus parenting in the present.


  • Playing outdoors without worrying about kidnappings and violence.
  • Cell phones were not invented so there was more face-to-face interaction.
  • Mothers stayed home and the family was supported on one income.
  • Sitting together as a family at the dinner table and communicating was a more common practice.
  • Children were more physically active and meals were healthier and cooked at home.
  • Divorce was not as common.
  • Family values appeared to be extremely important and practiced in the home.


  • Parents need to drive their children to different places, and they are not riding their bikes alone or walking to a friend’s home.
  • Both parents and children are on their cellphones or computers.
  • The cost of living has increased and two incomes has become increasingly needed.
  • Because both parents work, fast food has become more prevalent, or other activities cause families to not dine together as often.
  • Childhood obesity has doubled in the past 30 years, according to the Center for Disease Control.
  • Today, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association.
  • A decrease in family values has been blamed on the “breakdown of the traditional family,” according to the Santa Clara University Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Being a democratic parent and not a permissive parent is imperative. A permissive parent acts as a best friend or buddy, which can turn into a very serious issue.

Permissive parents tend to lose the ability to control, problem solve, and counsel their child. Democratic parents tend to have more success in today’s world with the changing values and factors children are raised in.

Democratic parents treat everyone the same, discuss and set rules, have open communication and discipline and follow through. We must teach our children family values such as love, respect, and kindness. Raising an entitled child is detrimental.

Parents must look at this new virtual world and learn how to still implement some old traditions and rituals into family life, but also navigate the new virtual world with children.