Even though the main topic of this article is parenting and the issues connected with it, it is not dedicated to parents but, on the contrary, to those who are just entering an “adult” world full of traps and pitfalls. To those who will decide what the destiny of the coming generations will look like. To those who are at the decisive starting point. To those of you who with the help of your own wise actions can change the chain reaction from preceding generations.
Let’s travel a bit into the past: a time when most people were the sort of emotional creatures who were “controlled by the heart”. Even though there were people whose objectives were education, self-development, and high hopes, the majority did not even think of things of that sort. There is a very logical explanation to this since the main so-called mission in life was getting married and having a family, a really big family. In the 1950s, people were expected to start off their adult lives right after High School. It was almost a custom for girls around 19 years old and boys around 21 years old to get married (according to the statistics of median age of first marriage age by gender). And, in case you were not married in your 20s and you did not have at least 1 or 2 children, something was definitely wrong with you.
If one judges that period of time from today’s perspective, it may seem not right or even not logical to some extent (of course not including those people who have a firm belief that this is the only right way to spend a life). However, taking into account facts including education, development both general and personal, and simply the individual’s way of life, everything becomes crystal clear. It was a common way of life in the 1950s and due to the lack of knowledge of any other way or the lack of ability to change it, people were following the previously mentioned approach to living. Therefore, the normality of such a lifestyle was rarely questioned.
The “Quality” of Life
What should have been questioned was the “quality” of life and the future conditions of such families and their children. Not being able to provide a good education, opportunities to develop or sometimes even basic needs such as food and clothes, those young parents were foredooming the lives of their children and the children of their children. This chain reaction was rather unstoppable one. If you were lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family with highly educated and personally developed parents, you had a form of “life insurance”. However, what about those children who were raised in poor families where their parents barely could afford anything? The answer is more than simple – they were continuing the same way of life as their parents.
Education for Future Parents
Nowadays, assumptions about life have changed. In order to have a “happy” life, it is no longer enough to finish school and start a family. In our modern world, you need to be educated, self-developed, and mature enough to keep yourself well situated and only then to think about the possibility of starting a family. Nevertheless, there are so many people who still seem to live in those long ago times – the ones who treat this absolutely serious point in life sometimes quite carelessly and irresponsibly.
Some suggest, that every person should have a test before becoming a parent (e.x. Dr. Shefali). This may sound weird, but their main argument is based on concern, that if one should study for years to obtain a degree, or take a course in order to get a driving license, creation of a family or a new life is more serious action and requires preparation, so people shouldn’t be free to act whichever way they want. Dr. Shefali, for example suggests, that a future parent should have at least a few degrees, among them teacher, psychologist, doctor, personal motivator and mentor, adviser with a capacity for analytical and critical thinking, and a lifelong source of support (both financial and mental) for every aspect of a child’s life. And these are just the most basic requirements. How many people would ever have been able to pass such a test?
The number of premature marriages and families is still relatively high. This has a direct connection with the resulting children’s low standard of living and the parents’ as well. Moreover, as mentioned before, such decisions foredoom the destiny of few future generations, due to the fact, that it is tremendously hard to get out of an “inborn” social status since it requires lots of changes. The chain may be broken obviously, but it rather take a titanic work to break through.
The Importance of Conscious Awareness
We cannot choose our parents and the status of the family we are born into. We also cannot influence some events in life which leave little choice. However, we can choose the way we are going to parent and what we will be able to give to our children and, as a result, the children of our children. Treat it as a matter of heritage, parental care, or anything else. First of all, it is a responsibility which each and every person needs to face, making certain essential steps. Think twice before making decisions, and be ready for the effects that will inevitably follow, so next generation will be wholeheartedly grateful for the lifelong gift of opportunities and freedom.
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