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Evolution of Parenting- The Dysfunctional Epidemic

Updated on June 8, 2010

You can keep the cell phone-I'de rather raise my kids

Is it really advancements in our overall happiness?

A large part of being a parent is understanding what our children are going through and teaching them to learn from their experiences and situations. Although not all people that do bad things as adults can justify their behavior on the lack of parenting skills their parents possessed while raising them, parents do have something to do with the way that their children view society and turn out.

 The lack of parenting in this nation has become an overwhelming epidemic, where the family meal and the discussions that go along with sitting down as a family unit is being replaced by violent television programs, divorced, arguing or absent parents. Parents no longer monitor the family diet as they did 20 years ago, they allow school cafeterias to do so, and leave McDonalds to fill in any of the blanks. Many parents are not around to tuck their children into bed, read a bedtime story and kiss them on their cheeks before whispering I love you into their ears. Cell phones and Email has taken the place of sitting down to write a grandparent a Thank You Note for the $10 bill in a Birthday Card. Spell Check has taken the place of actually learning how to spell and improving grammar and writing skills. Debit Cards have taken the place of Check Books when people actually balanced their checkbooks, to monitor their spending in order to budget.

What has happened over the past 10-15-20 years to the most important support systems each of us have, The Family Support System? What will happen to the country, to the world if we as parents are not their to tuck our kids into bed and remind them that they are loved? Will our children magically know that they are loved; will they know how to show their children that they love them? Will our children know how to find their way, when they get lost and their GPS stops working, if they don’t know how to read a map or look to the stars for guidance? I am sure each of our children will have extraordinary typing skills and be able to find anything on the internet, but will they be able to sit down and have a conversation with a person who is sitting in front of them?

As parents, if we are too busy with paying bills, working and being adults to ever sit and speak, or joke or laugh with our children, how will we ever know if our children stop laughing, joking or speaking? Will we notice a change in behavior if our children are being abused, if we aren’t around enough to know how they normally behave?

Are the standards of being a parent today reduced to taking a few family pictures during holidays with our expensive digital cameras but never printing those pictures and placing them into photo albums because they are on a memory card or burned to a CD (somewhere)? If we lead our children by example, why do so many of us set so many poor examples for the ones who view us as Super Hero’s and the Ultimate Mentors? We show our children that if you don’t agree with someone, it is okay to scream, say horrible things, to hit, as long as you say I am sorry later? Are we teaching children that it is okay to walk away from problems when they are hard by divorcing our spouses? Does divorce teach our children, that saying I love you today doesn’t mean that I will love you tomorrow if you do something I don’t like or someone better comes along?

For as advanced as the human race has become over the past quarter century with inventions and improvements to the items we use in our day to day lives, our day to day lives and the ones who are deemed the ‘most important’, are now being raised by these objects. We work hard, to show our kids that it is important to put in the extra effort and time needed to do a job well done in order to get ahead in the world. But as we are off working hard, we aren’t putting in the hours as parents and helping our children get ahead in life.


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    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lone Star State

      gmwilliams - why thank you...I am glad you liked the content:)

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Great and excellent article.

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      mwatkins, thanks for the comment and for taking the time to read this hub. and because we all have so much on our plates, who is really to blame for children not having quality time with parents, the parents? hopefully some parents out there will make special efforts to pay attention to their kids because of the lack of time we have.

    • mwatkins profile image


      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      WEll done hub! Parents have so many responsibilities these days! It seems like parenting has taken a back seat to government intervention and that is sad. Thanks for the insight!

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      Alexandriaruthk, Ahhh...Thanks-you are making me blush :D

      Ann, Thank you as well Ann, you always leave very kind encouraging comments :)

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Well done and said so well! Good job H.C! Your writing never ceases to amaze me!

    • alexandriaruthk profile image


      8 years ago from US

      lucky children, keep it up HC, and they are adorable with a mom who is also adorable!

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State


      I know what you mean. Even in the last ten years the price of just about everything has gone up. In 1998 gas was less than $1 and now- 2010- I filled up paying $2.79 a gallon of gas. It is a shame that the changes in the world are hurting families because the ability to spend time with the children isnt there as it was years ago. Often it feels like there is no way to get ahead and be the best parent unless you win a lottery. I dont foresee the world relaxing though- guess we are all stuck juggling-trying to be everything for everyone (which isnt always good-women do it mostly and often feel like they lost themselves). Thanks for coming back-I was worried I offended you in some way. :)

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi HC, no, I didn't at all think you were knocking working parents. It was just that after reading your page, which I totally agreed with, it made me think about how it was maybe easier for past generations of mothers to spend more time at home with their children. Certain things in life seem more difficult nowadays, such as affording property, leaving university with huge debt etc. I know that my parents paid £11,000 for their house in 1976, now it would be around £160,000. That is way out of line with salary increase for the same time period. What's more, people are working longer hours. We often don't eat dinner as a family because my partner isn't even home from work.

      Anyway, I completely agree that parents spending time with their children is the most important thing. Talking to them, reading with them, going for walks in the woods or playing football in the park are some of the things we like doing. My oldest son is nearly ten, though. These days he has decided life is boring if he hasn't got one of his friends round. He is much less interested in spending time with us than with his peers!

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      pwrpuffgrrl, Thanks for the comment. I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. I was working a full time job until this past summer when I was laid off of work. Some weeks it would be a 40 hour week others 50+ hours, my husband also works a full time + job. I understand the feeling that mothers get when they want to spend endless time with their children-but cant. I think it isn’t necessarily the amount of time that is spent it is the quality of the time spent. If you are taking the time to just sit and talk to your son, two thumbs up! We all have responsibilities- it is the parents realizing that giving our children a good foundation to grow with is apart of our responsibilities. Thanks for your comment.

      Polly C,

      I do understand the feeling of needing to work to pay bills. I can relate very well. This was in no means to diminish the dedication that parents have to have for work to provide adequately for their family. I don’t approve of parents buying items for their children to make up for the fact that they CHOOSE to not spend time with their kids. I think it is sad when families are home together in the evening and don’t take the time to talk to one another, or eat together for the dinner time conversations that are very important. Mom and Dad fight in front of kids-yell at their kids for being in the way-rather than take time to help their children with homework or show them how to communicate affectively with one another without fighting, by leading by example.

      When a parent focuses on getting cool gadgets and big screen TV's rather than taking a walk with their kids to show them the different flowers growing-it is the kids that are suffering.

      I don’t think it is just about having the best toys-having the best house-or the popular trends... It is more about knowing your children and taking the time to do so. Many parents would rather someone else teach their children rather than their children be taught to wonders of the world by the parent. Parents are busy- I find myself overwhelmed at times with my two kids and everything that has to be done in life. But my kids want nothing more than to be with me, so as much as I can-I spend time with them, rather than sitting at the computer or watching a television show because I am too tired. When I go back to work full time (now I do freelance work) I know that life will be a juggling act. But it is also a juggling act that I plan to take on. I want them to know that I love them, so I make it a point to tell them that. I want them to know what is important in life...FAMILY, not material possessions that are not necessary.

      I give you much respect for being a mother that cares for her child-I hope you didn’t think I was knocking the working parents who are working to pay bills and provide-that was not my intention. I was more so trying to emphasize that if we can’t be around to raise our kids, what good are we really doing for them? A parent doesn’t have to spend 24/7 with their child to be a good parent. They just have to care enough to spend quality time with their children when they have the time to do so.

      Thanks for your honest comment and for your point of view. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my hub.

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 

      8 years ago from UK

      HC, your hub brings up an important subject, for of course children are influenced by the time a parent spends with them. Just for the record, I am at the moment staying at home with my two year old and not currently working, but it is making us very poor - even though I only had a part time job before he was born.

      I know that people have a lot of gadgets these days and could well do without them , but I am not convinced that they would then be able to afford to give up work. I think the housing market has a lot to do with the necessity for women to work - I am in the UK and bought my house 12 years ago - in that time its value has almost quadrupled. Had we not bought it at that time we would not be able to afford it at all now, unless both of us were in full time work - and I would just like to point out that it is not a luxurious house but a very small victorian terrace with only two bedrooms. I know families with monthly mortgage payments three times the amount of ours. The choice of spending more time at home is taken away from them by society, not necessarily because they want to maintain a certain lifestyle or because they don't want to spend more time with their kids.

      However, I admit that since I am in England and not the U.S. I haven't a clue if this is a reflection on US society. I believe the property market might be cheaper there? I just thought I would put across my view since it is something which I have feelings about. If we want to live in a house with enough room for all of us, staying at home for me wouldn't be an option.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      Just came upon your post. I totally agree with alot of what you said. I find it disturbing at times when I see very young children running around with cell phones, etc. Our children go to school and hear how someone got the lastest "thing" and then they want. I think it is so important for us as parents to set an example to our children. I am a single mom and I spend as much time as I possibly can with my son. If I could avoid him going to daycare before and after school I would. So many peoples priorities are messed up. Sometimes I think the schools should worry less about test scores and worry more about teaching life skills , such as budgeting, health, etc. All our children want is our time, just the time for us to listen to them no matter what that is. My son and i have some of the best conversations when we just sit and talk.

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State


      Thanks for reading and commenting- as always, you are very encouraging in your response. I am scared that the world will be filled with over indulged people who want, want, want-but dont give-love or encourage. How sad would this world then be?


      So very true-the demands set before us make it difficult if not impossible to accomplish everything-and the ones that suffer tend to be the ones that we are working so hard for. I suppose the best for every individual family and person to do is to sit down and decide, what are you willing to give up-to be everything?

      Thanks foe commenting sir :)

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      Thanks, once again Cagsil for your continued support. Even with all these advancements in technology- the need for a strong family support system isnt something that can be replaced by cool gadgets. We all must sit down and consider, What are we really working for? What are we giving up to work so hard for more? Is it really worth it? Is life really better?

      Thanks again or reading and commenting :)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Society has made it much more difficult to be a good parent these days because parents are busier. When I was a kid, my mother could stay at home because she could afford to, but when I was about 9 years old she had to get a job. Now everyone works so much that family life suffers. Your hub demonsrates what happens when the parents cannot or do not spend time with their children. And, I wonder what their own children will be like?

      Thanks for this most thought-provoking hub.


    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      H.C. you took the words right out of my mouth. Unfortunately, it is often a little too late for many parents to see the wisdom of these very words.

    • Cagsil profile image


      8 years ago from USA or America

      Hey H.C., I agree with the way some people have been parenting and wonder if it is ignorance or just people put into situations they are not mature enough to handle. But, then again, I guess it would lead one to figure out that more than most haven't a clue on what life means? Much less be a parent to a child. Another great hub. Thank you for sharing your point of view. :)

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      Richie, Thanks for commenting. It is a shame that so much gets neglected...Makes me wonder what society will be like when the generation that we are raising now is out their running the world?

      Glad Ya Like the Hat :) Gotta have a hat if you live in Texas (especially where I live) lol


    • Richieb799 profile image


      8 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      Your points are valid and so true, don't get me started because it ticks me of to see these things neglected as well..your children are so lucky, I love the photos as well :)

      love the hat in the new default, think it matches the checked shirt in my pic? lol :)

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      Paradise- I agree, Moms are expected to have real super powers. It is impossible to keep a clean house-job-dinner on the table by 6pm- sanity-healthy and happy kids- a satisfied husband-groceries stocked-laundry done-dishes washed and still have time to sleep. It is not fair. If you are a stay at home mom/ it is still hard to do everything and have anything to yourself... I know I have my days where I feel like that nervous breakdown is moments away :)

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      Ken-thanks for your comment, so glad you stopped by to read it. All parents make mistakes ( I know I do)-but I think that as long as you accept that you are not perfect-but strive to do the right things for your kids/ things will turn out alright at the end :)

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State


      Thanks for your comment. You are truly lucky to be blessed with children, and they are lucky to have someone who want to be there to raise them.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      I agree with you, HC. I've often thought that parents these days have too much on their plate, are on the go so very much, they have very little real time for the kids. I know so many working mothers who do, really, feel guilty about how little time with the kids they have, and they all try to make up for it by buying the kids STUFF. As if that fills the hole.

      So many reasons...the big one is, nuturing, stay-at-home moms don't get ANY respect anymore. They have historically got little appreciation: now, they get none. Instead, all women are expected to be SUPERMOMS, they are expected to do it all--hold down a full-time job and be an attentive and nurturing mother to their children.

      Hah! Good luck, get real. If the mom doesn't have a breakdown by the time she's 35, trying to live up to all this, something else has to give, and so often, unfortunately, it's the kids...

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Well said, HC. Children only get one set of biological parents. Parenting is an awesome responsibility, which even the best parents screw up from time to time, but some, never even attempt to be responsible. Sad, but true.

    • Isabellas profile image


      8 years ago from Ohio

      The lack of parenting is obvious as you can see in today's crime rates from Juveniles. I know that I am very blessed to be able to spend so much time with my children joking and laughing with them. Nothing is better than to hear the laughter of my children as they tell me a joke in the middle of the night on their trip the bathroom!

    • H.C Porter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lone Star State

      mikicagle, thanks for reading and being the first to comment on this hub :)

    • mikicagle profile image


      8 years ago from Oklahoma



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