ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Decline of Parenting Skills

Updated on December 17, 2017

The Future Isn't As Bright As It Used To Be

I have two children. I had them relatively late in life. I am far from a perfect parent. However, when I look at the parenting skills of those who I see on a regular basis, I have conflicting emotions: I'm relieved that I'm not the worst parent out there, and I'm worried about our future generations.

I can only speculate as to why parenting skills have virtually dropped off a cliff, relative to two generations ago, but since I'm right more often than I'm wrong, I don't have a problem with presenting my opinions on the topic. Here are my reasons, in no particular order:

Reason #1. The Divorce Rate

From 1900 to 1967, the divorce rate climbed steadily from 7% to 25%. From 1967 to 1977, the divorce rate jumped from 25% to 50%, and it's been around 50% ever since. My best guess as to why there was such a dramatic jump from '67 to '77, is that in the 1970s, "no fault" divorce was instituted. Subsequently, a divorce could be attained, with the only reason being "irreconcilable differences", whereas prior, there would have to be proof of abuse, infidelity, etc., in order to be granted a divorce.

Now, I can't prove that the divorce rate wouldn't have been 50%, if "no fault" divorce had been allowed since 1900, but I will tell you that kids from officially divorced parents, compared to kids from non-divorced parents, are more likely to drop out of school, have a higher propensity for criminal activity, and are twice as likely to get divorced themselves. Do kids from non-divorced, but incredibly unhappy households fall into this category? I don't know, and I don't think that anyone knows, with any degree of certainty, because the divorce rate is our only barometer for unhappy marriages.

Reason #2. Unwed Mothers

From 1950 to 2012, the percentage of unwed mothers increased from 4% to 45%. In fact, for the first time in history, the median age of women who give birth, is lower than the median age of women who get married. I don't know why women give birth out of wedlock, and I don't care. They all might have legitimate reasons for having kids without marrying. I would also speculate that, if men were able to bear children, then they would do so, out of wedlock, at the same rate as women. But the numbers don't lie: Children born out of wedlock (regardless of ethnicity or faith), have less financial security and less emotional well-being, than those born from married parents. It's true - I looked it up.

And it makes sense, because if you have a baby out of wedlock, then your child is less likely to grow up in a home with two parents, and is more likely to be financially wanting, due to the household only having one source of income.

Reason #3. Technology

When I was a small boy, there were no home video games. There were pinball machines and a few large video games, which you could find in bowling alleys and ice-skating rinks (each of which cost money to play), and that was it. When I got a little older, "Pong" was introduced as the first home video game. I never played it because it was incredibly boring, and I preferred to watch TV or play outside. By the time I was a teenager, Atari came out with their line of home video games. I'll admit that they were fun to play, but I had already developed rudimentary reading, writing, and mathematical skills.

When I see ten-year-old children, who are playing Wii games (the latest line of video game technology) for four hours per day, yet who cannot read, write, or add 9 + 6 without using their fingers, it concerns me. I tell my kids that I would rather they watch soap operas than play video games. At least with soaps, they might pick up a new word, or get an inkling of how people interact (albeit scripted).

When I was young, phone conversations could only take place in the house, which lent itself to shorter periods spent on the phone. I don't have to tell you the advances in phone technology, but I suspect that these advances have resulted in children talking, instant messaging, texting, etc., for ridiculously extended periods of time. And I'll bet that they are talking to other kids, who will not teach them anything of value. I can denounce kids as much as I wish, in this article, because I know that they will neither want to nor be able to read it.

But don't get me wrong...It's not the kid's fault. It's the parents' fault for letting this happen in the first place. In my day, parents would only allow their children to watch an hour of TV per day. Today, parents couldn't care less, if their children play video games all day long.

Reason #4. Selfishness

I see it every day; parents who put their own needs ahead of their child's. As long as their kids aren't inconveniencing them, parents do not feel the urge to parent. And when their children do inconvenience them, parents will punish or medicate them, instead of trying to understand them. This posture results in more and more confused and angry children. These are the kids who get left back a grade (or two), and who get into serious trouble as adolescents. By the time they become adults, they end up making poor life decisions, because their only benchmark was their parents' behavior.

When I add it all up, my conclusion is crystal clear: People (regardless of their age, ethnicity, religion, etc.) should not have children until they are absolutely sure that they can provide said children with a polarized household, economic stability, emotional support, a modicum of discipline, and the concept of putting their child's needs ahead of their own. I'm aware that no one knows what the future holds, and circumstances can arise for which we have no control, that can change the dynamics of an otherwise healthy marriage, but if you are planning to have a baby, without lining-up at least three or four of the above conditions, then you are simply not responsible enough to have a baby. That's it. End of story.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tina 

      4 years ago

      Thank you. These kids carry their lack of skills and home training right into our classrooms and somehow it becomes the teacher's fault they don't have basic skills or manners.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 

      4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I agree. Thank you for writing this informative article. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)