Change is inevitable and Parenting is not an exception to it. Parenting has undergone scores of changes over the years. But the question that still remains unanswered is that did these changes have a positive impact on our life? Has the quality of our life improved? I’m extremely sure, that there may be various opinions on this topic. Going back, you can witness that life was very different from what we see now. We only preferred home cooked food prepared by our mom, we usually played outside the house; our parents disciplined us whenever and wherever necessary. Apart from this our parents even taught us the importance of money.
Mom used to prepare home cooked food everyday and even we as children preferred to relish home cooked food. Eating in restaurants was occasional. Rotis/chapatis, vegetables, rice, dal, salads, pickle, etc were included in the daily meals. For non-vegetarians vegetables were replaced by meat, chicken, fish etc. There was no trace of toasters, microwaves, hot pockets or pizza bagels. In a few cases, there were cooks hired to cook food.
Play outside the house:
The highlight of the day used to be when we used to play with friends outside the house. We were permitted to play outside but return home before the dark. If we failed to do so, Mom used to call out our name and ask us to come inside. It was only during exams, and extreme weather conditions that we were not allowed playing outside the house and instead we preferred staying at home. While playing inside the house, boys grabbed the toy cars and bikes while girls preferred their dolls.
Discipline was a core ingredient of our daily life:
Discipline was a part and the parcel of our life. Discipline sometimes even included spanking from dad. In other cases a look from dad was enough to curtail our mischief. If you planned to disobey your elders, you would suffer the consequences. As a punitive measure you would not be allowed to play outside with friends or watch television. Today, discipline has taken a different makeover. Parents prefer to be friendlier with their kids instead. I think this is probably the reason for allowing children to get away with things we could never even think of getting away with.
Money was valued:
We received money in the form of earning as sometimes it was an allowance paid for doing some household chores and helping mom. This money was sufficient to satisfy our needs of snacks, chocolates, chips, ice-creams etc. cell phones, laptops, I-Pod, I-Pad etc were not known to us.
Change in time has also changed the role of parents. This is a very natural phenomena but the value of the upbringing that we received cannot be measured but only treasured.