“Blame the parents” is a familiar response to the failings of the younger generation.
But, according to new research, even the parents of the parents are pointing the finger.
The wrath of grannies is being increasingly felt as they look on with a mixture of horror and incredulity as their own childen start to make a pig’s ear of parenting.
Today’s grandmothers in particular cannot believe their own children turn into over-ambitious, competitive parents with pampered, demanding offspring, according to Professor Rachel Thomson, co-director of The Making Of Modern Motherhood report.
Grannies believe the range of choices available to their daughters are not only turning mothering into a competition, but also undermine their daughters’ confidence in their ability to care for their children.
Rather than simply getting on with the job of being mothers, as they did, grannies don’t understand their daughters’ “…compulsion…to be constantly busy and sociable, taking their children to every class available, being up to date on endless independent research into everything from developmental goals to nutrition while also balancing work and family”.
The Mother’s Union maintains such concerns are simply a modern, middle-class trait and do not believe the research provides a realistic snapshot of parenting generally.
The research throws up some interesting points and messages.
But I keep coming back to the same question – aren’t today’s parents as much a product of their own upbringing and background as the modern trends and pressures they are apparently facing?
Another recent report suggested parents were looking to abdicate more of their responsibility.
As for the Mother’s Union assertion about the grannies’ concerns being typical middle-class traits, I’m still struggling with this whole class identity thing as it relates to modern society.
The only thing I am certain about is that the big losers are today’s younger generation and the blame can be shared around quite liberally.