Have we gotten better at parenting?

Author's Note

If there's anything that I've learned from researching modern parenthood, it's that being a mom or dad isn't easy these days. Sure, there's the stress of maintaining incredibly hectic schedules, despite the technological advancements that are supposed to make our lives easier. But for parents, there's also an unrealistic external pressure, particularly in the United States, to be parenting all-stars and raise exceptional children. Just consider the never-ending social debates about working versus non-working mothers and fathers, public versus private school educations, breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding, and so on. And somewhere, in the midst of all that in-fighting, people are expected to find joy in parenting, when in reality, rates of anxiety and depression among adults and adolescents alike have only risen.

So rather than attempting to quantitatively evaluate how good of a job today's parents are doing, I thought it would be more beneficial to touch on more qualitative issues. How much do modern moms and dads want to be good parents? A lot. How much time are they spending with their kids? On average, more than their own parents and grandparents spent with them. Is it time to banish societal expectations of perfect parenting? Absolutely.

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