3 Major Ways Parenting Has Changed Since The 80’s

I am 30 years old. It wasn’t that long ago I was living in the 80’s and enjoying my childhood in all its carefree, Tina Turner, high-top sneakers and voluminous hair-sprayed bangs, glory. At least it doesn’t feel like that long ago. Now with 2 young children of my own I have become much more aware of some major ways the world of parenting has changed since then.

Sing it with me now..."What's loooove got to do, got to do with it..."
Sing it with me now…”What’s loooove got to do, got to do with it…”

1. The Baby Registry Requirements.

In this day and age, babies parents seem to require more “necessities.” Soon after you share the exciting news that you’re going to have a baby you have friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers telling you what you just NEED to have. You know, like the Boppy, sound machines, Diaper Genie, bumbo seat, and even wipe warmers (because wiping our children’s hinies with a room temperature wipe is unthinkable). How on earth did our parents get by without these things? Yes, I am being sarcastic but I would be lying if I said I didn’t take advantage of most of those items. I do, however, recognize that I would be able to get by without them. I just chose not to. Well, except for the wipe warmer. I’m confident my kids will forgive me for letting them have cold bums during their nighttime poopy diaper changes. I’m really the one who suffered the most there anyway.

I'm not afraid to admit it... I'm a huge fan of the Boppy! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
I’m not afraid to admit it… I’m a huge fan of the Bumbo! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)

2. How-To’s.

There are also more “How-to” books than ever before; How to get your baby to sleep, how to discipline your child, how to parent without being a pushover, how to raise a self-reliant child, and so on and so forth. I’m not saying that doing some research is a bad thing. Although I wonder if some moms think that if they don’t do exactly what they read in a how-to book they aren’t parenting “correctly.” Sometimes we need to just put the book down and trust our instincts. We know our children better than anyone, yet we lack faith in ourselves. What works for some, doesn’t necessarily work for others. One size does not fit all and that’s okay.

3. Technology.

Forget the cell phones, video games, tablets, and e-readers. One of the most high-tech things we owned when I was growing up was a cordless phone! Now we have books on e-readers that will read to our kids for us, Facetime and Skype so you can actually see the person you would otherwise be having a regular old phone conversation with, and educational apps that can help them learn just about anything. Technology can be a wonderful gift but it is far too easy to get swallowed up in it. I know I have missed out on quality time with my daughters because I’m too busy checking Facebook or catching up on emails instead of just living in the moment. In the same way I limit my daughter’s time watching TV or playing a game on the iPad, I’m working on setting limits for myself too.



I can only imagine how this world will be when our children are raising children of their own. To be quite honest, it both excites and terrifies me at the same time. Now, if you can promise me that in another 25 years I will have a robot who can do all my cooking and cleaning for me (like Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons) I would definitely be more than okay with that!



4 thoughts on “3 Major Ways Parenting Has Changed Since The 80’s

  1. Ha! I have a list of must have’s and must pass’s that I email out (after I get their permission to give my two cents) to all my friends that are moms-to-be.


  2. This post is so true! I think about the same thing sometimes, I wonder what it’s going to be like down the road – like will we ever figure out we don’t need so much stuff or technology or will it just get worse and worse?


  3. This is so great…and so TRUE! I remember raising an eye brow when i was doing my registry and they were offering wipe warmers.. like…really? Then of course the first time i did a middle of the night changing with cold wipes, i re thought my decision. Needless to say- i didnt run out and get one, but learned there is something for everything. I also remember going online everyday to see what my baby looked like in utero and what was developing…and Google??!!! How did my parents EVER get by without Google??!!! I definitely see the advantages of being a parent in 2013 rather than 1985, but i also see the drawbacks as you talked aboout as well… i definitely need to make a conscious effort to put the phone DOWN…or just live in the moment and enjoy it, instead of constantly pulling out my phone trying to document every minute.

    ps- remember the time we were talking about how our parents used to drop us off at our friends’ houses for birthday parties when we were like, 5, and now that never happens?!


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