Growing up, many of us thought we knew what it would be like to be a parent. We pictured playing with our kids, establishing rules we thought were better than our parents, and we figured it couldn't be that hard to raise a smaller version of ourselves. Times have changed and the world is nothing like it was when we were kids, and it has made parenting tough. Not only has the world-changing made it tough, but we had our expectations wrong all along. Being a parent is the toughest job on the planet, and raising children in the Magic Valley in 2022 is no easy task.

Technology Has Changed the Game

Credit: Austin Distel on Unsplash
Credit: Austin Distel on Unsplash
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One thing our parents didn't have to deal with that parents today do is technology. Yes, the internet was around, but not to the extent today, and cell phones weren't anything like today. Screen time for most of us meant that the television had to be turned off at a certain time or that we couldn't play Gameboy or Nintendo past a certain time. Things have changed, and it seems that kids are learning how to use an iPad, a cell phone, or some other form of technology younger than ever before. It makes parenting easier and harder at the same time. Quiet your child with an iPad, but then they become addicted to it, leading to other issues. Technology can be educational as well.

School Has Changed in Previous Years

Credit: Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash
Credit: Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash
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School is nothing like it was for most of us growing up. When you weren't physically in school, it counted as an absence, but in today's world, you can attend class without ever leaving your bedroom or getting out of your pajamas. It has made it easier for kids to miss class physically, and an argument can be made if it is better with virtual classes or if it is worst. Parents have to learn how to adapt and make sure their child is getting as much out of virtual class as they do when they are at school. Convincing your child to go to school isn't as easy as it use to be.

LGBTQ Community for Children

Credit: y y on Unsplash
Credit: y y on Unsplash
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One thing that has changed for parents is the LGBTQ community. That isn't to say it didn't exist when we were kids, but ten, twenty years ago, it was tougher for people to come out and it wasn't as encouraged. It has been a learning curve for parents to navigate, as it has been for many people. For religious parents, it can be tough to accept, and how to parent your child if you don't support who they are, and for some parents, it may raise questions, even as they support their child. Schools are adjusting, and some parents don't understand it or agree with it, and it can make deciding what to do tough on them.

School Shootings and Mass Shootings

Credit: aijohn784
Credit: aijohn784
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As sad as it is, parents have to be terrified to let their kids go to school, the mall, concerts, or any major gathering these days. In the last few weeks, there have been multiple shootings across the country, with the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas being the biggest. It is scary to leave the house these days, and even scarier to let your children leave. With multiple shootings in the news, from Texas, to multiple ones in Oklahoma and one in Memphis, they are everywhere and it makes deciding how to raise your children tougher. Do you sacrifice socializing for safety these days?

Bullying Is Easier Than Ever

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Credit: Highwaystarz-Photography
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Most kids will deal with bullying sometime in their life. Most of us dealt with it as kids, but bullying has changed since parents went to school. With social media, cell phones, and easier ways to access people than ever before, bullying is easier than it has ever been, and unlike it used to be, it doesn't end at school. When you get home it used to end, but now with access to anyone at any time, children can be bullied around the clock. For parents, this is hard to adjust to, as there isn't much of a way to stop it, unfortunately. It has sadly led to many suicides at a young age, which is a parent's worst nightmare.

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As kids, we thought it would be easy and it would be different, but parenting is hard, no matter when you have had to do it. Times change, the world continues to grow, and our kids will have different issues that we never imagined. The best advice anyone can give a parent is to do the best you can. There aren't any set rules and you can't prepare for many situations. Love your kids and raise them to the best of your ability, because as they grow, so do you as a parent.

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