Though comparison is hardly ever a good idea, we naturally tend to get our bearings from what others are doing and from the ‘communal standard’ that helps shapes our expectations. It’s easy to look around at other parents, other families, and to feel pretty ok about how you’re doing with your own brood. Here’s why you shouldn’t: ‘modern American parenting’ is so far removed from how most people have raised children, through most of history that a look into by-gone eras is a more thoughtful standard to aspire to rather than your mom’s group culture. “Certainly, the 21st Century presents particular parenting challenges: the rise of social media and the 24/7 day, globalization, changing demographics and adult roles, high-stakes testing in earlier and earlier grades.”
Kids are spending way less time outdoors than ever before in history. “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” outlines this endemic brilliantly. Today when children are outdoors they tend to be in fenced in yards if they are lucky, or else (usually) strapped into a stroller or carrier of some kind. Older children tend to participate in adult-led organized sports rather than playing or making up games with their own rules.