The advice literature for parents has become unmanageable. Parents receive a lot of well-intentioned advice on parenting and school issues. Not only are there countless guidebooks, but relevant websites and weblogs for children from infancy to adolescence are also proliferating on the Internet. Parents see themselves confronted in these sources with the most diverse methods, how then now their education can succeed.
The parenting task needs to be mastered every day, whether in the early years or during puberty, but similar questions arise again and again: How do parents find the right balance between protecting and setting limits, between being consistent and letting go? How can you accompany your children on their way in life? How can you take into account the constantly changing needs of your children without wearing yourself out?
This is why we find a high level of uncertainty among educators about giving children rules and also limits, because many parents feel that they are impairing the children’s development by doing so. Yet rules can also provide security. Parenting has changed a lot in the last few decades, not least because of the new media. The biggest change is that parents today put their children on an equal footing, but this also puts them under excessive demands and requires them to make decisions that really belong at the adult level.
There is a great deal of uncertainty about finding one’s own role, which is especially true for fathers, because they are increasingly being asked to participate in the upbringing of their children, not least as a result of social pressure. It is not uncommon for fathers to have their own father in mind, while mothers per se are more concerned with their role and tend to overcompensate and overmother.
Parents therefore need to find the right balance between these new challenges.