YOUR OPINION: Modern parenting: abandoned by village | Jefferson City News-Tribune

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Maple Mitchell,

Jefferson City

Dear editor

I am a parent, and as the old saying goes, I grew up in a village, surrounded by a network of aunts, uncles, great cousins, grandparents and friendly parents. Although dysfunctional at the best of times, life’s workload was shared. I had a safety net that provided guidance, support and a sense of shared responsibility. But, as time went on, this system of mutual support eroded, leaving my generation to navigate the parenting journey alone.

Desires for independence and adoption of individualistic parenting styles meet in opposition. Our families, instead of providing guidance and understanding, push for conformity, wanting to give us carbon copies of their own family structure ideas. The transition from our communities to parenting without the burden of judgment is challenging enough. This stifling environment has made us long for the freedom to make choices for our families.

Without our village, we lack much-needed breaks or rest. Balancing work, parenthood, romantic partnerships, and maintaining a sense of self-worth can be difficult when there is no mutual support to share the burden. The toll on mental health is severe, leaving us feeling isolated and exhausted.

A lack of compassion in our own communities exacerbates the challenges we face as parents, creating an environment where open communication and understanding is replaced by harsh criticism. The problem of parents leaving the traditional village that once brought us up shows the need for a change in society’s attitude. Building a new village, one that embraces differences in parenting styles and offers genuine support, is essential to the well-being of parents and our children. Recognizing the challenges parents face today and fostering a more compassionate and understanding society is important to future generations of parents.

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