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8 Bumps

What did the parents of "the greatest generation" do right, that we're doing wrong?

The greatest generation is the WW2 soldiers generation.

People are now calling the current teens and 20 somethings are "the entitled" or "narcissistic" generation.

***disclaimer, when I say "we're doing wrong," it's a generalization, not an individual accusation ***


Asked by Dkhilly at 10:24 AM on Jun. 15, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 18 (5,893 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • I think the roles of parent & child were better defined then. There were rules that were followed and consequences for disobeying them. There was respect for things like the law, your elders, teachers and your parents. Parents didn't have to give a child choices or constant praise to empower them and give them self-esteem. I think that generation was also better socialized. Children went outside to play together and had to learn to get along on their own. Children then were taught about disappointment and you DON'T always get what you want when you want it. They were taught about failure and sometimes your best just isn't good enough because someone else is better. And I think then kids were allowed to be kids. They didn't have a bunch of scheduled activities, they just played.

    Answer by hootie826 at 10:45 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • They expected things from their kids. Didn't let them live at home til they were 30. Didn't dish out awards for "achievements" that are expected(graduating from kindergarten,5th grade,8th grade)

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 10:28 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Moms were home with their children. There was a sense of family, it wasn't everyone for themselves and putting themselves first. People helped each other. Families stayed together (for the most part). Children were taught respect for their elders. There wasn't so much material things, children were happy to have food on the table, especially during the depression. Private things were kept private. Teenagers weren't sleeping around and having babies unless they either didn't talk about it or were married, and then they still didn't talk about it. Love was first, material things were last.

    Answer by attap5 at 10:30 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Discipline, a sense of self-worth arising from accomplishment (or at least, a valiant effort), and a set of values.

    Answer by tinamatt at 10:29 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Each generation of parents does different things.. I don't think we are necessarily doing anything "wrong" just doing things differently.

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 10:27 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Easy.... now adays we place our noses into other's business, we chastize for spanking even though they did, we worry too much about things like foods and ingredients and vaccines, we scare our children from this world, we freak out about not wearing shoes and drinking from the hose, we keep our children locked up instead of letting them play outdoors, also we teach them to judge and call CPS on BS instead of being a united front of parents! Small towns still ave the right philosophy.... everyone looks out for one another, they dont tread on tem and jusdge them! That is why we are moving to a town of 300 people including farmland! People today simply worry too much and judge too much and love and care toolittle! This is a sad place now, and I would love togo back in the days of compassion and understading! I am not lke this, BUT MANY ARE!

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 10:40 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • cont

    Then those kids went on to have kids, never really having ever had parenting modeled for them.

    I'm not bashing the Greatest Generation - my grandparents were part of that, and my grandmother was one of the most amazing people I've ever known. My mom is a Baby Boomer, and I do think that for much of them, there was this attitude, and there was this breakdown in the chain, so to speak.

    I think what we need to do is to focus more on what is really important - do we really need a car with all the gizmos, or would a cheaper car (that we have to work less hours to afford) something we can handle? How about playing a board game instead of buying a video game? Rules like no tv, video games, cell phones, etc at dinner (or in the car - use that time to talk to each other...)

    And set rules and bother to take the time to enforce them....

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:42 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Honestly, I'm not so sure that they did do it right - as far as their kids went. My reasoning for this is that their kids - the "Baby Boomers" were raised to think it was all about them... They were the baby boomers, after all - there was a sense of entitlement, I think, that went with that - like they, because they were part of that generation - were somehow entitled or special (not that we aren't all special, or that EVERY Baby Boomer had this attitude...).

    Those Baby Boomers, raised, as a group, to think the world revolved around them, then went on to be parents, but still keeping the focus on themselves - it's all about them - their career, their relationships, them "finding themselves", they have to be their kid's friend, so the kid thinks they're cool and likes them (as opposed to being a parent and sometimes not being liked).


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:39 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Discipline is something parents refuse to do today. With no discipline it's hard for kids to learn respect.

    Answer by My3Ez at 10:41 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • The depression shaped them in ways we can't imagine today. They did without, they learned to work for what little did have and they learned to depend on themselves and their inner strength. It gave them sense of self, appreciation for life and work ethic- something that has disintegrated with each generation after.

    People now a days have no idea what it' really like to be poor and do without. To work your arse off and EARN a living. They have been raised with abundance and it's caused them to feel entitled to everything. What we need is another depression... sad to say, but that might be the only way to reverse the thinking of the next generation.


    Answer by IhartU at 11:08 AM on Jun. 15, 2011