Different Family Generations
People in a family belong to different generations. They belong to baby boomers generation, traditionalist and generation X. Traditionalists were born between 1925 and 1945, Baby boomers 1946 and 1964 and Generation X members 1965 and 1980. The generations have different parenting practices as evidenced by three members of one family who were interviewed. The interviewees belong to different generations. Interviewee1 belong to traditionalist, interviewee 2 and interviewee 3 belong to baby boomer and generation X respectively (Ritchie, nd). This is evidenced in the genogram below:
The three generations differ in terms of sleeping arrangement, toilet training , bottle weaning , breast feeding , discipline, chores , responsibilities , school, dating rules, extracurricular activities. The traditionalists had different sleeping patterns from baby boomers and generation X members. Generation X members and baby boomers sleep in different rooms according to interviewee 2 and 3. Parents and children sleep in different rooms and parents share a room. Traditionalist’s parents slept in separate houses and children did not have different sleeping places according to interviewee1. Children shared bedrooms and beds during the traditionalist and baby boomer generation. The idea of children not sharing bedrooms or beds started in late 1970s and early 1980s. In generation X children do not share beds and bedrooms because the families are small unlike in traditionalist and baby boomer generation where families were large.
Moreover, traditionalists, baby boomers and generation X had different chores, responsibilities and rules for dating. The traditionalists had strict dating rules unlike baby boomers and generation X. Traditionalists were careful when dating and they were supposed to date the right person. Traditionalists valued morals and the members were supposed to behave decently. Baby boomers also had strict dating rules, but as strict as the ones for baby boomers. Baby boomers were required to be keen when dating as the members were supposed to abide by the social norms and to be morally upright. Generation X members do not have strict dating rules as they date anybody(Prtchard-Boone, 2007).
The members of the three generations have similar chores and responsibilities. In traditionalist generation, Baby boomers and generation, men are considered the head of the house and the mothers are supposed to take of the family members and perform household chores. Men are bread winners and support the families economically. Children are supposed to help their parents where necessary in the three generation. However, things have changed greatly for the last few decades as baby boomers and generation X mothers also provide for the family. They work in organizations and other places so as to support their families.
The family structure has also changed as today there are many single parents who act as bread winners unlike in traditionalist generation according to interview 1,2 and 3. Baby boomer mothers were committed to their duties. The mothers accepted the burden of their duties willingly. They were willing to care for their children. Most of the mothers had little choice as they did not get support from other family members. Traditionalist mothers got support from other family members when raising their children as stated by interview 1. Traditionalist’s mothers lived with extended family members as the extended family was considered part of the family. This is in contrast to generation X and Baby boomers mothers who do not live with the extended family (Prtchard-Boone, 2007).
The three generations also differ in terms of toilet training, breast feeding and disciplining. Baby boomers believed that babies would grow if they were fed on strict four hour schedule. The babies were held over a potty after feeding to move his or her bowel. Toilet training was carried out using a polite language. Baby boomers encouraged bottle feeding and bottle weaning was done at Generation X members believe that babies should not be strictly fed to ensure they are successfully fed. In addition, they believe that the nervous system of the babies is not well developed to be toilet trained. Still use potties when toilet training their children. They also use a polite language so as to avoid scaring the child and ensure the child learns how to use the toilet. Traditionalists did not use a polite language when toilet training their children and encouraged breast feeding of the babies. Babies were successfully breast fed to ensure they were healthy. They did not encourage feeding the baby using bottles (Prtchard-Boone, 2007).
Traditionalists and baby boomers value discipline. Traditionalists and baby boomers use negative methods to discipline their children. They use spanking, scolding and shouting. Today, generation X members rarely scold, shout and spank their children. They use positive methods to discipline their children like withdrawing privileges and praise. Lastly, three generations differs in terms of school and extracurricular activities. According to interviewee1, traditionalists went to school, but women did not have an opportunity to attend school because of social norms and traditions. Baby boomers attended school and women had an opportunity to go to school and have extracurricular activities. They have participated in different sports. Generation X members have benefited a lot from education reforms and attend school. They also have extra curricular activities like sports (Gupta, 2008).
Gupta,L.(2008).A Comparison of Parenting Behavior Between European American and Asian Indian Parents. ProQuest
Prtchard-Boone,A.(2007).The Relation Between Parenting Styles and Attributional Styles Across Generations. ProQuest
Ritchie,J.(nd).New Zealand families. Child- Rearing practices and attitudes. Retrieved from http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/2090/Ritchie%20NZ%20Families.pdf?sequence=1 on 13/07/2012