To make matters worse, parenting and the family have been going steadily downhill for sometime now-certainly over the last 60 years.
The family, supported by the extended family, neighborhood, community, church, and school, was once the center of our society, and served to informally train us as parents. But this support system has slowly disintegrated and with it, most of the parent training that did occur.
Clearly, when it comes to preparing children for life, parents are the primary teachers and the family the primary classroom. These are basic truths over the past 60 years:
- Parents and families are receiving less training in an increasingly complex society;
- Parents and families face increasing problems while receiving decreasing support;
- Schools increasing focus on academics, thus further separating from parents and families;
- Each generation becomes less prepared to parent than the previous one.
To measure the consequences of this downhill trend in childrearing, it used to be that having children was the key to a strong family and marital bliss. Now there are presently 35 separate studies that indicate once couples enter parenthood, marital quality drops, often quite steeply, even though studies indicate parents are spending more time with children. Further studies indicate marriages improve once children leave home!