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Why Today’s Parents Are Taking Their Children with Them ~ EVERYWHERE

From fine dining restaurants to work-related travels, parents today are taking their children with them more frequently than in previous generations.  Why is this trend occurring?  While many factors contribute to this societal shift, the four main factors are presented below.

1.      Parents, who often are either single working parents or married with both spouses working, feel like they are missing quality time with their children due to their hours spent at work, on the commute to and from work, etc.  In order to spend more time with their children, these parents take their children with them to activities to which children would not otherwise have been invited.

2.      Children can communicate via and be entertained by advanced technology not available to previous generations, thus minimizing the children’s negative perceptions of their involvements in some adult activities.  For example, where once a child did not want to travel overnight just because Dad had a business trip (i.e., the child would not be able to be with his/her friends during that time), the child may object less strenuously now that s/he can call his/her friends and communicate with them using their cellular telephones.  Using their laptop computers and the hotel’s WIFI, they can play multi-player online games with their friends.  They can even video teleconference their boy-/girlfriends.

3.      Society is becoming more casual.  Black tie affairs are becoming less common.  Events that would once have been quite formal are now child-friendly.  Even in somewhat formal and structured environments, parents may assume that their children’s indiscretions will be tolerated more so than in previous generations.

4.      With a growing awareness of the psychosocial ramifications of human interactions, younger generations are viewing relationships in a more egalitarian (less hierarchical) manner.  It is no longer believed that “children should be seen and not heard”.  Parents are seeking their children’s input on matters that affect them, and parents are validating their children’s perspectives.  Command-and-control parenting techniques are giving way to parental coaching, counseling, and negotiating techniques.  This more egalitarian parenting style intentionally blurs the distinctions between “parent” and “child”, and this opens the door to greater inclusion in each other’s activities.

The above four factors contribute significantly to the societal shift of parents taking their children with them to a broader range of parental activities.

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