There's a story told about a newly qualified psychologist who gave a series of lectures on “How to raise your child.” Five years later, he became a father and changed the title of his lectures to 'Suggestions on how to raise your child.' When his second child was born, and he was faced with the reality of dealing with two young children, he gave up lecturing!
Many parents have lost confidence in their ability to rear children. Years ago, when large families were common, young parents expected and accepted help and support from grandparents.
Older siblings often took care of their younger brothers and sisters. The result was they had a lot of experience of caring for babies and toddlers before having children of their own.
In this era of small families, many parents have no experience of minding children until they are faced with the responsibility of their own child. A small number want to rear their children in exactly the same way as they were reared. But most want to do it differently – and this can create problems.
Today many parents involve children in all sorts of decisions. Even toddlers are consulted about what they want to eat and what clothes they want to wear. Older children, who grow up being involved in making these decisions, have expectations that their opinion counts.
Some people view this as a positive step. They believe that giving children choices allows them to feel they have a measure of control over their own experience. Others hold fear is that this consultation either spoils children or makes them adult before their time.
Why children need rules (catholicireland.net)