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Perhaps the biggest force for change in parent-child relationships lies in parents’ worries about their ability to transmit their class status to their children.As the economy has grown more competitive and entrepreneurial, many parents seek to give their child a leg up, and as a result invest more time and resources in enrichment activities: reading to their children, conversing with them, and providing toys and activities aimed at enhancing their development. Most parents not only expect to contribute to their children’s college education, but to its aftermath: To supporting them during their twenties and helping them, later, in making a down payment on a house.When parents lose their trust to their children, they become aloof and estrange.
Equally important is a profound reversal in parental expectations.
Today’s parents receive sharply conflicting messages about whether or not to prioritize academics and other accomplishments or, instead, give their children free time, freedom, and free range to explore their environment.
At the same time, parents have grown far more sensitive to the risks that their children face, both physical and psychological.
Early in time, parents expected their children to love them.
Today, in stark contrast, parents seek to ensure that their children love them.