As a Gen X-er, I grew up with very strict rules and societal norms. Hence, our generation’s penchant for alternative rock. And we had the word “angst” in our teen vocabulary. But fast forward 30 years later, here I am, a mother of a child belonging to a generation whose concept of authority is experiencing a profound shift.
We can already see parents navigating the treacherous waters of a “woke” society. While progress and inclusivity are essential, the unintended consequences of this movement have started to erode parental authority, leaving families grappling with uncertainty and the need to redefine their roles.
The idea of a “woke” society, rooted in social justice and equality, is an essential step towards addressing past injustices and creating a more inclusive world. However, in the fervor of this movement, some individuals have overlooked the unintended consequences it poses for the parent-child relationship. Parents who were once considered the primary authority figures in their children’s lives, now question their roles and values.
One main issue lies in broadening the definition of what constitutes a proper upbringing. As society increasingly advocates for open dialogue and acceptance of diverse perspectives, parents may encounter difficulties in enforcing traditional values or belief systems without fear of being labeled as “intolerant” or “out of touch.” While change is necessary, we must recognize that it doesn’t always happen overnight, and parents should be given the space to navigate this transformation within their families at a comfortable pace.
Moreover, the overwhelming influence of social media and technology has opened doors to unprecedented exposure for children. While access to information is invaluable, it also exposes young minds to a multitude of conflicting ideas, often outside the values held dear by their parents. This digital age has inadvertently diluted parental guidance, making it difficult for parents to retain their authority over their children’s worldviews.
Parenting is a sacred and complex responsibility that requires love, understanding, and, at times, tough decisions. However, when parents fear the repercussions of setting boundaries or instilling values due to societal pressures, it leads to a profound sense of powerlessness. This erosion of parental authority has far-reaching implications for the emotional and psychological well-being of both parents and children.
Instead of fostering an environment that encourages open dialogue and mutual respect between generations, the woke society’s extreme facets have pitted children against their parents, often undermining the foundation of trust and love that family units thrive upon. It is crucial to recognize that the pursuit of social justice should not come at the expense of family cohesion and the nurturing of parent-child bonds.
As we strive for progress, it is essential to strike a balance between advocating for social justice and preserving the sanctity of parental authority. This delicate equilibrium is integral to encouraging open conversations, understanding differing perspectives, and fostering empathy between parents and children.
Parental authority should not be about enforcing archaic beliefs or stifling individuality. Instead, it should focus on instilling values of empathy, compassion, and critical thinking, while still allowing room for self-discovery and personal growth. By acknowledging and addressing the challenges posed by a woke society, we can collectively work towards a harmonious coexistence where the essence of parental guidance is upheld, and the next generation is empowered to be thoughtful, empathetic, and inclusive individuals.
The transition to a woke society should not entail the complete erosion of parental authority. Rather, it calls for a balanced and respectful approach that nurtures mutual understanding and growth between parents and their children. Embracing this evolution with empathy and compassion can ensure that families remain a bedrock of support, understanding, and love, while also contributing to the greater goal of a more inclusive and enlightened society.
Jill Palarca is a licensed professional teacher specializing in Media and Information Literacy, and is also currently the chairperson of Media Educators of Mindanao. She is mom to angels Meryl and Lyanna, and rainbow baby, Andrea.
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