10 Ways Parenting Has Changed over the Years

Have you ever wondered how different our lives are today, compared to when we were growing up as kids?

While we have many things to be thankful for in the world we live in today – modern homes to live in and educational games that help kids learn better, among others – sometimes, it may not be such a bad idea to take a break from the buzz and complexities to enjoy the simple pleasures of the good old days.

With that in mind, we’ve made a list of how different things used to be now and back when our parents were in charge:

1. The Home We Live In
Some of us grew up living in kampong homes with the most basic amenities while the rest of us were among the first ones to enjoy living in HDB flats when it was first launched to provide better homes for Singaporeans. Today, our children have the privilege to come home to the comforts modern living – be it in a HDB flat, condominium or a landed home.

2. Games Children Play
Games 2
Growing up as a child, most of us remember spending our free time playing outdoors with our neighbours. Games such as Five Stones, Marbles and Chapteh were our all-time favourites, and we’d make up our own games along the way. These days, our children grow up with a slew of educational games and apps right from the moment they learn to sit up. It might be a good idea to introduce some of these “old school” games to put a fresh spin to play time.

3. Playgrounds with a Difference
As playing outdoors was a way of life for kids of our time, sandbox playgrounds were built at various neighbourhoods in Singapore. Although some of these “old-school” playgrounds still exist at quiet corners of old estates, there are now plastic playgrounds with rubber mats at all housing estates which are deemed to be safer for kids to play in.

Parents also have the choice to take their kids to indoor playgrounds which are located in the comforts of air-conditioned malls. This option is hugely popular with those who are not too keen on outdoor play due to health and hygiene reasons.

4. The Phones We Use
Back then, most of us communicated and keep in touch with family and friends via home phones powered by the Singapore Telephone Board, although most conversations were typically done face-to-face. It was only much later in the 90s that mobile phones came into the picture, and even then, these were much simpler than the array of smartphones that we have today. As a result, relationships and the bonds we form were a lot stronger, especially among parents and their kids as there were no text messages or email distractions when the kids were at home.

5. The Joys of Cartoons
Cartoons either came in black-and-white versions or simple animated illustrations in full colour. As kids growing up, we look forward to watching cartoons on TV every weekend. These days, the cartoons our kids watch come in 3D, high definition and bursting with bright colours – there are also dedicated channels that air these cartoons all-day long. On top of all that, we also enjoy the convenience of recording our kids’ favourite shows for them to watch later on.


From discipline methods to channels for parenting advice, find out how these aspects of parenting has changed over the years on the next page.


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