Rules don’t apply

Roles are getting mixed up and knocked down – and that’s a good thing

A generation ago, families were managed from the top-down – like a traditional corporation with the president/CEO creating and carrying out executive orders with company employees adhering to said president’s wishes.  This type of hierarchy is associated with a patriarchal approach – a masculine perspective where the logical system of doing things is linear – going from A to B to C and so on.

During the prime time of “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It to Beaver,” such a top-down approach worked beautifully. Dad went to work, the kids went to school and Mom – in a dress with an immaculately white apron – stayed home to tend the household. Then the flood gates opened…

You can be sure that families will never be the way they were. And this is good. A prime mover has been financial and creative freedom for women giving them the elbow room to make personal decisions about their livelihood without having to rely on a male to support them. 

Further to this, the re-introduction of matriarchal importance and its influence on western society has not only initiated the #metoo movement, but also brought in a cooperative, non-competitive approach to doing things. Top-down is being replaced by side-by-side where B does not necessarily come after A, and may  allow C to go first.     

You can be certain this flattening of hierarchy creating a sense of equality between Mom and Dad is not confined just to you because you happen to be a Mom or Dad, it is also being felt among your children. Herein lies the incredible change in this generation of kids; they are free to express themselves as much as you are. 

Such as it is, the rules as you have learned them may not always apply.  You’ve shed some of them, and so will your son and daughter. Everything from self-expression in fashion, choice of activity, inclusion of diverse friends, even gender experimentation is open to exploration.

In fact, the malleable family unit is a direct manifestation of this drive toward freedom and equality.  Remember, treat your kids as you would like to be treated. Freedom and equality extend to them, too.