"How do you even Define Success?": Parents' Experiences of Raising Children Today
MetadataShow full item record
The change in our perceptions of parenting only occurred over the last half of the 20th century. Intensive parenting and resilient parenting practices, which coincide with neoliberal social policy and the rise of the risk society, seem to have become the most widely accepted form of parenting. Based on in-depth semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study examines Canadian parents' experiences raising children in a contemporary society. Parents in this study did engage in some intensive parenting practices, regardless of their own beliefs, due to the effective form of popular child-rearing advice as means of social control via judgment and self-blame. Parents question the definition of what it means to raise a successful child and stress open communication as the only way to mitigate risk and to achieve successful development for their children. The social and cultural construction of risk means the very definition of risk often remains undefined in parenting literature. This study addresses this ambiguity by asking parents how they interpret and perceive risk. It aims to contribute to the literature on "risk society" by exploring the meaning of risk in a parenting context, and provides insights into how middle-class parents perceive their own beliefs and practices in relation to broader social and cultural expectations.