Despite not having a kid, I was caught up by the themes of parenting and child psychology wherever I received my news and entertainment lately. It might be a coincidence by I tried to make sense of the reason behind the trend. I was talking to my friend about how parenting affects our lives just today.

What does parenting do?

Parenting plants and make clear of value during the growth of the children. It tells us the basic about the world through their life experiences. Many have implanted the traditional and religious values along, and this mainly seen in the Asian community. The expectation they have for their children are mostly shaped by what the society expects from them. Parenting makes sure that the children meet the expectation.

What are the parenting models out there?

The NPR has an excellent talk about this. There are two models of parenting; carpenter and gardener. The carpenter rises their children with a “manual book.” They precisely know what they want their children to be and therefore give a strict learning model. While on the other hand, the gardener provides protected space for their children to explore and gain diverse experience.

So what works now? Why is culture talking about parenting again?

The 2018 movies such as Three Identical Stranger, Beautiful Boy, Searching, Eight Grade, Won’t you be my neighbor?, Leave no Trace, Hearts Beat Loud, a Kid like Jake; are hinting at parenting. The movies are not about and for the children, but mostly for parents or to be parents. Parenting is much harder in this time when real values distorted by overwhelming information from array range of unfiltered medium. What considered a clear value back in our parents time (baby boomers) are not the same today.

We now live in the time when multiracial, gender fluid, and nomadic living style become more common. The carpenter method yet does not work in the time when the industry needs diversity the most especially we have AI (algorithm) to do the inside-the-box job for us. We need to be more like a gardener that promotes diversity and respect their freedom to choose.

I’m not a parent, but I do feel that the carpenter and gardener also work on leadership and teamwork. At work in a team, a clash of values is better than being close-minded at all. This gives the opportunity to construct a common value that works for all.