‘It’s All About Me, Me, Me!’ Why Children Are Spending Less Time Doing Household Chores
Shi Li , 12 Jan 17
       

Technological inventions have made life easier around the home and have meant fewer and fewer chores for the kids. www.shutterstock.com

In August, Treasurer Scott Morrison warned that “Australia has a generation growing up expecting government handouts”.

Researchers have labelled this the “Me Generation”. Some even say we are facing a “me, me, me epidemic”.

So why have today’s young people become more narcissistic? According to research, the decrease in young people’s levels of empathy is partly the result of changes in parenting styles that came about in the 1980s.

In the past, parents had children as a means to gain practical and even financial support for family survival and to help it thrive. But now, children are perceived as an emotional asset whose primary purpose is being loved. Parents now tend to place greater emphasis on cultivating the happiness and success of their offspring.

What led to this change in parenting style?

From the 1980s onwards, children have spent fewer hours doing chores around the house as living conditions and technology – including the invention of washing machines and dishwashers – have improved.

Nowadays children are no longer perceived as contributors whose work is essential for the survival of the family and its ability to thrive.

Parental focus has shifted from the development of family responsibility to the development of children’s happiness and success.

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