It’s difficult to make generalities about generations but our involvement in our children’s lives has gone on for a much longer period than our parents were involved with us. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing, it is just a thing.
We were raised in a different time. Many of us had stay-at-home mothers who were dedicated to us during early childhood. Living close to our elementary school, Mom always had lunch ready for us at home. Taking a bag lunch to school was a rare treat. There are likely few children who go home for lunch these days. In spite of this level of parental care, as we grew into adults we seemed more motivated to flee the nest and our parents seemed more likely to give us the gentle push we needed to leave.
I wonder if the fact that now both parents work we have tried to compensate by being more engaged with our children in terms of providing them with extracurricular activities when they were young but also being available to them 24/7 as they become young adults. Has the fact we were separated by work from our young made both parent and child more anxious and this anxiety has led both parties to seek a stronger and longer bond?
When we were young adults, if we were at a distance and wanted to contact our parents we had to find a phone and hope they were at home to receive the call. Now we can send texts instantaneously allowing us to be connected at all times to our children. This provides a direct connection that sustains our daily relationship with our children into their adulthood.
A large part of it is the financial support that young adults need these days to make it on their own in a challenging job and home ownership/rental environment. The transfer of wealth from generation to generation is often taking place while both parties are still alive as parents help their adult children find their financial footing.
Is this a bad thing? Anything that sustains a loving relationship between a parent and child is good. Inevitably the relationship will evolve into one of equals - it may just take a little longer with our generation due to the social and economic pressures of the modern world. If we are fortunate to live long enough, our children may even take on a parental role with us, insuring we are safe and cared for in our later years.