Affection and authority: Pillars of modern parenting Affection and authority: Pillars of modern parenting

Affection and authority: Pillars of modern parenting

Small giants 27 June, 2017 Isabel Vallejo


A recent study by The Family Institute at the University of La Sabana shows how fathers’ parenting styles have changed over the last three generations.

Fathers have traditionally been associated with discipline, which can turn violent at times when it is put into practice, and for generations, has led to the child being separated from maternal affection. This has changed over time and the way of handling and disciplining children today is complemented by showing affection,” says Andrés Cano, professor at the Instituto de La Familia (The Family Institute) at the University of La Sabana and head of the study.

According to the study’s report, the authority of the father figure in Colombia from three different generations can be classified into three different forms of power.

Born between 1920 and 1949, who today could be great grandparents, baby boomer fathers were the only providers for their home. They lived by the phrase, “to spare the rod is to spoil the child,” and part of raising their children included using violence as way to exercise their authority.

Born between 1950 and 1979, and despite coming from the legacy of their parents, Generation X faced the feminist revolution and laws began to protect children, which is why the way this generation exercised their authority began to change.

Last is Generation Y (Millennials), the fathers of today who, “…have replaced physical force with dialogue, hitting with affection, and little by little, punishments have no longer become the norm.” These are fathers that are much more committed to parenting and are more involved in the chores of the house.