When it comes to raising children, some things never change. For centuries, moms and dads have worked hard to provide a good education, nutritious food, everyday safety, medical care, and much more to youngsters from infancy to early adulthood. The natural human instinct seems to cover all the bases from day-one. Times and social customs change, but the basics never really fluctuate. That’s why parents of the 2020s are doing many of the same things that they would have done 50 or 100 years ago. What are those core responsibilities that fathers and mothers carry, in any era?

Here’s a summary of the top four ways parents help transform their charges into responsible adults.

Enhancing Education

Many families are taking advantage of the home school movement, which puts the power of educational choice back in the hands of the people who care most about what is taught in classes, the families themselves. One of the newest twists on home schooling is larger classrooms that are based in rented property within a community. One or two families oversee the education of perhaps 20 or more neighborhood children at a time.

Sending Kids to College

Helping high school age students select, gain admission to, and pay for a college education is perhaps the single most essential responsibility of the modern parent. Why not do it the smart way by sending them off to school with a low-rate loan? In the 2020s, the wisest option is something called a Private Parent Loan. It’s non-federal, is designed only for undergraduate studies, and does not financially obligate the student in any way. In contrast to many other kinds of education loans, Parent Loans are signed only by one or both parents, not the student. There’s no cosigning at all, just a simple loan to cover the cost of college that is in the parent’s name. These are an excellent way to help give your children an education and not burden them with heavy amounts of debt upon graduation.

Protecting Young Drivers

Getting a driver’s license at the age of 16 is a well-established rite of passage in modern society. It’s also the cause of major insomnia on the part of moms and dads of teenagers. The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to make sure they are safe behind the wheel. Start with driver education classes. They’ll teach the basics and how to shop around for lower insurance rates. Add kids onto your insurance for the best prices on policies. Decide whether to share vehicles within the family or provide cars for young drivers. Finally, be strict with rules about impaired driving, tickets, and any unsafe form of operating a vehicle. This is one situation where a strong dose of tough love can literally save a child’s life.

Having the Right Insurance

The art of being a responsible parent is not just about having the most suitable car insurance coverage but includes things like maintaining medical coverage for all family members, making sure kids get to see a dentist at least once per year, and getting all-around homeowners’ insurance so that your living space is financially secure.