This does not come as no big surprise to most of us that happen to be conscious; there is a big difference between the children growing up in the 80’s and 90’s and those growing up in this generation, in today’s society. In many ways, today’s children and youth are the product of the times in which they live. Children of the past performed more outdoor activities and had better communication skills than the children of today. Communication skills were better because of the demand for more verbal and physical interaction. Whereas today’s communication is guided by text and social media.
Changes can be attributed to several different factors which include but are not limited to;
- Change in parenting techniques and style. It was not uncommon for the children of yester- year to get a spanking from parents or other adults for undesirable behavior. Neighborhoods used to parent the children and adolescents that lived in that particular neighborhood. However, changes in acceptable and allowable parenting practices have all but taken away a parent’s ability to discipline their children, yet continuing to hold parent culpable for their children defiant and egregious acts.
- Outdoor play and socializing has been all but eliminated. Children growing up in today’s society spend more time with electronic devices than they do spending time outdoors, socializing with friends (in the same physical environment) with siblings or parents. In fact, in many homes, kids are being parented by technology than they do by the very people that have given them life. Children spend most of their time in front of a television set, laptop, computer screen phone, or other electronic device.
- Parents tend to give into their children’s demands more than ever. Today’s parents are more fixated on their appearances and how they are perceived by others than at any of the time in the past. In order to avoid conflict or give off the perception of a problem a lot have parents have made a conscious decision to give into their children’s demands. Parents often give into these demands even if the demands are not in the best interest of the children. It is not uncommon for today’s parents to confuse wants with true needs.
- Scales of power have become tipped in the wrong direction. Although it is normal for a child to be self-centered, the scales have tipped in such a way that some children have no regard for others not even their parents. The extreme sense of self-entitlement that we are seeing in today’s children is dangerous to society and to the child who has no sense of connection to others.
- Children are not held culpable or responsible for their actions. In the past when children made a mistake they were not only held responsible but were made to answer for their “crimes”. Punishment was usually doled out in the form of additional chores around the house, yard, helping out an older relative or neighbor, etc. However, today’s youth engage in a series of inappropriate behaviors without any punishment or corrective actions. Therefore, many of today’s youth never acquire a true and accurate understanding of what it means to be truly repentant for his or her negative behaviors. Children whose misbehaviors and small failures are brushed under the rug do not learn from their mistakes, but tend to repeat and escalate in negative behaviors.
In order to change the course of negative parenting and the development of selfish, self-entitled young adult’s parents need to reclaim their roles as parents. Parents are encouraged to re-enforce their roles as parents not their child’s friend or peer. Parents are parents for a reason, we are placed in charge of children to become their guide, leader, mentor to usher them on to identifying their purpose in life. Parents are responsible for helping their children identify and develop their natural strengths, morals, values, integrity and humanity. Without instilling in our children what it means to be healthy, respectful, and upstanding adults we leave them ill equipped to function appropriately within the world, leading to an unhealthy chaotic future for future children and families.