This is a reaccuring theme I have seen on ats, but not only on ats. What is wrong with the next generation, why do people seem more rude? Stressed
out? Slaves to the consumerism industry?
It is hard to put a finger on where exactly things went wrong. We have everything, so why are we so depressed? Many would love to blame the
pharmaceutical companies, but I think the rise in chronic disease and mental illness is not an accident, that is repercussions for spoiling our
While doing some research on bullying for my other thread, I came across this interesting article that gave a viewpoint I had not seen before.
Consider this disturbing fact: The suicide rate among young people in the United States is directly proportional to family income. It is kids from
our wealthy and middle-income suburbs, not our poorest inner-city neighborhoods, who most often take their own lives.
Consequently, in consumerist homes children are steadily apprenticed through childhood as consumers, not producers. Every day, they avidly practice
living as self-absorbed enjoyers and shoppers.
Not surprisingly, youngsters from such picnic-like homes see life as mostly play, a lifetime entitlement to happy amusement. The life of grown-up work
(as they dimly understand it) is solely for piling up "spending money"--we work in order to spend, we produce in order to consume. Who can blame
them for this life-outlook? After all, this is all they experience in family life; and, as we've seen, children learn character mostly from personal
example and repeated experience.
The article goes onto explain that since the children are taught to be never bored, and have always been amused, that when they turn into teens, they
need more and more amusement to satisfy them, so they turns to drugs and alcohol and promiscuity.
For those in the camp that think children get too much stuff, they were on the rat path to this thinking but not wholly so. The parents set up the
life of conumer/producer.
And with the constant pressure to be the perfect parent, and to have to provide to keep up with the Joneses, it is easy to see how families fall into
I have already started teaching my now five year old that if he really wants something, he needs to earn it. He does extra chores that he can do(or
sorta does, its the effort that counts) and save his money. We don't give him everything that he wants.
The article dives inot how parents will do anything to appease their children and avoid a scene. What it doesnt touch on is that these
providers/consumers are so overworked that they don't have the energy to deal with a scene.
What American society does that is very hurtful to family values is this insistence that everyone needs to live seperately and in their own home. Most
cultures around the world live in family units. Grandparents, aunts, uncles. It has nothing to do with wealth in most cases. But we do ourselves a
great injustice in the isolationist practise. In family units. grandparents and aunts help raise the children, giving the parents a break. Neighbors
are allowed to call on your child if they are misbehaving, so they don't get away with it simply because mom and dad are not around. They are not
placed in an institutional setting being cared for by strangers, they get the experience, values, beliefs of the many family members around them. That
is wonderful information to absorb.
Also, there is emotional intelligence, so much emphasis is put on sports in this country, and having a baby genius, that most parents do not know how
to handle emotions. Emotional intelligence is about teaching your child how to handle tough situations. There is a great disservice in thinking a
child should only be happy, and you will do anything to keep that state, hence the indulgetn attitude younger generations have. Children need to be
taught how to identify feelings, and what to do about them. If they are only allowed to show happiness, they now have a dozen other feelings that they
experience, and have no idea what to do with them, leading to depression and anger. A child's feelings, no matter the reason, should never be