The capitalist society has given us so much besides better quality of life. It has given us facilities and luxury but it has taken away the time needed to enjoy that leisure. People are now more aware of their rights and possibly more conscious of their emotions but still couples are finding it increasingly hard to stay together. Kids it seems have their own load of problems to take care of since a very small age.
Amazingly, many of these problems are simply brushed off in the name of technological development, smartness, necessity, frustration and even maturity. People are leaving their innate zones- the zones that they had been created for. Mothers are leaving homes with babies merely a few days old being put into daycare’s, fathers are conceived to be natural bank provided by god and nothing else. The whole relationship thing has come down to give and take which is is accurate as 2 + 2 = 4 (not 2.5 and not 1.99 but 4). Compassion and humanity are gradually leaving our daily lives. We need to be aware of problems that our youth is facing and not just write about them rather we need to raise awareness to solve these issues.
10. Broken families, Single parent homes
More children than ever are living with single parents today. It is either because of unwanted pregnancies or broken relationships or because of high divorce rates. Young parents hardly find each other compatible in terms of marriage. So this issue does not only affect the children but also the young parents. The LGBT concept and the adoption of kids by gay couples has paved way to unnatural family setups. Whilst it seems wonderful to the Kindergarten child to have two dads who are both money banks and providers- it leaves out a huge gap that can be filled by a mom alone. The absence of one parent also creates lack of care and supervision for the kids. They become susceptible to other problems like emotional abuse, early relationships, drugs, unwanted pregnancy and so on.
9. Drugs and alcohol
21% high school students have admitted that they have been high and 41% from the same group said that they had alcohol. There was a time in cinematic history when smoking was considered “cool” and everyone including women was shown to carry a cigarette of any kind between their fingers. Today the concept has changed. Drugs are not shown to be cool and the rare appearance of such on film for example in The Tourist starring Johnny Depp, is given with a disclaimer and explicit narration that it is “electronic”!
8. Earlier onset of maturity
There was a time when kids enjoyed being kids. Occasionally a kid dressed up in his or her mom’s clothes and carried dad’s briefcase around but that was deemed innocent and fun. Even the elders enjoyed it. Now kids as young as 10 and 11 are getting intimate with their partners. The media including innocent looking cartoons have taken their toll on a child’s growth. Kids want to grow up fast and have kids. They feel too childish to be children. Even kids songs have implied sexual notes along with entire series marketed to kids dealing with intimacy.
7. Violence in Schools
When a mom decided to homeschool her kid the response of other parents as, “I don’t blame you, schools are so unsafe today.” Growing up is tough enough and add the tension of being stabbed or killed in math class to the kids’ problems and see what happens. Schools especially in poorer and backward areas today are literal war zones. It goes beyond the regular bullying as kids become victims of shootings, stabbing and suicide. The purpose of a school is to prepare a kid for the future endeavors after school but like many other things in life, schools are losing their essence.
We are instilling materialism in our kids because the concept of shopping “when you need” and discarding when you do not need it is gradually disappearing. Kids usually wear what they see with their friends. We need to let them know that they can’t get everything even if their parents can afford it. Owning stuff is not a measure of success and happiness. You do not earn because you want to get more stuff in the home. We are raising materialistic kids who always have their eyes on the next thing that they want.
Our kids are getting fatter and fatter. 20% of American kids are rather obese which brings it pretty much outside the safe range. We can obviously owe this to fast food and technology like tablets and play stations. Interestingly now kids even play cricket on Wii or Play Stations. It is rather ironic to walk on remote controlled cars and burn calories!
4. Educational disparity
Access to education and following the American Dream depend on the neighbourhood that kids live in. Being American is not enough. If you are in suburbs or from the Latin or African American minority then it is likely that the kids will be attending a school that lacks many necessities. Asians and Whites on the other hand have better access to education and opportunity.
A few decades ago, a high school graduate could find work in a factory and continue to work there for the rest of his life with a fairly decent lifestyle. Today even multiple college degrees can’t guarantee a good job to students after they graduate. The world is now a global economy. What happens in Japan or China can have major effects on the stock prices in America. Developed countries used to sustain through their own manufacturing but with the passage of time the manufacturing is being outsourced to other countries where labour rate is low.
The gap between the income levels of the society is increasing by the year. If only people would buy what they need and not what they want- fewer kids would be teased at school. Nearly 50% of the American children are living in poverty. And, if American children are in poverty then imagine where the rest of the world is standing. Poverty is the impetus to inappropriate social behaviors and problems. It also obstructs development and learning.
1. Collective identity diminishing
The Americans are gradually losing their collective identity. If it is not my kid then it doesn’t bother anyone. American kids are getting obese doesn’t disturb people. American kids are suffering from increased abuse does not bother people anymore. People are more concerned with what is happening in their family, oblivion to the fire that is gradually encroaching their home too.
Youth is the future of any country. America is the superpower of a uni-polar world which is why we look to it in matters as such. In order to make the world a better place for our future generations, we need to look into these issues NOW. It is not a matter of years rather it would take decades before we can see any difference should we choose to have things changed.