Change is inevitable and reflects in all spheres of life and throughout the life of an individual from childhood to adulthood. What was popular and prominent fifty years ago is termed as an old school today or obsolete, and is no longer relevant, as newer items have overtaken it. For instance, diseases that would kill people a few years ago, now have vaccines but other conditions have emerged that kills or affect human in similar dimensions. One of the significant areas of change is the relationship between parents and children, and the behavior of the latter in the modern world. According to Chung and Li, many children remained innocent and without significant adverse occurrences about their conduct (2). Parents would nurture children's imaginations and beliefs such as the Santa Clause myth or the Fairy tooth godmother. However, in today's world, children are not as innocent as they were a few years ago as they have been exposed to new and divergent changes that shape their minds from an early age. This paper aims to evaluate and compare the behavior of children in the past in comparison to the present times where their behavior has worsened.
Nowadays, it is common to find children screaming and yelling in the supermarket while on a shopping visit with their parents. The children become rowdy and even cause embarrassing scenes to their parents. The yelling kids are hell-bent on getting specific items they want their parents to buy for them. Failure to meet their demands, the young ones may scream or even utter means words towards their parents, something, which was impossible in the past generations. In a desperate attempt to silence them, most parents give in to their demands. They buy the item even though it was not budgeted for. An opinion poll that was conducted in 2012 shows that many people had seen more bad behavior in children than they had seen twenty years ago (Grose 1). Such a survey strikes an exciting conversation surrounding children behavior.
The behavior of children is worse than it was a few years ago because a few years ago, violence in the society as well as in popular media was not widespread as it is today. Although there were few crime incidences, children would be shield from it. For example, action movies would be rated R if they were too graphic for children. Further, access to adult films was highly regulated, making it difficult for children to access such material. The adult films could only be accessed from an adult movie store and sold in secrecy (Grose 1). Video games were friendly for children. They would play games that would challenge their minds. Playing video games was one way that children would bond with their parents. In today's world, video games that have flooded the market are violent with killings and shooting (Grose 1). The games are harmful because they glorify violence. Children exposed to such games develop a cynical notion that believes that violence is justifiable and a pleasurable act. Further, such kids rarely go outside to play or visit the park to build sand castles with other children as it was in the past. They would instead lock themselves in their rooms and play violent video games with strangers online that interact with others in the neighborhood. In today's world, action stars that kill people in the video games or movies have been glorified. It is not shocking to hear a three old boy mention action figures who star in violent action movies, for example, Dwane Johnson popularly known as The Rock, as their role model, just because of their violent depictions on media. They want to be like them thus fueling the violent behavior or tendencies, which eventually make them bad behaved, compared to children of a few years ago.
According to Chung and Li, how a child behaves heavily depends on what disciplinary action a parent is taking (1). This is mainly because parents play a huge role in shaping their children mentally and physically. Presently, children are hardly disciplined as parents are not only unwilling to do so but are also hindered by other societal factors. For example, there are new laws in schools that prevent teachers from applying corporal punishment like spanking them. A teacher who whacks a child can be sued and arrested, so are parents who beat their children in public as they can be accused of abusing the young ones (Rintoul 45). Such laws did not exist a few years ago, and parents took it upon themselves to ensure their children behaved. Such an approach provided that children respected and obeyed their parents. Further, at the time, they would do their chores and duties without complaining perhaps because of the fear of being spanked, but mainly because they would not dare disobey their parents. In modern societies, parents are like slaves to their children. Children are so spoilt that they cannot do their chores and parents have no choice but to clean up after them. Children talk back, yell, and disrespected their parents openly. Most parents condone such behavior because they do not want their children to make them feel unloved (Rintoul 50). In this society, parents cannot dare spank their children, and instead, they ground them and withhold certain privileges. However, parents fail to notice that in an attempt to please their children, they spoil them too much, which eventually leads to bad behavior.
History shows that technology is one of the best inventions that man has ever created. For instance, people from Asian can comfortably communicate with friends in the United States of America. Technology has improved lives and affected strongly on some issues such as health matters. Vaccines and cures have become readily available due to technology. As much as technology has numerous advantages, a double-edged sword cuts both ways as evident from its negative influence on children that leads to bad behavior. A few years ago, technology was not as developed as it is today and was only accessible to few people. As such, its damage was not as extensive. However, currently, technology has taken over almost everything in the world. The traditional lifestyle has changed to accommodate approach that is more modern. Parents no longer talk to their children; they text them instead (Winther 6). Children no longer watch the television; instead, they stream movies online. Technology has brought a severe drift from how things were a few years ago. In the past, if children wanted money from their parents, they would talk to them in person, unlike today where they text the requests to them. Technology has exposed children to things that they could not have accessed a few years ago (Winther 9). There include contents such as pornography sites that are unregulated on the internet, and are readily accessible to underage people. In today's society, almost everyone can post whatever material he or she pleases through various social media accounts. Such materials may include vulgar language that should be censored for children. This culture cultivates into the young minds of children, and eventually, they adapt to speaking such languages (Grose 2). It is not uncommon today, to hear a child splat out a curse word.
Another major factor that has worsened the behavior of children as compared to previous generations is the increase in crimes committed against them all over the world. Children are being kidnapped and trained to be young soldiers in many countries where they are exposed to extreme violence. Children who experience trauma and torture while still very young may grow up to be serial killers or attain other maladaptive behaviors. On the contrary, those raised in a good family have a chance of turning out well (Rintoul 7). A few years ago, crime was not as covered in the media as it is today. However, currently, many news and TV networks focus publicizing violence, whether in the society or movies. They show graphic images of children suffering because of war. Such a scenario creates a violent environment for children, even those that are not directly affected. Children raised in bad neighborhood misbehave over the years because they emulate the tendencies of people around them (Rintoul 45. They copy their code of dressing, their way of talking, and actions. As much as a parent would want to protect them from such behaviors, it is inevitable because that is the environment they live in.
New laws and policies may have contributed to the change in children behavior. In the past, divorce was not as accepted openly as it is today (Chung and Li 1). Research shows that separation of parents is a crucial factor contributing to behavior changes in children. Most children are not spared the dirt that comes with it. Further, with divorce, children are likely to be neglected and exposed to poverty and other hardships that make them vulnerable to the company. This makes them feel unloved and unwanted. Most of them blame themselves for their parent's divorce. Such children change from loving and obedient children to rebellious ones as they search for love.
Children deserve to be loved and protected. The behavior, over the years, ought to improve not change for the worse. Perhaps parents and the education system should introduce some traditional methods of disciplining children because they are the future generation. They should be protected, and their innocence preserved so that they can also pass it to their children. Children are a free-spirited, and their drastic change in behavior means that the society is failing. The community has neglected the role it plays in shaping the behavior of young children. Parents are responsible for how their children behave. The mode of discipline they use and the morals their parents teach them cultivate a young child into a responsible adult. As much as other factors are to blame, the sole responsibility of how children behave squarely falls on the society.
Chung, Jui, and Allen Li. "The Kids Are OK: Divorce and Children's Behavior Problems." Rand Labor and Population, 2007, p. 1-3.
Grose, Michael. "The Good and the Bad of Digital Technology for Kids." Insights vol. 1, 2013, p.1-2.
Rintoul, Betty. Factors in Child Development. North Carolina: Research Triangle Institute, 2015.
Winther, Daniel. "How Does The Time Children Spend Using Digital Technology Impact Their Mental Well-Being, Social Relationships, And Physical Activity?" UNICEF: Office of Research, 2017, p. 1-37.
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