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Children adopt new behaviors during growth and development because they interact with peers and other people in the environment (Bauer, 2009). A child can copy negative or positive behaviors depending on the behaviors of people with whom he or she spends most of the time. People experience significant changes in their behaviors as they continue to interact with others, especially peers. Apart from interacting with other people in the environment, children can also learn negative or positive behaviors due to media, such as watching television, spending time over the Internet, perusing through magazines and newspapers, or listening to radio (Strom & Strom, 2010). Therefore, within ten years, a child will acquire substantial amount of information, which will determine how they will behave in the society. Parents experience hardship as they bring up their children, especially during the stage of adolescence when children desire freedom. Most children start to commit acts of violence in their schools, on the streets, or at home when they attain the stage of puberty (Strom & Strom, 2010). The main objective of this discussion is to consider how peer pressure, television shows, the Internet, and adult unemployment worsen the behaviors of children with time and to give the recommendations.

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The development of self among children occurs when they socialize with other people, such as peers, relatives, and teaches in the surroundings (Harris, 2009). A variety of factors like socioeconomic status, occupations of parents and ethnic identity have a significant impact on how families will socialize children. Some children grow up in families where parents display deviant behaviors, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug abuse (Harris, 2009). Such children will copy the deviant behaviors and influence other children during socialization at school.  Research shows that children adopt most of their deviant behaviors as they socialize with their peers, especially at school (Harris, 2009). Socialization of children with others continues to increase as they grow up. Peer influence has a significant effect on the development behaviors among children. Children from families with parents who possess deviant behaviors have a high likelihood of affecting the behaviors of other children negatively (Harris, 2009). Therefore, children may display worse behaviors today than they used to do in the past.

Another agent that continues to influence the behaviors of children with time is media, such as the television shows and advertisements (Strom & Strom, 2010). Ten years ago, a number of families did not have television sets because the new technology was still expensive. In addition, parents or guardians could not allow their children too much freedom to watch programs at their homes or their friends’ homes. Research has shown that today, most families have acquired television sets and other media gadgets (Strom & Strom, 2010). Nowadays, most parents allow their children to behave according to their own wishes. Because of too much freedom, children are likely to spend many hours watching television shows and advertisements. They watch movies that include violent characters and adopt the violent behaviors, which they practice on their peers in school. Advertisements may also affect children in a negative manner when the advertised commodities include cigarettes, alcohol, and other substances (Strom & Strom, 2010). Because of curiosity, children may try to access and use the substances. This will turn the children into drug abusers and drunkards, which have a close relaionship with robbery, burglary, and murder in the society. Therefore, television shows and advertisements are among the factors that have influenced children negatively in the contemporary society due to freedom and availability of gadgets such as television sets (Strom & Strom, 2010).

Internet is another agent that affects the behaviors of children in the contemporary society. Many families and learning institutions have acquired computers and the Internet because the cost is cheaper than it was ten years ago (Strom & Strom, 2010). Adoption of technology at homes and schools has taken place with the main aim of facilitating formal learning and long distance communication. However, research has shown that children in the contemporary society display socialization problems because of the social sites that they visit over the Internet (Strom & Strom, 2010). The use of Internet can weaken familial connections among those children who spend most of their time interacting with friends over social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Parents may not be able to influence the behaviors of their children, who spend many hours over the Internet, because of physical separation or emotional distance. Children spend many hours playing computer games and interacting with their peers over the Internet (Strom & Strom, 2010). Violent computer games increase hostility and aggression in children and desensitize children. Such children show reduced empathy, and they become a threat to security in the society. Some children may engage themselves in distributing pornographic materials over the Internet, which is deviant behavior (Strom & Strom, 2010).

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Computer technology can also include the cell phones, which almost every child owns in the contemporary society. Ten years ago, mobile phones were so costly that parents could not afford to buy for their children. Research has shown that the use of mobile phones has worsened the behavior of children significantly in a number of ways (Strom & Strom, 2010). When children attain the stage of puberty, phones influence their sexuality in a negative manner. For instance, some teens use their cell phones to send pornographic pictures to the opposite sex counterparts, which arouses the sexual desire (Strom & Strom, 2010). Therefore, individuals start to distribute pornographic materials as early as during the stage of adolescence if they can access Internet and the appropriate gadgets like phones and personal computers. Some children disturb others in their classrooms in terms of ringtones and alarms. Such a behavior can lower academic performance because children may not concentrate upon disruptions. The behavior of cheating in the examination has risen significantly in today’s learning institutions because most children own mobile phones that have cameras and the Internet connection. Students use the camera to copy notes, which they retrieve during the examination (Strom & Strom, 2010). They can also search for the answers over the Internet because this enables them to access dictionaries, encyclopedia, and thesaurus. In the past, children had no option, but to memorize the information and do their examination independently, which in turn improved their memories and promoted autonomy and critical thinking among children.

Research has shown that, in the present day, unemployment rates among adults have increased (Zuckerman, Augustyn, & Caronna, 2011). Unemployment of adults translates directly to the worsened behavior of children in the contemporary society. Nowadays, various factors like domestic violence, substancce abuse, and incarceration, have affected steady employment among adults in America. Some parents start to use substances once they get employed because of the constant income (Zuckerman, Augustyn, & Caronna, 2011). Such parents depend on substances with time, which make them behave inappropriately even at the workplace. Such an issue increases the chances of losing a job because the employers may discover the undesirable behaviors. The family income declines abruptly when one of the parents loses his or her job. Therefore, the lifestyle of the family members may change negatively due to low income. Children may engage themselves in unethical activities to acquire money to maintain their lifestyle upon reduction in family income (Harris, 2009). The activities to acquire money may include thievery, prostitution, robbery, and drug trafficking. Some children may copy their parents’ deviant behaviors of drug use and abuse. Therefore, in most cases, the changes in the behavior of children during growth and development depend on the wellbeing of their parents as well as the appropriate role models (Harris, 2009).

Recommendation

Parents, teachers, and guardians have the responsibility to maintain the desirable behavior in children and rectify the undesirable behaviors once they occur (Harris, 2009). Technology gadgets like mobile phones, computers, and television sets have become more accessible to children than it was the case ten years ago. Therefore, parents are responsible to govern their children on the usage of these gadgets. For instance, they should reduce the length of time that their children spend over the Internet or watching television shows. Parents should also monitor what their children upload or download over the Internet (Harris, 2009). Such measures will reduce the incidents of distributing pornographic materials over the Internet. Some television shows may lead to hostile and aggressive behaviors among children.

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Conclusion

It is true that children behavior is worse today than it was ten years ago because of many contributing factors. Peer group influence is one of the factors that affect the behavior of children negatively (Bauer, 2009). Children interact more with their peers than they interact with their parents at home. Another factor that enhances the development of negative behaviors in children is the presence of gadgets, such as the television sets, computers, and mobile phones (Strom & Strom, 2010). Many families and schools afford these gadgets more easily than it was the case in the past. Internet has also become cheaper, and the youth can access it and spend many hours with it. Research has shown that children develop aggressive and hostile behaviors when they watch some television shows or when they play some computer games (Harris, 2009). Sexual behaviors have become worse because of the Internet, which today’s children use to distribute pornographic materials among the peers (Strom & Strom, 2010). Instances of examination cheating have also increased significantly among children in schools today compared to what was ten years ago. Unemployment of parents may affect the behavior of children in a negative manner (Zuckerman, Augustyn, & Caronna, 2011). In some cases, children resort to engaging in unethical activities such as thievery, prostitution, robbery, and drug trafficking to maintain their lifestyle. It is the responsibility of parents, teachers, and guardians to maintain the desirable behaviors of their children (Harris, 2009).

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