Innocent babies break fresh ground, happily and surprisingly explore and perceive our world. However, lots of them become rebellious teenagers in a few years. Nevertheless, all naughty and courteous kids are children of our time. Are they better or worse than the previous generation? Some people claim that they are better due to higher educational and ethical requirements. Others completely disagree with that statement. Let's resort to the scientific observations in order to obtain the correct and detailed answer.
According to the data published by The Guardian, children’s demeanor has been deteriorating for the recent years. Association of Teachers and Lecturers has noticed the negative change in pupils’ behavior at schools. The collapse of the traditional family is one of the main reasons. The absence of the role models in some families affects children’s behavior. One of the teachers said: “The boys are far more willing to be aggressive to adults, verbally and even physically. There don't seem to be any parental boundaries set of what is an appropriate way to speak and deal with another adult” (Vasagar).
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A family significantly influences the formation of child’s behavior pattern in comparison with other social institutions. Children perceive the greatest educational impact at an early age. The family is the first connecting link between a child and society. Parents form a positive emotional attitude to adults and promote kids’ desire to be obedient, which are effective means of child's behavior management. Therefore, high integrity standards can be properly cultivated only in the family.
Children brought up in families with a favorable emotional climate show friendly attitude to peers, properly react to teachers at educational institutions. Conversely, kids raised in single parent families are overwhelmed with negative emotions. They have a prejudice and hostile attitude to others. Such children tend to conflicts.
The above-mentioned fact is confirmed by researchers of Pittsburgh and Rochester universities. They noted that most children with behavioral problems are from single parent or low-income families. Moreover, researchers claim that the number of those children grows every year. The percentage of rebellious teenagers increased in 3 times in comparison with the past 20 years based on survey conducted in the United States (“Behavior Worse than 20 Years Ago”).
Modern family is often unable to fully achieve its educational potential because of conflicting relationship between spouses or loss of emotional ties between parents and child. All this prevents adoption of behavioral norm and leads to violations of personal development. The favorable psychological climate in the family is one of the powerful factors of emotional impact on the child. Children’s mood and attitude to the people around them depends on parents’ moral portrait.
Teachers at a Lancashire school went on strike due to the children’s deteriorating behavior. They blamed boys for physical aggression (hitting, pushing, spitting) and girls – for calling one another names. The teacher from Bradfordshire said: “Boys are generally more physical and their behavior is more noticeable. Girls … often say nasty things, which end up disrupting the lesson just as much as the boys, as other children get upset and can't focus on their work. They are usually the ones, who refuse to comply with instructions” (Vasagar).
Sometimes it happens that even children raised in non-needy family have behavioral problems. Parents strive to instill values and even though they try hard, they often do not succeed. In this case, parents simply underestimate the pernicious influence of such factors as television, computer games and the Internet. Separately or as a whole, they greatly influence child’s worldview. Huesmann, the Amos N. Tversky Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Psychology said: “The research clearly shows that exposure to virtual violence increases the risk that both children and adults will behavior aggressively” (“Violent TV, Games Pack a Powerful Public Health Threat”). He emphasizes that many children spend lots of their time watching television and playing computer games.
Most TV programs and computer games depict violence and cruelty. The subconscious mind stores negative information. As a result, children make obscene deeds. However, we cannot imagine modern life without television. Most kids begin to regularly watch TV in less than 3 years of age. Their treatment of television is not as critical as that of adults; however, children’s personality undergoes significant changes under the influence of television.
Sometimes, children try to emulate the behavior of favorite hero from cartoon or video game. They do not understand why they are punished for what they did. Such cases are quite frequent as watching cartoons or playing computer games are considered to be kid’s favorite activities. Violent computer games increases the level of aggressive cognition both in boys and girls. The fact was proven by experimental studies (Gentile 140).
Seemingly harmless cartoons may adversely affect the development of child’s nervous system and character formation. This occurs in the absence of basic parental censorship and uncontrolled access to TV and the Internet. That is why high level of Internet addiction, increased aggressiveness, alcohol and drug use, risky sex-stereotyped behavior are observed among children and adolescents over the past years.
For mature personality, the Internet is a rapid and convenient means of information sharing. In some cases, network usage can be addictive and it may adversely affect mental health. This effect is several times greater and more dangerous regarding children. Besides, social network is the most popular platform for online communication, which hides lots of threats. Children are the least protected group of the Internet users. The European Commission on safer Internet Program and Livingstone ranked risk incidents in their survey. According to their data, 50% of children give personal information to strangers, 40% watch pornography, 30% watch violent content, 10% meet an online contact (Davidson and Gottschalk 8).
Children of our time hit the glass, steal, drink, take drugs and kill people. They destroy everything and destroy themselves. This all happens as a natural result since they are not taught to create. What do children see around them? Terror attacks, explosions, blood, injustice are frequent events of modern life. Look around and you will realize that children’s behavior is deteriorating due to us as they are fruits of our upbringing.
Social crisis makes a negative impact on child’s psychology as it generates anxiety, tension, anger, cruelty and violence. Statistics show the increase in delinquent behavior of adolescents. The growing number of youths with deviant behavior is a disturbing symptom of modern society. Delinquent behavior manifests itself in anti-social activities (alcoholism, drug addiction, vandalism). The number of cases of demonstrative behavior and adventurism toward adults is also increased. Teachers of Darwen Vale high school said that pupils provoked them to fights. Moreover, those children threatened them to post recorded fights online (Vasagar).
The growing number of crimes among youth is a result of deviant behavior. New types of anti-social activities are coming into existence in the last years. Teenagers are involved in extremist organizations, extortion racket and pimping. The increasing number of crimes with serious injuries puts people on their guard. Bad behavior tendency among adolescents is one of the pressing social problems of our society.
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