When speaking to a large group in Southern California, just for fun, we began by saying “Nominations are now in order for the toughest challenge faced today by kids (and by their parents).”
There were seven strong nominations from the audience:
- Peer Pressure
- Excessive Technology and Gadgets
- Drugs and Substance Abuse
- Sexual Experimentation
- Sibling Rivalry
Then we gave everyone a chance to vote—just one vote each—for the single greatest challenge that parents (and kids) face in today’s world. Today is your chance to vote, too—by taking the reader poll below.
It’s interesting to look at the list and think about which challenges have always existed and which are new (or greater) to this generation of kids.
Certainly peer pressure is a problem that kids have faced forever. But is the kind of pressure and its intensity greater today than ever?
No. 2 is clearly new isn’t it? Perhaps the problem existed a generation ago, but “technology” then was probably TV and early video games like “Pong.”
Bullying has always been around, but today it takes on new dimensions of cyber-bullying and nasty stuff on Facebook or Twitter or blogs.
No. 4, “entitlement,” seems to be everywhere today—with kids thinking they should have everything they want, and everything their friends have, right now, and without working for it.
Drugs and alcohol and other substances that can be abused are certainly not new, but are their prevalence and availability higher than ever?
Sexual experimentation and promiscuity have never not existed, but they certainly seem to happen at younger and younger ages and to be more “promoted” by media and popular culture.
If there is one thing on the list that maybe has not changed that much over the generations, perhaps it is sibling rivalry, although maybe it was less when kids worked more together.
What do you think? Which problem seems most prevalent to you? Which one worries you most? Which one most threatens children’s chances for a happy life?
Take your vote in the readers’ poll below and we will report back on the results the next time we post. Though you may worry about several of them, you may vote for only one, so pick the one you think affects the most kids.
The Eyres are proud to be relationship experts for SUCCESS and love the concept of life-balance and of working at doing as well with the “home” side of life as with the “business” side. Their new book is The Entitlement Trap, which will be internationally released by Penguin this fall but is already available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Richard and Linda are the authors of nine internationally distributed parenting and life-balance books, one of which was the first parenting book in 50 years to reach No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. They lecture throughout the world on family-related topics. Visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or www.valuesparenting.com.