Childhood isn’t what it used to be…
If there is one defining characteristic that I have observed of America in the new Millennium, it is that we have entered the age of lost innocence. It seems we’ve lost the drive to protect the innocence of our children, cherishing the value of youth and its place in society. How could we? After all there’s just no time. We’re too busy with more pressing matters like teaching them how to be miniature adults. When did it become so important for children to be fashionable? Not just adolescents, but small children. Do shows geared toward young people even bother with trying to present a ‘moral of the story’ anymore? Or are they just training videos on how to be hip or get plugged into the right social networks? Why are young people filled with such a strong sense of empowerment, yet lacking in things like knowledge, discipline, propriety and manners? Why does it now feel like a phenomenon to see well-behaved children who are respectful of adults, rather than those who regard them as equals? Have we given up on training our young ones how to behave properly in public? No time for that; just gotta make sure they don’t judge the inappropriate behavior of other people.
When did ‘grown ups’ start agonizing so much over whether young people think they’re cool? Do you really think young people respect you when you try to impress them?
I believe there’s a strong correlation between the protected innocence of youth and the transition to healthy adulthood. I believe there is even such a thing as healthy adolescence (which does not subscribe to the ‘kids do what kids do’ mentality). A society’s youth need more than just training and education. They need to be reassured that they are children and allowed to grow and learn within the context of childhood. What they do not need is premature indoctrination into adulthood from media, pop culture and those tasked with rearing them.