A Generation of Lost Children – What went wrong?

Rewind fifty years ago and children’s lives were much simpler and filled with more promise of their parents dreams. Together sitting down for dinner and talking about the day, instilling a bond between parents and children which underlined what family represented if only a little time spent together on what really was important – family.

The days of a less stressful life where there weren’t any school shootings, violent video games that children too easily emulate, where the idea of walking down the tree lined covered street that you’re lucky not to be gunned down by a stray bullet by the rival neighborhood gang. 

There was a time that I’m sure many people from a generation or two ago remember where their time wasn’t consumed with being in front of a TV sixteen hours a day without a parent being home and wouldn’t be until after work where children are free to go unsupervised with no other role model than The Power Rangers or a violent video game, or worse, the streets of good old USA.

In our busy day to day world, parents have almost lost all sense of what parenting is, not necessarily because they want to, but the choices that their faced with having to pay the bills, rent and other expenses and long work hours keep them away from the ones who need them most in those formative years, their children. This has over-shined the need to look after their own children, disregarding the necessary principles of right and wrong, the ideals of respect, the concept of self worth and instilling a sense of moral compass, and, if the parent isn’t at home and know exactly where their kids are, then there’s a lack of accountability on the parent’s part.

Not all parents lack this parental innate sense, but seemingly there’s a gap left with many kids of teaching these important things factors in a child’s life, and the need to just try to survive and put food on the table working more hours can’t be the entire reasoning behind some parents irresponsible conduct.

It’s because of this disconnect that children have found other sources to fill their time, and many times, it’s to their detriment, especially when they head outside where it’s much too easy for a child to find some kind of trouble to get into in a concrete jungle amidst predators lurking around every corner to steal a child’s innocence.

There surely is no wonder why there is more teen violence now than ever before in our nations history. Children far too often do not have a role model to look up to, and many times children and teens wind up being associated with gangs not because of violence that may look appealing from what they’ve seen in movies and video games glorify, but it’s the sense of family and feeling of kinship they get from being a part of a gang.

Children want to be accepted more than anything, and being a part of a community gives a sense of worth and belonging, something they may not getting at home. Truly the sense of community is lost when the only place a child can feel  acceptance is on the streets and in a gang.

Is it a wonder why these children have turned into criminals many times repeating the crimes over and over again, even after being in front of a judge more than a few times? Clearly they haven’t learned their lesson, and more people are being subjected to these violent crimes when harsh punishments by the courts are needed and aren’t imposed.

There’s a myriad of reasons why kids are in this predicament, and because of parents not raising their kid emphasizing on spending the quality time they need and deserve as children all too often a single parent working double shifts, along with not learning any parenting skills themselves because of their own upbringing, mixed together with a court system that is overwhelmed with teen violence, it’s continuous vicious circle which continues at the peril of our children and society as a whole.

Indeed psychopaths are seemingly being raised in this generation, where there is many times a lack of respect for others, no responsibility taken for children and teens actions due to the numbing effect from years and years being plopped down in front of a TV a.k.a ‘The Babysitter’, watching violent movies, seeing gratuitous sex at a young age, the internet where absolutely anything can be found, and, playing violent video games all without any parental guidance. It’s no wonder these children have lost all sense of self worth, compassion and respect for others.

Children emulate what they see, and when they see violence, they repeat it. History has proven this theory. When before the invent of video games or horrific violent movies in history did you ever hear of a child gunning down and killing other kids in school?

The sad outcome society is faced with is a kid that has no remorse for the violent crimes they commit because that’s what he’s been brought up to see for years upon years. School shootings, teen stabbings, defiling of property with graffiti, bullying and other crimes and violence isn’t because of good parenting obviously, it’s due to a lack of any parenting at all. This is what begets a child being raised unknowingly into becoming a psychopath. A psychopath is a person with no remorse from the violent actions they inflict.

In many cities, there are programs in community centers that allow teens to partake in activities that are sponsored by the city where children can find productive resources that allow them to participate with other teens in sports, mechanical repair, homemaking, and other resourceful and fun activities that facilitate a sense of community among those children which keep them off the streets and give them the opportunity to spend their time learning social skills and other skills that can better their lives with alliances from the city which they live.

Surely the responsibility of raising kids in a nurturing and safe environment is a necessary global task that everyone should be involved with, not only to foster a sense of community within a child’s own neighborhood, but to allow children the benefit where they can grow to their fullest potential in life, which will allow them to become positive role models to other children helping them to find a much needed place in this world.

Contact your city’s community outreach center, Big Brothers Big Sisters or your local county commissioners office and find out ways where you can become a positive role model for a child, and help out where you can, for surely there is no better legacy to leave on this planet than helping a child who needs it most.

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