Saturday, October 17, 2009
On who's boundaries?
I was so shocked the other night when an American channel reported about the plight of a teenage boy who was set on fire by four other teenagers, one of which is only thirteen years old. They had doused the poor victim with rubbing alcohol then set him on fire. Wow, has bullying gone this far? Or is it a form of teenage angst?
After watching the news I had kept asking myself: Why is being a teenager nowadays a lot difficult? It seems that along with the extra hair, the vocal changes, and intensifying odor, teenage angst is now a part of growing up. We parents know that our boys are going through physical transformation between thirteen and nineteen years old. They have acne, body odor, hair all over the place, they are awkward, confused, and insecure. They have hormones racing through their bodies like a Nascar driver without a speed limiter.
Then, there is peer pressure which is responsible for our teens rebellion. The boys especially, are particularly susceptible to these issues. Teenagers want to feel like a part of the group, and in order to do this, they often find themselves in positions that they don't particularly care for, but follow anyway. In most part they already know the consequence of their action but they do it anyway, because they feel they are in control of the situation and it makes them feel independent from their parents.
It seems that today's society is bringing up children who lack character qualities that were once commonplace. Things such as respect, obedience, and responsibility for self, seem to be in dire shortage. Of course, it is easy to lay all the blame on the little shoulders of the children, but is that the appropriate place for it to be?
The problem lies in the shortage of good and effective parents and the outcome is what we see in the children. Even our sitcoms on prime time television are a direct reflection of the lax societal standards that have become acceptable family behaviors. The reasons are primarily due to the ever-increasing stress and fast-paced lifestyles. More money, more "stuff", and more career accomplishments. And the loser are the children who have become more susceptible to outside influences.
Parenting is more difficult in this day and age than at any time in the past. In this age of technology there is instant information at any time. Children are more technologically smarter than ever. But nevertheless, they still need guidance and protection.
And a lot of parents are not providing these essentials.