There is this alarming perception that today’s kids are spoiled rotten. Compared to their parents or other elders, today’s generation seem to be having a field day getting from their parents too much stuff and attention, and not enough discipline and expectations. Everyone in the media and the Internet can’t seem to get enough of putting down today’s kids. The younger generation is routinely labelled as rude, irresponsible, self-centered, undisciplined and entitled.
However, if a recent major report by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the state of Americans’ health as of 2013 is to be believed, today’s kids may not really be as irresponsible or spoiled rotten as everyone else believes.
Number of sexually active teens has dropped
If you judge by the Facebook posts, tweets, and other media that kids use to express themselves, one would be too quick to conclude that kids today are a promiscuous bunch. The CDC report, however, says that in the past 20 years, the number of teens who report having had sex has significantly dropped. Despite the popularity of reality shows about teenaged mothers, there is also a dramatic dip in the teen birth rate and even the teen abortion rate. The report also says that if teens do have sex, the likelihood that they’ll be using protection is also higher.
More kids say no to vices
The CDC report also says cigarette smoking among teens has registered a 30% drop since 1980. The decline in alcohol use is even higher at less than 40 percent in 2012 compared to a high of 70 percent in 1980. And, believe it or not, the report reveals that use of marijuana and other illicit drugs among teens has dropped to an all-time low. This is in sharp contrast to what we seen in media, where young people are often portrayed as hard-partying people who abuse any substance they could get their hands on.
More kids are into physical fitness
Instead of spending their time partying, most kids are now into physical fitness. More and more kids are now jogging, biking, and playing sports on their way to healthier bodies.
Granted, the CDC report’s findings as listed above do not really cover all aspects of the behavior of today’s kids—and non-American kids, of course—but they at least pour cold water on the ever-growing assumption that kids today are irresponsible and severely lack discipline. This makes us wonder why the media keeps on bashing today’s kids as spoiled and entitled. I have kids, and as far as I know none of them act the way the media portrays them to be. The same goes for my kids’ friends, who are as well-behaved and responsible as mine. My kids’ older friends even have jobs.
While it’s true that many of today’s kids are spoiled rotten, undisciplined and irresponsible, I think it’s absolutely unfair to slap this label on all members of the younger generation. I believe the idea of today’s kids being spoiled rotten is nothing more than a myth perpetuated by media.