Children need positive influences

By Cherae Hunt |News Editor|

I would always hear my grandma say “you kids don’t do anything anymore. All you do is sit in front of the television. Back in my day…” then I tune her out as she keeps talking.

Now as an adult, I think, “does modern culture ruin childhood?”

Looking at my little sister, who is now 13-years-old, and hearing all the pressures she goes through, of course modern culture can damage a childhood, but I would not say it ruins it.

We live in a self-absorbed world where having the right selfie and being in a relationship seem more important than going to college.

“I think there is a greater emphasis on the self nowadays, which I don’t think is necessarily good,” stated psychology professor Kelly Campbell.

“It’s scary to see what kids go through these days,” said student Bethany Herrera.

I mean when I was a kid in middle school the only thing I had to worry was how awkward dressing out for PE was. Now I see my cousin who is thirteen posting on Twitter,” continued Herrera.

Some feel as if it is the parents responsibility to shield children from the influence of modern culture.

According to Campbell, parents are responsible for deciding what to expose their children to and can do so by limiting access to technology or even blocking certain television channels from young eyes.

“Children will still get exposed to things through their peers and other family members but the parents set the tone for how things should be done and how information is interpreted,” continued Campbell.

Neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield is concerned that elements essential to brain development, such as first-hand experiences, interaction with adults, opportunities for play and the time and mental space to process information and be creative are being eroded by the pace of modern life, according to BBC News article.

It is up to the parents to what is or is not exposed to their kids at what time.

“I didn’t get a phone until I was sixteen and I didn’t have to worry about social media and texting. My parents keeping me away from that stuff kept me grounded and built my confidence,” said student Desiree Matthews.

“Parents need to help children develop skills for interpreting what they see and hear. They need to explain the reasons for things so that children develop moral reasoning. If parents can build in regular time with their children to checking, not judge, be present (not on a cell phone—they need to model good behaviors), and just listen, their children will do better. Children need quality time with parents at all ages of their life,” concluded Campbell.

It takes a village to raise a child.

What damages a childhood is what a child is surrounded with.

A positive atmosphere where children can grow and learn from experiences at the right time takes attentive parents.

Without attentive parents a child can be exposed to a life that can be damaging.

Children, however, are stronger than we think—and are underestimated in regards to how much we think they could handle, but damaging adolescence can either harm their adult future or make them ahead of the pack.


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