The modern soap opera of Reality TV follows semi-real life stories of various people (characters) who are interesting to watch because of their eccentric, wild, and selfish behaviors. These people have traded any future privacy for a chance to become famous. I guess most people have a natural desire for acceptance and approval, and for some it’s strong enough to enjoy national fame. But what is the example set for the current generation of kids?
We don’t hear kids say they want to be a doctor, lawyer, fireman, etc. Many of them don’t know what they want to do, because they don’t buy into the idea that you actually have to work for a living. Many kids don’t want to do something that is too hard, now or later in life as an adult. They expect to become a Rock Star, or a Celebrity, and earn a living just because of their personality. Kids are no longer willing to put effort into learning, when instead they can pass the time socializing, playing on the internet, etc.
Maybe this attitude contributes to the ability of students in other countries to surpass the education level of students in the US. Another potential cause is the lack of respect and fear of our parents. Today’s school kids no longer fear getting in trouble, there is little pride for being a good kid because there is little reward. The laziness of our society to reward good behavior has shifted the attitudes of kids to be more self-indulgent. We are missing the main learning lesson of the child’s development into becoming an adult, and possibly creating the recent popularity of Reality TV and the associated Celebrities. And since humans learn by imitation, how do we expect these kids to act as adults?
I’m not saying we should beat our children, but I think it’s parents and families role to enforce consequences on behavior as a learning tool. And to offer support an encouragement for positive behavior.