Are children becoming too difficult to control?

Times have changed over the generations. There used to be caning, punishments and detentions whereas now psychologists are stating that unruly child behaviour can be treated with behaviour modification and that it is down to the child’s emotional state which needs to be addressed. Is it true that we are becoming a nanny culture? Do you think that considering the psychoanalysis of children will tame unruly behaviour?

Personally when I was a child, we were always told to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’, look excited by dull presents and if you behaved inappropriately, then you were punished. It was a simple process and simple understanding. Even in the 2000s, there was a debate about spanking or smacking children in the case of inappropriate behaviour. It was debated that it could be seen as child abuse. One can’t denying that hitting or beating children is complete unacceptable but where does the fine line lie between spanking a child and child abuse? As a child in the 90s, my parents did spank me if I was behaving inappropriately and it did teach me that my behaviour wasn’t acceptable. However now, society is looking down on punishment for children. Why do you think this is? Is it the focus on the individual?

In recent times, there seems to be more pressure on being popular or pretty by having expensive possessions. I’ve seen children running around with iPhones and straighteners whereas I felt privileged to get a ‘Telly Tubby’ soft toy. It could be a focus on the newest technologies of today. A recent study stated that children as young as seven years old were more likely to own a mobile phone than a book. Technology could be to blame for children’s unacceptable behaviour as they shut themselves off to a world of technology and become more materialistic but then you have to wonder who they are following as role models today.

In the 90s, the Spice Girls were role-models, promoting girl power and portraying the strong bond of friendship and hard work in the music business. Nowadays, children have role models such as Lindsey Lohan, Taylor Momsen and Demi Lovato. These “role models” have daily updates about their behaviour, dubbed as teenage rebellion. Lindsey Lohan, 24, has been in and out of rehab in the past year and has been involved with drugs and drinks. Taylor Momsen, 17, has been dropped from the television show, ‘Gossip Girl‘ due to rude and unacceptable behaviour and Demi Lovato, 18, could face a lawsuit for recently punching a female backing dancer while at an airport. These “role models” are meant to be shining a light for children but are demonstrating selfish and childish behaviour and children are meant to follow this? Most importantly, these rebellious celebrities are being rewarded for their behaviour with column inches.

Personally, I think that this ‘nanny culture’ has been used as an excuse for children to get away with murder. There used to be a focus on discipline and consequences for bad behaviour but now that seems to be seen as negative as not to harm or psychologically damage children. I think we need to break out of this culture and simply implement punishment for unruly behaviour. Religious tolerance groups are taking opposites sides for child punishment by most seems to take the stance that implementing punishment on children is acceptable if it is done by the parents. I agree with this view that parents should be the only ones punishing their children. However, punishment for children should be implemented in moderation by schools by giving out detentions. Children need these rules in order to be acceptable individuals in society.

7 Comments to “Are children becoming too difficult to control?”

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