When comparing the current generation of children to that of past decades, it’s easy to see some troubling differences.
Many of these differences are the result of new technology that just wasn’t available in the recent past and therefore was not a problem until now. Three of the main differences between the current generation and children of the past are the addiction to technology, health problems and loss of independence.
Addiction to technology can be seen in many forms, from kids constantly looking down at their phones while in social settings, to preferring Netflix over playing outside. These days, children are getting phones and iPads at such a young age that they don’t really get a chance to learn how to live without them.
Teachers are noticing their students’ attention spans dropping every year, as these students are used to constant visual stimulation. They are used to flipping through Instagram or YouTube and seeing something new every thirty seconds, which makes listening to a teacher talk about one topic for a whole forty-five minutes almost impossible.
Not only does this addiction to technology hinder the learning process but it also greatly attributes to health problems. When children opt to stay indoors playing video games rather than playing outdoors, they are missing out on crucial exercise, vitamin D, and fresh air.
Childhood obesity is at an all-time high and this is mainly due to a lack of exercise and an increase of processed foods, junk foods, and fast foods. Sure junk food existed in the past, but there was not a fast-food restaurant every two blocks!
Obesity is far from the only health problem today’s children suffer from.
Children are becoming prone to diabetes, autoimmune diseases and allergies at an alarming rate. In the sixties and seventies, there were no peanut-free schools and gluten-free restaurant menus.
Many scientists believe that this may have a direct correlation with the increase in processed food and lack of important daily nutrients.
With every child having a phone these days you’d think they would have a greater sense of independence, however, the opposite is true. A few decades ago, dropping your kids off at the park to play while you do some errands would have been considered a normal event.
Children used to spend the whole afternoon running around the neighborhood without adult supervision, only to come back home for dinner by sunset.
The current generation of children has lost this sense of independence as there have been too many kidnappings and other violent activities in public areas. Today, parents often heavily supervise, even hover over, their children which may slow down a child’s ability to learn for him or herself.
Everybody’s Childhood is Different
Some grow up in big cities while others come of age in rural towns. Some share a bedroom with siblings and others are accustomed to live as the only child in the house.
No matter how unique or ordinary childhood, it’s clear that children are being raised quite differently today and many say it’s not for the better.