Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are Today's Parents Raising a Generation of Slackers?

They’ve been raised in an age of excess consumption, where plastic surgery and flashy cars are doled out as high school graduation gifts. Some experts say catering to kids’ self-esteem instead of teaching them about responsibility has left them poorly equipped to deal with adulthood. Armed with cell phones, laptops and their parents’ cash, they have a sense of entitlement like no generation before them. Many have never rolled up their sleeves for physical labor or held a job.

Research also showed more students enrolled in school over the summer, many parents are frustrated. They lament their children’s expectation of having everything handed to them. Fueled by reality TV shows that feature decadent lifestyles and Sweet 16 birthday parties that rival the lavishness of royal weddings, many kids believe the good things in life should be theirs for the taking—with no concept of actually working for them.

Dr. Terry Noble, a self-made success story and author of the new book, “Starting at Sea Level,” (Foggy River Books, 2007) shares the parents’ concerns. He believes today’s generation would benefit from doing some real work. “My father taught me to work and gave me responsibility as soon as I was ready to handle it,” says Noble. “By age nine I was feeding 5000 chickens daily. At 14, I was operating a 31’ commercial crab boat. At 16, I owned a farming operation and was saving for college. What I learned from him allowed me to retire at 52.”

“Starting at Sea Level” recounts Noble’s upbringing in Oriole, Maryland, a small Chesapeake Bay fishing village. Many of the men in Oriole earned their livings harvesting the sea or farming the land. Noble learned the value of a hard day’s work as a boy. He grew to respect the farmers and seaman who toiled at physically challenging and often dangerous jobs. He believes teaching work ethic and responsibility at a young age can instill life-long values.

Too many kids today are being coddled, accomplishing nothing and conning their parents into taking care of them until they are thirty. We need to show kids from an early age that we have expectations of them. Elementary age children are capable of learning to do chores around the house and the responsibility level should increase as they mature.

Children and teens benefit in many ways from work. They learn responsibility, prepare for future jobs, and earn their own incomes. Noble believes there’s another benefit to teaching kids physical labor such as yard work, caring for animals and helping with chores: reducing childhood obesity. “I understand the world has changed since I was a kid,” says Noble. “But there’s always some work that can be done around the house or yard, or for the neighbors or at a local, small business. Getting kids off the sofa and performing age-appropriate tasks can help burn calories and improve their physical health. Plus, it gives them a sense of accomplishment that sports can’t provide.”

That sense of accomplishment is often the prime motivator many kids need. Noble points to the satisfaction he felt when he began raising livestock to pay his way through college. “I gained a sense of worthiness by earning my own money,” says Noble. “I also learned how it felt to have those animals depend on me. The most life-changing aspect was that my livestock enterprise allowed me to meet a young veterinarian who inspired me to follow in his footsteps.”

I personally think kids in Malaysia also no different from The West..wht do u think?


S.C.A.Rao said...

I believe the same too - that families are slowly becoming dysfunctional...

Waliz said...

hope we can be a good parents...
thanks for the comment rao..

Susie said...

This might be true for some, but remember that not all come from privileged families. There are many single parents around the world that can provide for their children, but not give in excess. There are children to unemployed parents, or children growing up where there aren't even enough food.

There are also parents that could give a lot, but don't do that because they know that money and things are not everything. It is true that the world becomes more materialized, and that TV and movies give young people the wrong impression of how life should be, but only a part of the world follows our westen values.

I have many students from around the world who does work really hard because they got a chance to get an education and they are determined to take that chance.

Waliz said...

thanks susie for giving me a good response about the articles tht i posted...

yes are right and i agree with your opinions..

Hope to see you again in this blog and keep contributing your ideas so peoples or families can get benefit on it..