Youth of todayMany parents are concerned that the youth of today are not learning accountability for their actions. In the past 50 years the standards and demands on our youth have been relaxed. We feel this is due, in part, to the laws and regulations that are in existence today. Many states, in an attempt to help and protect their young people, have done more harm than good. The end result is a child who grows up learning that there are no consequences for his or her actions. This learned behavior will not make for a very pleasant adulthood. Parents of the youth of today were raised, in the most part, by parents who were alive during the Great Depression.
Many parents from that era ruled with an iron fist and a "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality. It worked for the parents of today while they were growing up, but now trying to raise a child using similar techniques could land them in jail. So therein lies the problem: a generation of parents raised under very strict circumstances trying to raise a generation of children, yet lacking the ability to adequately reprimand the youth.
Teen Drug AbuseFor an "At-Risk Youth," one of the major concerns is teenage drug abuse. The teenage drug abuse crisis is at epidemic levels. Many youth who have fallen into the at-risk category have developed an “I don't care” attitude about anything that could potentially cause harm to them. Most of these teens will say that they are not afraid to die, and that they are not concerned about developing diseases associated with drug abuse or unprotected sex.The hopeless attitude is something that is difficult to break. Parents of children who have dropped to this level have an uphill climb to help their child out of the helpless hole they feel they are in. Some of the teenage drugs being used are: Marijuana, Cocaine, Mushrooms, Ecstasy, Alcohol, Crack, Inhalants or Huffing, LSD, or Methamphetamines. Teens abusing drugs is not a new problem; there are always going to be teens that will abuse drugs. The goal is to minimize the abuse and do all we can to help the teens around us stay drug free. For more information on teenage drug abuse (click here).
At-Risk YouthThis places youth in what is known as the "At-Risk Youth" category. They are at risk of not getting a good education or failing school. They are at risk of abusing drugs or alcohol. They are at risk of having children out of wedlock. They are even at risk for suffering a tragic death due to drug or alcohol overdose, drunk driving, sexually transmitted diseases, gang involvement, etc..
We do not have the answer to these problems, but we do have some ideas that may be helpful to parents who are concerned about the lack of accountability and concern that many youth have for the law or any type of authority. For most parents seeking help for a troubled, at-risk and defiant teen or adolescent, it will be difficult to make up for things that could have and maybe should have been done. The task will be to stay focused on things that can still be done.