Cell­phones, en­ti­tle­ment men­tal­ity not good for teens

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Our so­ci­ety as a whole has a huge stake in the char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tion of its chil­dren. Be­fore kids go back to school, here are some things par­ents and older stu­dents need to be cog­nizant of.

“CBS This Morn­ing” re­cently had psy­chol­o­gist Lisa Damour on. She re­ported a new study shows 50 per­cent of teens re­port they feel ad­dicted to their cell­phones. The Jour­nal of Child De­vel­op­ment re­ported night­time cell­phone use can pro­duce anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and lower self-es­teem in teens. This is the first study that shows a di­rect link be­tween cell­phone use and men­tal health. The re­port also shows in the past cou­ple of decades teen anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion have risen over 70 per­cent, lead­ing to emo­tional fragility and act­ing out. Damour sug­gests teens need to be en­gaged more in work­ing, learn­ing and grow­ing, in­ter­act­ing with real hu­man be­ings, and in­volv­ing them­selves in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Since the 1980s there has been a rise in the at­ti­tude of en­ti­tle­ment, which in­creases hos­til­ity and con­flicts. Kids de­mand, ar­gue their opin­ions, and are un­will­ing to ac­cept no for an an­swer. They are rude, bel­liger­ent and spew vul­gar and pro­fane lan­guage when they don’t get what they want. Some sug­gest kids act this way be­cause they demon­strate th­ese same at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iors in the home.

An el­e­men­tary school in Por­tu­gal hung a poster that went vi­ral. On the poster was stated, “Dear par­ents, we would like to re­mind you that magic words such as hello, please, you’re wel­come, I’m sorry, and thank you, all be­gin to be learned at home. It’s also at home that chil­dren learn to be hon­est, to be on time, dili­gent, show friends their sym­pa­thy, as well as show ut­most re­spect for their el­ders and all teach­ers. Home is where they learn to be clean and how/where to prop­erly dis­pose of garbage. Home is also where they learn to be or­ga­nized, to take good care of their be­long­ings. Here at school, on the other hand, we teach lan­guage, math, his­tory, ge­og­ra­phy, physics, sci­ences, and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion. We only re­in­force the ed­u­ca­tion that chil­dren re­ceive at home from their par­ents.”

Tim El­more of Grow­ing Lead­ers shared on his blog a New York- based firm met with a group of re­cent col­lege grad­u­ates to talk about their ca­reers. Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, the po­ten­tial em­ployer asked the grad­u­ates this ques­tion: “What’s the one word hu­man re­source ex­ec­u­tives’ use more than any other to de­scribe the mind­set of your gen­er­a­tion? It be­gins with an ‘E.’” The 20-some­things said en­tre­pre­neur­ial. Some thought it was en­er­getic, while oth­ers felt it was ex­cit­ing or en­ter­tain­ing. None of the can­di­dates guessed the cor­rect an­swer: En­ti­tled.

Blog­ger and au­thor Kris­ten Welch posted a sim­ple and clear list of five signs of en­ti­tle­ment: I want it now, I don’t want to work for it, I don’t have to clean up my mess, I want it be­cause ev­ery­one else has it, and I ex­pect you to fix all my prob­lems.

Th­ese is­sues are a re­al­ity and par­ents and so­ci­ety must ad­dress them rather than en­able them. TERRY STE­WART Springdale

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