Popular culture damaging kids
As a counsellor and educator I get asked,“What’s going wrong with kids today?” in reference to school shootings, kids living on the street, gangs, addictions, bullying, lack of a work ethic, lack of social skills, lack of language skills and, perhaps most sadly, a lack of ability to empathize.
I’m glad they are asking, and the answer is simple. I’ve asked hundreds of children age eight to 12 to name a single TV show where people are treated with dignity, compassion and caring.
All they can come up with is the science channel and Oprah.
Kids don’t understand sarcasm; they don’t “get” satire.
Today’s kids spend more time in front of a screen — TV, computer, iPod, cellphone, video game — than any other generation in history. And it shows.
I invite you to cast a critical eye on the messages delivered in all these media. (Don’t forget commercials, they are the worst.)
Look at how people behave toward one another under the guise of humour, sensationalism, voyeurism, commercialism or marketing.
Children imitate what they see and what they see every day, hour after hour, on all of those screens is violence, humiliation, cruelty, sexualization and materialism.
Our kids need us. Susanna Kaljur Courtenay