When it comes to growing up, it seems that par for the course is a certain degree of disconnect from the previous generation. Your grandparents experienced it, your parent’s experience, you will (if you haven’t already) experienced it, and in all likelihood, so will your children. This disconnect isn’t really anything on a biological level, rather, it seems that our preferences, morals, ethos, and taste seem to grow and differ with each generation.
Thinking back when you were a teenager, did your parents give you a confused look when you turned your favorite song up loud? Did you notice that your taste in music was much different than theirs? Or how about clothing; did you find your parents sending you back up to your room to get changed because they didn’t approve of what you were wearing? Or how many times did you parents, or even other adults, sit you down and tell you stories of how different things were when they were children. Did you ever hear the classic tale of how your parents had to walk to school 10 miles every day, in the snow, uphill – both ways?
Yes, it cannot be argued that children differ from their parents and generations before them in many ways, some more prominent than others. However, this change is to be expected, because as surely as the world we live in is not stagnant, nor are those who call it home. This fact may be difficult for some parents, but in all fairness, this “evolution of self” is a good thing, because it is impossible to change or fix the new problems of today with the same mentality or set of tools that we were using yesterday.
A person doesn’t need to be a parent to understand the importance of children, although being one will certainly give you a deeper insight. We have all heard the expression that “children are our greatest resource,” and the sentiment grows truer every year. Hubert H. Humphrey said that “Each child is an adventure into a better life –an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new,” and a testament to the validity of this statement is all around us. Just look at how far we have social, technologically, and even politically (although that one may be more difficult to testify to). However, as much as children change with the times, it is important to remember that with the seemingly limitless potential they have, they are also quite vulnerable.
Children rely on adults to protect them, to teach them, and to show them what is right. Part of that is done by setting examples for them and another part is looking after them so that they may reach their fullest potential. In order to that, however, children need to traverse their most formidable years with ideally, a clean bill of health. But, just like the times change, so do the concerns surrounding children health.
While some of the problems that children face are universal and will likely continue to be problems for generations to come, others are bred from the times, and these problems are unique to the current generation. Many adults simply have no precedent or experience with these new found concerns. That, however, is no excuse for not learning about them.
We live in a modern age that comes with modern problems, adults and children alike. Knowing the importance and impact we have on children, we have decided to compile a list of the 10 biggest health concerns facing children today, for while you may not have experienced some of these issues first hand, at least you will be able to understand and help your child if faced with them.
Most people associated childhood with innocence, however, with each passing generation it seems as though children are becoming more and more aware of the world around them, and often, that world is far from what adults deem “child appropriate.” What they hear in music, watch on TV, or see on the internet is often men, women and even children participating in dangerous activities, and one of those that is of growing concern is the portrayal of drugs and in turn, the growing rate of drug use among children.
According to the National Institute of Drugs Abuse, “Many factors influence whether an adolescent tries drugs, including the availability of drugs within the neighborhood, community, and school and whether the adolescent’s friends are using them. The family environment is also important: Violence, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, or drug use in the household increase the likelihood an adolescent will use drugs.
Finally, an adolescent’s inherited genetic vulnerability; personality traits like poor impulse control or a high need for excitement; mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD; and beliefs such as that drugs are “cool” or harmless make it more likely that an adolescent will use drugs.”