Raising an authentic child in an unauthentic world

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Certainly, most parents’ today have the desire to raise healthy, happy, successful, well-rounded, children with good character. Parents are following the vast amounts of ‘how-to” advice that society continues to generate, believe they are doing everything “right”, but do not seem to be achieving the desired outcome (Boteach 1). Parents are left with more questions than they began with, children continue to encompass the negative characteristics and the divide between what is desired and what is produced continues to grow. Therefore, this paper will examine the cultural, societal, parental, and communicative causes to why this is happening. An overall explanation would be that it seems that the more we progress technologically and educationally, the more we digress socially and individually. American society has gone from families living in close proximity to one another, having weekly gatherings and a genuine bond, to families scattered across the country only coming together every other Thanksgiving or Christmas, and possibly a few weeks in the summer, with a mind-set of obligation instead of one of devotion. Family friendships that used to span generations have been replaced with chains of multiple lifestyle enclaves that simply do not provide roots for families today. And parenting that was once based on instinct, logic, and generational advice is now fueled by a need to find a “how-to” manual to provide the appropriate answers in a search to produce the perfect child. To better understand how these cultural, societal, parental, and communicative elements have an effect on parenting children today, this paper will explore the messages parents create and communicate to their children in relation to want is actually being co... ... middle of paper ... ...t they are in contact with. In other words, parenting has evolved into something that is done for other parents, not for children. American Children In the article, The Demise of Child-Rearing, Lyric Wallwork Winik paints a picture of modern day American children: In many respects, not since four- and five-year-old children were sent down into the mines or consigned to the factory floor has it been harder to be a child. Children are more medicated than ever. They are routinely exposed to sexual situations sooner, as well as to violence, illicit drugs, and alcohol. With the rise of sexual predators, they are for the most part no longer free to hop on their bikes and explore the suburban world; many are not allowed even to walk an urban or suburban block alone. Spontaneous play time has given way to scheduled play dates and organized pint-sized soccer leagues.

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