Is Child Behavior Getting Worse?

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How does it make you feel when you observe a group of rowdy teenagers hanging out at the mall, or running ramped on the streets near the campus of a local school? Do you dismiss their disruptive behavior as being typical of the average youth, or do you feel a sense of frustration that child behavior has become increasingly worse?

It is imperative that we, the adults, parents, mentors, and community leaders, reconstruct the environments in which we raise children. Statistics show that juvenile behavior has become increasingly worse over the years because the percentage of young children who demonstrate aggressive, delinquent, or hyperactive conduct has increased.

Researchers have found several social factors that attribute to childhood aggression. Some of these factors include mother infant relationships, neighborhood structure, family structure, and peer influences. Medical experts have repeatedly expressed the importance of nurturing children during the infancy stage to improve their moral development; however, factors that involve infant nurturing such as breastfeeding, holding, and responding immediately to the cries of a baby are not urgently encouraged by society. In fact, some parents argue that the economic strain of society has impaired their ability to spend more time with their children. The cost of living has forced both mothers and fathers to work diligently in order to provide financially for their families. There is no time for breastfeeding or coddling, and most children are sent to daycare facilities, where they are handled by strangers, rather than cared for by family members. The absentia of compassionate relationships and optimal care during child development has proven to be a catalyst in the decline of appropriate child behavior.

In addition to the moral effects of invaluable nurturing, we need to examine the cognitive effects, as well. The United States has epidemics of anxiety and depression among youth in all age groups. Rates of...
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