Adults Are Failing Them So Badly, Children Are Starting To Give Up

Children are loosing hope at alarming rates, but what's the cause to this decreasing rate in child development?

By Rick Gonzales | Published

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child development

Are today’s kids simply giving up? According to those who would know best, America’s teachers, claim children have lost their enthusiasm and creativity, two hallmarks that once defined child development. When teachers place today’s students next to those from just a few years ago, they see a clear difference.

These precious gifts in American children are missing, claims Page Park. The teacher from Indiana should know as she has over 24 years of teaching experience. She has seen the shift in today’s child development and doesn’t see a positive. “They don’t know how to think for themselves, too. I do have a few kids that are really good at problem-solving, but not as many. They’re not good at problem-solving,” she said to The Epoch Times.

It is laziness? Is it because kids today are handed too many things? Park claims that ever since she began her teaching career, child development and creativity have been on the decline. She says today’s children no longer look for answers to even the simplest of problems. As an example, Park says, if a kid today didn’t have a pencil, he wouldn’t ask for a spare one.

“I’ve taught most of my career,” Park said. “I’m talking high school students who just don’t think to ask, ‘Hey, can I borrow a pencil?’ And I have them available where they can just take them.” But when Park and other teachers look at their classrooms, they see a stunted child development. They see a generation disconnected. It’s a troubling pattern that has developed.

child development

“They talk about games a lot. They never talk about going outside. They talk about staying up late. Their sleep rhythms are awful,” Park complained of today’s generation of children with development issues. “I have one that was telling me last week or the week before that he doesn’t go to bed until three o’clock in the morning. They might be a little more rigid in movement,” she added.

Park isn’t the only one who has seen this shift in child development. One New York teacher, Theresa, who also writes for The Developing Mother, also claims that the majority of her students suffer from a lack of motivation and creativity that is needed for child development. She says she shows up daily, hoping for the best and trying to do her best with inspiring her students. She tells them she can change their lives. But she claims that no matter what she says, how hard she tries to make a difference and change how the development in these children, it hasn’t taken hold.

Theresa has taught for three schools and in each one she has run into the same lack of creativity and motivation. She says the kids where she grew up (she is a Nigerian immigrant) had much more creativity and drive than the bulk of the kids she now teachers. She feels American kids give up way too easily when they are challenged with any type of problem. But problem-solving is a key aspect of a child’s development.

Theresa cannot understand why kids show up in her classroom so uninterested in learning. She claims half the students at the school she now teaches at are homeless, but they have zero drive to escape their predicament. She says that Nigerian children have more desire and drive to escape poverty. You probably won’t be shocked to know one cause of this massive child development issue – cell phones. Instead of children talking about doing things together, they talk about online video games they have played. They talk about online videos they have seen. Child development in America is at an all-time low point because kids would rather bury their faces in their cell phones than go outside and play.

child development

“The thing that changed was the cell phones. Smartphones, though, were the thing that started to change. So now, students are looking at and relying on the devices more,” said Jessica Bonner, a Birmingham, Alabama elementary school speech pathologist. Many experts agree that the internet and cell phones have limited child development. They feel the online world has damaged kids’ ability to think and to self-motivate. Numbers from the CDC also suggest that right around 2010, mental health in teens changed.

Now, it’s a constant. Kids always have them. Their face is always buried in their cell phones. The creativity they see is manufactured for them, not something that comes from their minds. Child development is almost non-existent thanks in part to screen time.

Dr. Leonard Sax, a psychologist, says American kids spend an enormous amount of time online compared to children in other countries, again, something stunting their child development. “In this country, for example, it’s very common for kids to go to bed with their phones, or for boys to have video game consoles in the bedrooms,” Sax told The Epoch Times. “It’s actually unusual in continental Europe.”

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The more children live online, the more Sax says child mental illness has increased. Sax says this excessive amount of online time appears to be the link to poor child development as lack of motivation, disengagement, and a number of other symptoms continue to grow. “Over the last three years, American kids have gone off the deep end and are now many, many times more likely to be anxious, depressed, disengaged, unmotivated, and not paying attention compared to kids in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand,” he said.

child development

So, who is failing whom here? Is it parents? Is it teachers? Who is responsible for child development in kids today? The answer is probably both. Theresa says it’s her belief that American kids have lost that creative edge because others solve problems for them. Internet access makes it simple to gain an answer and parents move in too quickly instead of letting their children struggle. Teachers are feeding into it as well.

“Every little problem that they have is immediately solved for them. And if it can’t be solved by their parents, they just find a resource online.” As they continue to get the easy answer, they struggle when forced to deal with a problem in school. Teachers, in many instances, also give in in lieu of listening to a child complain. Again, this defeats the child development process.

While the answer would appear to be an easy one – remove cell phones from the equation – it is actually not even close to being easy. Children today are accustomed to having the answer in their hands and not having to work for it. They prefer conversing with their cell phones rather than conversing with schoolmates. To make a significant change in child development today, adults would have to do something they too are unaccustomed to, telling their kids no when it comes to cell phones. Is that even possible? That’s a tall order.