Top 10 Issues Facing Our Youth Today

ADVERTISEMENT

Now that we are well into the new Millennium society has begun to recognize serious concerns with issues that kids have to deal with today. Some issues have always been there but are now coming to the eyes of the public to find solutions. Other issues are new trends as society begins to adapt to a faster pace of life. Below are the top 10 issues facing our youth today.

10. Single Parent Households

single parent households

The problems begin at home. Since the 1950s, the number of single parent homes has consistently increased to the point of catastrophe. Today, 14 million single parents are responsible for 28 million children. Raising a child is difficult enough in a two parent home, especially in tough economic conditions.

The situation is even direr when there is only one parent. Economically, a single parent is likely to bring less income home. This equates to fewer opportunities for such vital necessities as education. Trying to make ends meet also takes time – time that is spent away from children who need a parent’s guiding/influence. Absent a parent’s diligent guidance, children become subject to higher dropout rates, higher risk of dangerous sexual behaviors and pregnancies, higher chances of drug and alcohol abuse –etc. It truly takes a village to raise a child.

9. Drug/Alcohol Abuse

drug and alcohol abuse

There was a time in cinematic history where virtually every actor/actress was portrayed on screen with a cigarette in hand. Smoking, it was implied, was cool. As a result everyone was doing it, including kids. Well, as awareness to the danger of smoking increased, “cool” images of smoking disappeared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about drugs and alcohol. These vices are staples in everyday media. Simply, drinking and using drugs is shown as being cool.

The numbers bear the tale. 21% of high school seniors say they get high and 41% of the same group report drinking alcohol. Our kids are literally moving around in an intoxicated daze. Immature behavior is then amplified due to being under the influence. Drunk driving, poor grades and attendance, anti-social and violent behavior and the list goes on.

8. Growing up too Fast

growing up too fast

There was a time when kids enjoyed being kids. Today, even at the earliest of ages, children are partaking in adult activities with serious consequences. Similar to what we see with alcohol and drugs, sex is a very popular and portrayed subject matter. The movies, TV, the internet, essentially everywhere a kid turns he or she is bombarded with sexual suggestions.

In fact, there are entire TV series marketed directly to kids dealing with sex – the egregious being The Secret Lives of an American Teenager and Teen Mom, to name two. Music is a culprit as well. Songs have always had sexual innuendos, but at least “back in the day” you had to be old enough to understand them. Today, it’s all about “How low can you go” and “baby let me sex you up.” Kids are having sex as early as 10 and 11, with teen pregnancies increasingly on the rise. The concept of childhood is literally being wiped out.

7. Violence in Schools

violence in schools

A child’s education is the foundation from which he or she will be able to go forth out into the world and build a life. Schools play a major role in this endeavor, and therefore it is reasonable to expect that these places of learning would be safe havens for the children while they are preparing for adulthood. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In many instances, especially in low income, urban settings, schools can be a war zone. We are not talking about minor bullying, but rather serious violence. Consider that in the last decade 284 kids were murdered due to school violence – these were shootings, stabbings, fighting and suicides. Growing up is tough enough without having to be worried about being killed while going to math class.

6. Materialism

materialism

We live in a society that promotes materialism and so we perpetuate this particular malady by instilling bad habits into our children. We teach our children that the measure of success and happiness in life is how much stuff you have. Kids naturally want things –especially if their friends have something similar. Unfortunately, there seems to be little restraint on accompanying guidance as we go about this.

Essentially, we provide our kids with whatever they want that is within our financial ability to do so. The concept of “earning” what you get or the idea that something “you don’t need” seem to have been lost and discarded. Is there really any wonder why the average adult is $15,000 in debt at any given time? We have a mentality of getting what we want and when we want it that has been ingrained in us since childhood. The unfortunate result is that there are devastating consequences for such continued behavior later in life.

5. Obesity

childhood obesity

ADVERTISEMENT

Our kids are fat and getting fatter. Recent numbers show that 20% of American children are obese. Not chubby –OBESE! Video games, TV, the internet and fast food are partly to blame. Kids are spending more time sitting in front of a TV/computer screen than running around outside. This sedentary lifestyle has consequences.

Socially, it’s no secret that overweight kids are going to be subject to ridicule from their peers – it’s sad, but nevertheless true. This can result in such issues as low self-esteem, depression, etc. Then there are the health concerns. High blood pressure, diabetes and other maladies that is associated with obesity. Psychologically and physically, obesity is an issue that can be resolved with a simple increase in activity and awareness.

4. Education Disparity

empty school desk

Education is important. Few people would dispute this well regarded fact. A good education (in comparison with a bad one) will provide a child with an increased chance of taking advantage of opportunities to be successful in life. Unfortunately, some people have it better than other. This is not an issue of just one school being better than another school. Rather we are talking about whole classes of American children being denied a proper education that will prepare them to compete in a job market with their peers and have the same access to the American Dream.

Disparity in educational quality is delineated by race and financial status. If you live in a poor neighborhood or are a minority, there is a good chance that the schools you attend are lacking many necessities. While Asians and Whites enjoy high graduating rates, African American and Latinos continue to lag behind. Not surprisingly, because job opportunities are lessen for dropouts, these two groups have the highest incarceration rates.

3. Shifting Economy

shifting economy

America used to sustain itself with making its own products through manufacturing and then turning around and selling those products. The economy is shifting to more of a service industry versus a manufacturing industry. In order to cut costs and keep product prices down companies are forced to outsource manufacturing to other countries. Other countries can produce products at much lower labor costs. Some companies have even begun to outsource call center jobs to keep labor costs down. Not only is America now having lower paying service jobs than the average blue-collar job with a sustainable income but our economy is now a global economy.

For example, what happens in Japan or Iraq can drastically alter prices for our stock exchanges, gas/oil, and many other products. What exactly does this mean for our youth? The youth cannot graduate or even dropout of school without going through the pains of a low-income job. The jobs offered with no experience pay very little with very little room for pay increases. In fact, the competition to get a promotion can be fierce. In the past, your high school senior could graduate and go work at the local factory for the rest of his or her life and make a good living. They would not necessarily need to have a college education to survive. In fact, youth today will graduate from college with multiple degrees and still cannot find work that pays enough to sustain a decent lifestyle.

2. Poverty

poverty

The federal poverty level is $22,050 for a family of four. This equates to 21% of all children (15 million children) are considered in poverty. Just to cover basic expenses for a family of four you would need to have a salary of $45,000. This means that nearly 50% of our children are living in poverty. Half of those kids receive no government assistance because their parents earned more than $22,050 that year. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.

Poverty impedes learning and contributes to social and behavioral problems. And guess what? There is no income to counteract these problems. Mommy cannot afford a tutor or Daddy cannot afford a counselor. There is a huge opportunity for society to stop being so materialistic and in turn poverty wouldn’t be such an issue because most children will all have the same things –things they need instead of what they want. This would decrease violence in schools because fewer kids would be teased.

1. Erosion of National Pride/Identity

erosion of national pride

If every year the Olympics were held, this probably wouldn’t be a problem. This list is indicative of the fact that America (like any nation) has problems. The issue at hand is collective though amongst the people affected about how to deal with them. Unfortunately most folks tend to focus on their self and not the whole. We see these problems as affecting “them” and not “me/us” When we hear that America’s children are the fattest among Western nations, this doesn’t sting. When we learn that America’s children lay educationally behind other industrialized nations, we don’t cringe.

There is very little sense of collective identity of people, as Americans. This is a result of our children not being properly educated and guided. There was a time when every child would begin the school day by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Children were taught the significance of the 4th of July (besides fireworks). These practices are long gone and so is our sense of common destiny. With so many diverse nationalities, races, and ethnic groups that comprise America, the one common bond we all have with one another is that we are Americans.

The Future Isn't All Bleak
Many children grow up just fine and here are some great children who are heroes. Or, take a look at some adults who were heroes during the Holocaust.

77 Responses

  1. Ian at |

    I like this list a lot. I was planning to write a list like this, but you beat me to it.

    Things I wish would happen:
    1) 2nd Enlightenment Era
    2) 2nd Progressive Era
    3) Country-wide educational reform
    4) Country-wide health reform (including diet)
    5) Less Defense spending (China is two generations or so behind us anyways)
    6) More Renewable Energy research
    7) World-wide Depopulation

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      Education is the key.

      Reply
    2. Grumble at |

      Wish in one hand and …

      Reply
      1. Ian at |

        …and spit on the other. I don’t have the political/financial power to found any of these alone.

        Reply
    3. Jake at |

      How do you plan on world wide de-population?

      Reply
      1. James at |

        War

        Reply
    4. J at |

      Typical liberal mindset.

      Reply
  2. CHRISTOPH JEFFCOAT at |

    I feel that the essay that explains # 1 ( erosion of national pride ) nails it on the head. I will be telling my friends to read this as I could not explain it better. I love this site. My friends never stop here, and I tell them ” they dont know what there missin”. Thanks ” ToptenMaster”

    Reply
    1. kayla bryant at |

      no it’s not about kids being dumb if u read maybe u would know what they are trying to get us to do even if it was written 10 years ago it still mean something so until you how it feels just be quiet and stop typing

      Reply
  3. ryan at |

    Dumb. You could’ve wrote this 10 years ago and it’d be the same. You could write it in 10 years and it’d be the same. Truth is parents can only do so much, dumb kids are going to do dumb things regardless of what “era” we live in. Don’t blame the modern world for your inability to raise your children. You think everyone from 1940-1985 had a golden childhood filled with rainbows and sunshine?

    Reply
    1. Erica at |

      No, they did not have perfect little childhoods. But, 10 to 20 years ago, people at least instilled MANNERS in their little demons. Now all parents do it give them everything they want so they kid will shut up, make them happy, or get them out of their hair. Seriously, people should have a license to be able to have children. Do you seriously expect children to raise themselves? That parents have no way to control them?

      Reply
      1. ryan at |

        That is my whole point! Parents need to raise their kids, not just say “I can’t do anything in these times”.

        Reply
        1. Erica at |

          I agree, that excuse is so pathetic and weak. Problem with most parents now is they are too self-centered to raise children. The thought of having them is SO great! YAY! But they don’t get that their life is no longer their own.

          Reply
      2. FMH at |

        Yeah and about 40 or fifty years ago, it was perfectly okay to beat your children until they had manners.
        Even thought this quote is used all the time, I have to repeat it here:

        “[…] They have bad manners, contempt for
        authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
        rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
        chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
        legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”
        – Aristotle, who complained about the youth of today 2300-and-something years ago.

        Reply
    2. Jerod T. at |

      Yes. This. You can go back centuries or even millennia (see ancient graffiti and such) and – allowing for technology and such – and things are consistently similar. We are not “going to hell in a handbasket,” as some would say.

      Reply
  4. jawa at |

    Haha, kids literally walking around in a daze. Okkay. So because kids have tried drinking or drugs, theyre in a constant drugged stupor. Unless things changed in a few years, the majority of high schoolers might party once a month, maybe, thats a big maybe. Sure, some kids might be drugged up all day, but the majority will try it even less than alcohol and not allow it to impact their lives. Also, lets see some stats from the 60s through the 90s on drug use.
    And on number one, god forbid kids not blindly dedicate their allegiance to their country and realize that it has flaws.

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      The issue when we talk about national pride is not that our children do not recognize the many flaws in our country. Rather, national pride should be a point of motivation that enables one to thrive to seek solutions for the country’s ills.

      Reply
      1. jawa at |

        Kids must be different in where ever you’re from, because since December my state’s capital has been filled with protestors of all ages, including a lot of kids, who during the thick of the protest organized mass walk outs to go protest. And they didnt just go to the park to be crazed druggies, they were certainly protesting. If thats not proof of a motivation to improve flaws, I dont know what is.

        Reply
        1. xopher at |

          I see stuff every day kids do get worse. i dont know where you all live but i see on the side of the road a couple of 10 year old smokin some joints and have been taught to hate. i see crackhead teenagers and i see kids being beaten to death this article is very true.

          Reply
  5. shyanneg at |

    I resent entry 10.

    There is no denying that a generalization can be made– two incomes, after all, are better than one– but I know few two parent families who have done a better job raising their children together than my mother did entirely alone!

    Please note that I graduated high school on time in 2009 with honours in English, my first drink was at the age of 16 at a friend’s house (which my mother knew about; the host’s parents were also home), my first time was at 16 (which my mother also knew about; I promptly opted to go on the pill to prevent any risk of pregnancy in combination with other forms of safe sex), and I have never, ever, ever touched an illegal drug.

    My mother taught me the value of not only money, but the value of hard work, of being a truly good person, and for standing up for what’s right. Even more importantly, no matter how many jobs my mother had, or how many courses she was taking in school (she earned a high school diploma and attended two career college programs all before I was in high school), she was there. Always. When I woke up in the morning, when I went to bed at night, and whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on, ear to bend, or a little tough love. She was there. She still is.

    My mother is my best friend. She is one of the strongest, most brave people that I know. I admire her. She is my hero. If I can be even half the mother that she is to me when I decide to start a family, then I will be thrilled.

    Remember that there are exceptions to every “rule”.

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      I commend your mother for doing such a great job raising you. This is especially true since she was doing the job of two. However, as you yourself know doing such a commendable job as your mother did is probably the exception rather than the rule. The facts of the matter are that children are raised in single parent homes find themselves at a disadvantage when compared to children raised in two parent homes. That is not to say that children in two parent homes don’t experience problems – of course of they do.

      Reply
      1. shyanneg at |

        Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that the children raised in single parent homes often find themselves at a disadvantage when compared to children raised in two parent homes? Otherwise, it’s an overly general statement that easily offends those who are, in fact, the exception rather than the rule (and yes, I do realize that stereotypes and other generalizations are made based on trends).

        Reply
    2. Heidi at |

      I’m going to disagree with – “two incomes, after all, are better than one”. Let’s look at it from another perspective… perhaps dual parent households/incomes are the problem.

      Do dual incomes not inflate lifestyles? Do children raised in this manner have a false sense of financial pragmatism? Why do we continue to raise the debt ceiling rather than reduce our spending? Granted, it may be necessary to have secondary/tertiary incomes if there are multiple children, extreme medical issues or some such. But one parent raising one child (possibly two) is completely possible, realistic… and (in my opinion) ideal. Why are we living/rearing our children with the expectation that there is something “better” and we/they ain’t it?? This sort of social construction is utterly inane!

      Reply
  6. Barry Brien at |

    Surprise, another U.S.-centric list. While I’m sure that some of these problems are affecting many of the countries in the western world, the author talks only of his own country, without realising that many of the people who visit this site do not live in, or particularly care about US problems exclusively. When talking about ‘our’ problems maybe the author should try to embrace a wider world view. Also the author should really engage in some proof-reading before posting terms such as “focus on their self” or “children lay educationally”.

    Reply
    1. Barry Brien at |

      Look there is nothing wrong with writing about what you know, but don’t assume that your only readers are fellow US citizens. Maybe this article’s name should be changed to “Top 10 Issues Facing The United State’s Youth Today”

      Reply
      1. TopTenz Master at |

        Barry, the majority of our readers are from the United States. The majority of our writers are from the US. There is bound to be bias. If we wrote lists for non-US the site would not have the readership it does and could not afford to pay the writers and hosting fees. Sorry, but this is a United States site for the most part, not out of bias, but out of our base knowledge and need for revenue.

        Reply
        1. Barry Brien at |

          How could you possibly know that the majority of your readers are from the US? Are you even aware that there are literally millions of English speakers across the globe? I’m not suggesting you write lists appropriate to Turkmenistani people. All that I am saying is that when writing a list like this the title should reflect the content. Also maybe you should put a disclaimer on the frontpage stating what you just stated in your post regarding your position as a US site only.

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            I know because I have analytics that track this information and it is easy to see. Almost 70% are in the United States.

            I won’t be labeling my site as US only because we don’t publish US only lists. Do you suggest every site you read label itself as to what country most reads the list? I doubt it, so why are you so strongly in favor of it from Toptenz.net? That is rhetorical, so don’t feel the need to respond. I’m not going to apologize for this site or the content. The writers do a good job and I am very proud of this site.

            I hope you continue to be a continued reader because we do value all visitors, even those who criticize the site.

            Reply
      2. Lee Standberry at |

        I don’t assume that the points of my article apply to the world at large. Actually, I know for a fact that the points of my list are problems that are indigenous to the United States. But let’s be realistic about this; the issues facing Japanese children or Russian children or African children are going to be wholly different than those found in the United States. As such, as an American myself my perspective is going to be American.

        Reply
        1. Barry Brien at |

          Lee: Of course your perspective is going to be American. There is nothing wrong with that. All I’m saying is that your choice of title is a little misleading to me as an Irish person.
          Master: Of course I don’t think every site should label itself due to it’s content. I’m not the one who stated that this site caters only to one nationality, that’s what you implied.
          The beauty of the internet is that it’s a global community. That’s why find this article misleading. Look it’s not really that big a deal, I’m just giving my view as an ‘outsider’
          Neither of you seem to get my point so I’ll try to explain it once again. As a non-US citizen the ‘we’ in the title of this article does not refer to me. Therefore I am suggesting that a more accurate title would reflect that this article deals only with US problems. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I’m just trying to fly the flag for your non-US readership that’s all. I’m not trying to belittle anybody or cause hassle, I really enjoy most lists on this site.

          Reply
          1. Lee Standberry at |

            Your point is noted.

            Reply
  7. Barry Brien at |

    Look there is nothing wrong with writing about what you know. I just think that maybe the title of this article should be changed to “Top 10 Issues Facing The Youth Of The United States Today” as it would be more accurate.

    Reply
    1. CHRISTOPH JEFFCOAT at |

      Gosh you have many points sir. I sure am glad we can have a country specific list. How could you possibly make a top ten list that includes every culture on earth? Well we could huh? Lets start with # 10 ? Where would hunger be? because it surely does not affect as 3/4 of the earth the way it does the rest, but then to many part’s of Africa, South America, Asia, that could and would be there number 1 ya think? Same with education we think we know what lack of education is( if you are sitting at a computer then education and hunger would be most likely not be a problem for you ) Lack of education in many countries means no education at all. My point is you have to be country, cultural specific on a list like this.Thank you and good night

      Reply
  8. jason stone at |

    love the number 1 on this list..i’ve been seeing it slowly decline since the mid 2000’s..we are losing ourselves as a United States through problems with immigration, health care, unemployment, and freedom of religion..the people we have elected over the years have continuously let us down by saying they are looking out for us when most of them have ;looked out for the ones that pay the most to their campaign..it’s embarrassing to see that we have gotten away from the things that made this country one of the most powerful in the world…i believe it can be turned around and we can once again be respected if not well liked by others around the world again, but it’s going to take an effort by all of us at the polls and our own choices to make this happen..God bless the USA

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      I couldn’t have articulated that any better, thank you.

      Reply
  9. FMH at |

    Wow, you really see the loss of “national pride” as the biggest problem the future generation will have to deal with? Seriously, this is only a philosophical problem or a political one. People can live well, nations can be run without people loving their country. They are still bonded to their home area, their town, neighbourhood, their friends. It takes much more to lose that bond. On the other hand, what do you get, when you have a country where many people are unemployed, badly educated and in fear of violence? More violence, of course. Now if most of these people are zealous nationalists you either end up with fascism or a lot of terrorist groups.
    No, to me your number one seems to me like saying the biggest problem with education today is that they don’t teach those old folk songs anymore. Yes, it’s a pity and it’s not good, but there are by far more vital things than that. And you listed them.

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      I can’t speak for other top ten list authors but the point of my lists are not ranked in order of importance. In other words, the #1 point is not necessarily the most egregious issue on the list. Rather, I just identify the top ten problems in no particular order. Thinking about it now I’ll probably make a more concerted effort to rank the issues on future lists.

      Reply
      1. Sherina Aqeel at |

        I totally understand and agree with Mr. Standberry.
        I ask that you not be swayed by the negatives that come at you.
        Country Pride I see in Jamaicans, Europeans, Egyptians and the list goes on!
        Neighborhoods are now (in this country) filled with so many differences.
        We must search solutions to bring about better economic conditions and country pride without the separation from our past, where we come from.

        My website is down right now but look for it to return
        We can all work together to aid our youth.
        It truly “Takes a Village” to rear even one.
        Especially in todays society of glamour in negativity growing rapidly!

        Reply
  10. Mohan at |

    America really sucks dude…most of these issues that are faced by Americans are self-inflicted…i guess they are paying the price for their high-handedness in the last few decades…inspite of these misfortunes, the USA goes around creating monsters around the world like the Tabliban, Al Queda, Saddam Hussein (to name a few), to achieve their own selfish political purposes…more often than not these monsters renege against their creators and wreck havoc…then the american government spends billions of taxpayers money trying to destroy its own frankenstein like creations…

    What goes around…comes around…

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      So I guess you’re not an American, huh?

      Reply
      1. Mohan at |

        I am an american citizen…does that mean i cannot criticize what is happening in my country???

        Reply
        1. Lee Standberry at |

          Be my guest. Criticize away.

          Reply
  11. Holly at |

    I am one of those single parents mentioned in #10. I am also not American, I am Canadian. I resent the impication that all single parents will ultimately fail their children. We cannot paint everyone with the same brush, nothing is ever that simplistic.
    Yes, I raised my daughter alone, and she turned out to be a fantastic human being. She is smart, graduated on time with honors, and I NEVER pushed her to be perfect. As long as she tried her hardest, that was all I asked, including 2 years of precalculous math, something I never would have attempted. She has never done drugs, broken the law, and has never been pregnant. She doesn’t drink to excess, and she is mature enough to know that society is not to blame for her ills. I raised her to realize we all have choices in life. We can choose to drink, do drugs and have sex without protection, or we can choose to be responsible.
    My daughter watched me struggle and sacrifice to make sure she didn’t have to go without. She may have grown up “in poverty” but she never went to bed hungry, always had a decent roof over her head, and she didn’t have to lie awake at night listening to mommy and daddy fight, ever, because it was me and her, period. I always made sure she had new clothes for school, and new school supplies and I was always there to be the emotional support she needed growing up. This despite going to college twice and being diagnosed with MS in 2000.
    Yes it was hard, yes there was sacrafice, on MY part, not hers, and yes there were days I went without to make sure she had. Do I resent any of it? No, because I know I did right by her.
    Also worth noting, she was one of two children she knew raised in a single parent home while going to high school. I am not sure what happened in the other mothers home, but to date, all of her friends that grew up in two parent homes have been drunk multiple times, one has been in rehab,been witness to domestic violence, they have all tried illegal drugs,been arrested, and there has been more than one teen pregnancy. And these are all from TWO parent homes!!
    Who’s to say that one home is better than the other? All I am trying to say is that not all single parent homes are the violence ridden, pits of dispair you are making them out to be.
    In fact, most single parents I know are like me. We love our children fiercly, and we sacrifice and hope for them. We try to be the best example we can be, and we hope they learn from our mistakes and see that you need to earn things in order to appreciate them. My daughter starts college this fall, business administration. What is one of her class mates doing that was raised in a two parent home? Working at a gas station for minimum wage, and still living at home with his parents.
    Thanks for your time.
    A proud single parent.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      The author never implied or suggested that “that all single parents will ultimately fail their children” as you wrote. She just called out a fact, which is single parent households have more trouble than two parent households. My wife comes from a single parent household and is a wonderful person and very caring towards others. She never got in trouble, in fact probably kept me out of of trouble. Her sister, though, is another story altogether.

      Reply
      1. Holly at |

        The way it is written, it is implied, at least that is my interpretation of it.

        Reply
        1. Lee Standberry at |

          Let me clarify my position on this issue. I am not saying that single parents can not or do not do well in raising their children. Obviously, there are many examples of children who are raised in single parent homes turning out just fine. However, as you noted in your comments it is a very hard job to undertake by yourself, which is the point that I was trying to make. In other words, it’s not about whether single parents do a good job or not but rather their job is made much more difficult because they have to do it alone. This inherit difficulty unfortunately produces negative consequences for a good percentage of children. Those are the facts. It’s commendable that you were able to beat the odds but for every success story such as yours there are countless others who cannot say the same. Thanks for your comments.

          Reply
  12. Carlos at |

    The most serious problem young folks r facing today is our government and their lack of integrity and honesty. They are facing mounting problems in all aspects of life, including the economy and education due to corruption and lack of leadership in our elected officials. They r at the mercy of authority figures who decide what is good for them. Why don’t we concentrate on these issues and ask our young people what they need from those who wield so much power over them.

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I could probably write a book on the innumerous shortcomings of the American government. Our politicians are more concerned with being reelected than they are with solving the problems that face the people. As a result there is little resolution to the social ills that plague the nation.

      Reply
  13. JEl at |

    Well this is all just dreck. There may be a grain of truth to some of your entries–such as materialism and “shifting economy”–but other than that your article is virtually uninformed, dishonest, and racist. A much larger threat to young Americans are those old Americans who idealize their own upbringing in the 1950s and feel as if they “want their country back.”

    Mohan’s comment offers a challenging explanation of how the country came to be in this position in the first place. You’re response: “So I guess you’re not an American, huh?” What a joke.

    Consider this–following your logic, mid-century American life provides us with some kind of national ideal. 60 years later, your argument implies, we’ve reached a point where our culture is nearly antithetical to this ideal. If the country has been declining politically, socially, and economically since mid-century, isn’t it fair to suggest that today we are faced with issues stemming from the political action/inaction of the very generation so quick to malign that which succeeds it?
    In short, the biggest issue “facing our youth today” is the preponderance of ever delusional baby-boomers who hold the next generation in such contempt in the first place. You’re bored and nostalgic–get over yourself and your idealized past. But then again, as you so aptly put it: “Unfortunately most folks tend to focus on their self and not the whole.”

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      After reading your comments I’m curious to know how my list is racist? You didn’t address that particular point.

      Reply
  14. tara at |

    You can’t blame single parent homes on the problems with youths today. Single parent homes aren’t the problem, it’s parents who just don’t care. I know plenty of single parents homes that have amazing kids, and even more two parent homes that have problem kids. If you give a crap about your kids they’ll be ok, you don’t need two parents.

    Reply
  15. Keith Watabayashi at |

    Wow did you really not mention “population” and “environment”?? What limited thinking.

    Reply
  16. Kurth Smith at |

    And you think the worst issue youth is facing today it’s erosion of ‘American’ identity/pride??? Dude you’re close minded!

    Reply
  17. Jenny at |

    I thing the most rapidly growing problem is obesity. Now people with normal weight appears to be the problem!

    Reply
  18. Emilie at |

    Uhm, where the hell is anorexia?

    Reply
  19. Todd at |

    As an American expatriate living in Australia, I thought this list was thoughtful.

    While reading the statistics regarding x million single parents, I was indeed surprised to see that the author didn’t mention “in the USA.” Globally, I’m sure this figure is higher. It set my expectation for the remainder of the article to be American-centric though, and as an American citizen, this didn’t bother me much. I chuckled later at the image under poverty because, although I can’t be sure, this looks to be an image from a non-American country with six sickly children on a horse-drawn buggy in a dumpster.

    Nonetheless, I think that several of these things can be attributed to any first-world nation. #1 The erosion of national identity will continue as the democratization of information through technology continues. Keep in mind this is being written by someone who has left America, so how much national pride can I really have? #2 + #3 + #5 with the Global Financial Crisis beginning in the USA, and spreading, it is getting harder to make money and find a job and therefore eat well. The cheapest foods and most comforting are full of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenized vegetable oil. Combine that with #5 (violence) and the fact that kids aren’t allowed to go outside by themselves (#10 single parent) for fear of getting abducted or hurt, yeah kids are getting fat. Why would you go outside when you have all the things (#6 materialism) you want to play with indoors?

    Anyhow, Australia and Europe are getting fatter too, it’s getting harder to find jobs in some nations (Greece, anyone?) and American media is being consumed globally, causing kids from around the world to have to “grow up” too quickly. No wonder kids are turning to drugs and alcohol (#9).

    For a comment that nobody is going to read, I have written too much, however the (#4) Education Disparity is probably the saddest point of them all. It has become so systemically flawed that I hope children can begin to teach themselves, but combined with all the other issues mentioned above, it seems like life will simply go on

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      I read all the comments and this is one of the better ones.

      Reply
    2. Rewrite at |

      My thoughts exactly. Get rid of the pictures. Expand on the topics. This is not menial or thought of lightly at least should not be. Especially not in a top ten list. Not a sports illustrated magazine or candy shop per say. Come on. Just saying

      Reply
  20. Kaitlyn at |

    I’ve moved 16 times and I’m only 17. At every school we have always had the pledge played on the announcments (which are now on TVs). The teacher is usually in charge of making the students stand up. I do agree about the pagent shows. I love teen mom but I would only allow 14 and up to watch. I think the media exposure can be regulated by parents though. If you want a channel to be unavailable to them only then you just create a password. I think there should be more kid friendly radio channels. Most of it’s appropriate for teenagers but the little fish should have their own baby pool.

    Reply
    1. Lee standberry at |

      Thanks for your comment Kaitlyn. I’m surprised at your comment regarding the pledge. I’m curious to know if the schools you have attended have been in an urban setting or suburban?

      Reply
  21. Isabel at |

    I have to say. I’ve been seeing a lot of horrible things on the internet lately. In particular in regards to suicide and that girl Amanda Todd. Children are not being properly educated about depression and they do not understand that it is NOT someone’s fault if they have a mental illness. There are so many other skewed perspectives that children/young teens are taking on and it seems that the internet is the perfect breeding ground for it. It allows them to see really bad viewpoints from horrible people which they then emulate. This then passes onto their peers and this opinion of the day becomes internalised by everyone involved because it seems ‘cooler’. Something has to be done because I am seriously concerned about the morality of the next generation!

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo at |

    I totally blame parents for not installing, manners, compassion and respect in their children. People wants kids like accessories but they don’t want to teach them values and morals. Parents should need a license in order to have kids, take courses before having kids. Also today parents give everything to their kids because they want to be liked, it is more important for a parent to be friends with their kids instead of being parents. You parenting needs to come first instead of friendship.

    I think our world is in a lot of trouble with the kids of today that will be the future.

    Reply
  23. seth at |

    Actualy, children around the rest of the world arentnlosing their patriotism, if anything it’s going up. “Americans” losing their patriotism is a great thing because America is a false nation founded on the graves of the true Americans, the Natives.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Show me a nation that didn’t make some mistakes “growing up.”

      Reply
  24. Philosopher John at |

    I think for #1 if anything we have too much National Pride at least for some Americans. The problem is it’s empty pride, it’s the sort of pride that keeps you from dealing with your problems because you are too proud to admit to them. It is pride for its own sake and is exemplified by “if you don’t like it, get out.”

    Reply
  25. David at |

    You have GOT to be kidding me! You rank “Erosion of National Pride/Identity” as #1? Thats such a joke!

    Reply
  26. Dani at |

    Just a few questions for the author. I really have to personally agree that most of these items would rank within MY picks for a top 10 list of concerns. I’m just wondering if these are your personal opinions or based on surveys or research? Not a complaint , just wonder if its like my opinion or actually grounded in data?

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberr at |

      These are my personal opinions Dani, though because some of these issues are pretty self-evident, you will find plenty of data backing the points up. I would say also that there is a cumulative effect taking place, with many other secondary issues that add to the overall problems.

      Reply
  27. Danny at |

    I have just one issue with your take on drugs and alcohol. Where is your research that says those numbers have gone up since the last, say, 10 years of the drinking age being 18? The reason pot use was so small is because nobody really knew about it in the 50’s and everyone was taught that it was bad for you. That it would destroy your brain. Which, unless you smoke just about every day of your life, won’t really happen. The issue with alcohol use is that kids are drinking from 16 at house parties. When the drinking age was 18, you still probably drank at 16. But, upon turning 18, you and your friends at college could go to a bar where you had somebody cutting you off if you got too drunk and could call you a cab. Now, we have to resort to house parties from about 15/16-22 where we have a hundred people telling us to drink more and more and more and having nobody to stop us from drinking or getting in our own cars instead of a cab. THAT is the issue. It’s not that high school seniors are drinking and smoking. They did that 30 years ago and 20 years ago. And I think that it’s an ignorant and arrogant comment to say that people of your generation didn’t do it in their late teens and early 20’s. The issue is the culture of drinking and the drinking age being way too high.

    Reply
    1. Lee Standberry at |

      I don’t think that I wrote or implied that alcohol and drugs did not affect my generation. In fact, they did, more so I believe then in previous generations. I would argue that the problem began to be prevalent with my generation (or maybe about few years earlier with the so-called counter culture revolution of the 70’s). Previous to this, sure you had kids drinking – but it wasn’t something that could be considered a cultural norm at the time and drugs were definitely looked upon as taboo. It wasn’t until we began ‘liberating’ ourselves and these activities were associated with just ‘having a good time’ that we see an increase in their use. All of this is a benefit of being alive long enough to have actually experienced it and seen it with my own eyes.

      Reply
  28. Stan Lee at |

    i feel that the us economy is struggling and the only way to survive is to get a good edeucation. We have to be able to compete with foreign markets.

    Reply
  29. William at |

    In todays society I have noticed an overwhelming abundance of people of all walks of life who have the most disgracefull or idiotic goals simply due to the people and things alot of the general population idolizes. From todays music to modern television even to the ideals taught in our schools I sadly have no choice but to recognize the terrible truth. That If this set of misguided ideals that leads our world does not change all future generations will be lost to a future where they only have two options, conform and lose all creativity intelegence and ability for free though or stand alone constantly scorned by the what is fast becoming an uneducated and misguided population. One of the more terrifying aspects of this problem stem from the fact that these problems have the ability to throw people of the scent of the real problem. For example sometimes a community will pull itself together to fix a certain issue like drugs in one region however this approch is sadly lacking since it treats the symptoms but not the cause. Due to this we are caught in a never ending spiral of destruction fueled by most people obliviousness to the fact that we have a problem at all. As an experiment I searched a few variations of “whats wrong with our society” and “our society” to see what other peoples views were on the subject. Unfortunatly my worst fears were realized. On youtube for instance all videos in one form or another simply go after the symptoms but wallow in the problem. Alot of the videos made by teenage girls especially simply state why cant we be nice to each other or I cant believe people bully girls over being fat or some such nonsense while those mae by adults or males simply say why dont we go back to the good old days which is the same thing as regression. I hope you can see why this is an issue. The underlying problem to all this is the gold standard of todays children. You will find it is either pop stars or the rich cool guy or girl. They are taught in one way or another that this is the epitome of what something can achieve in their lives. Even with more reasonable goals to have a family and get a good job we find a significant lack of vision. What happened to people who stood of for what they believed in and fought to change and better the world at any cost? Or those who devoted their lives to improving something about society or stuggled to uphold their pride in terrible situations. Im not saying there are none of these people left however this, the true standard of excelence has gone out of style. Without these models of excelence our youth no longer has anything valuable to look up to. They no longer think its possible for them to be truly great and forever help change history. This is because they are too bogged down under years of a combination of these false idols and the incorrect ideals taught in schools. For example every student has been taught in school “be nice” or “make lots of friends” or “be social ” and most importantly “join the group”. Its become clear to be that schools are not educating our students to be leaders or strong individuals capable of self determination. Our system is teaching them to conform. It is teaching them to conform to the very thing I and some other seek to destroy. The false sense that todays rich and famous are worth idolizing. Instead our schools should be teaching look at every situation logically and impartially or choose your friends wisely or if someone is being foolish kindly but firmly advise them otherwise. The Idea that the whole group is good is not possible, that is why our schools ideas about fitting in is a death trap. This is my take on todays situation. Make of it what you will however I implore you to look impartially and see if what im saying has a shadow of truth for I assure you it does.

    Reply
  30. Jack Nelson at |

    I really like it!!!!

    Reply
  31. kayla bryant at |

    i think that this is a good website because it tells what we are facing in life and hopeful we all think about our situation and learn from them and change what we need to change in our lifes

    Reply
  32. Naman Nepal at |

    If only the youths today would devote themselves to something serious regarding their future, the list mentioned would never have to be written.

    Reply
  33. Carson Maitland - Smith at |

    And if they want a job I say we give it to e’m.

    Reply
  34. selfiyana at |

    one more: Lacking in RELIGION, not only the internalization but also its practice.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Current ye@r *