Top 10 Issues Facing Our Youth Today

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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. Add your suggestions to the comments. What do you think are the major issues facing the young people today?

10. Single Parent Households

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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

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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

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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

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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

i'm still not happy

Source: Polyp.org.uk

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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131 Comments

  1. 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

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

  3. I completely agree with all of these factors. Especially education all around being different , that really affects students who try and want to better themselves . It just makes their future harder to get on the ball . I don’t like all of the sexual innuendos the media portrays on TV and the radio to show to children.

  4. i really enjoyed reading this article about this generation’s top 10 problems in America. I agree with all that was stated. I personally would like to see unity within women. i strongly feel its about time for us ladies to start getting together and using our God given ability to create new solutions and show our children that within each and every one of us is a huge amount of power to make wonders happen. people now a days do not think outside the box, and if they do, they are too afraid to express themselves, too worried about being labeled as weird or wrong or not cool. its rediculous. i myself went through that stage and if it wasnt for the Book of Proverbs, my faith in God, and my belief in Jesus Christ, i would probably still be stuck in a shell of fear. So with that said, I hope to see women, men, and children taking steps to be more of themselves and less of what they think people would want them to be. sincerely, Maria aka Bad Girl for Christ.

  5. Mr. Anderson on

    10. Though I do recognize that this is a problem that our society is facing today, I have a solution that could, in the long run, cut that percentage down drastically. That is this: Don’t have sex until after you are married! It’s stupid to look at a problem and complain about it, yet do nothing about it.

    • AGENT SMITH on

      About #10: Throughout human history, abstinence before marriage has always been hit or miss. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, don’t assume that every single parent did not get married at some point. America is still more conservative than many other nations.

  6. Mr. Anderson on

    9. This is definitely a problem that is a problem in our society. Something that can be done to combat this is to raise kids and teach and show them that drugs destroy lives. Want to change the problems in society? We need to look at ourselves and change how we act because WE ARE SOCIETY! In order to help the children of our society, we need to become better parents. Check out this website.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/science-says-parents-of-successful-kids-have-these-11-things-in-common-a6751951.html

    • AGENT SMITH on

      About #9: I agree with better parenting and honesty with children even on uncomfortable issues. Parents who had a drug history shouldn’t bring that up to their children willy-nilly though, because children will say “my parents did it, I’ll experiment too! What could it hurt? They’re still here!”
      The traditional American anti-drug strategy in families of avoiding the issue and JUST SAY “NO!” worked so well in the 80s, amirite?

  7. Mr. Anderson on

    8. Again, kids face this sort of trial every day, but if they come home to a place free from that, they can see that they should avoid it. Making sure that what you watch is clean makes a huge difference. It makes the life of everyone in that home a lot easier.

  8. Mr. Anderson on

    7. Violence is always a sad thing. No matter what, you shouldn’t go into a situation expecting to fight someone. Honestly though, it’s funny to see the correlation between good parenting and the lack of violence. The better the parent lives their life, the better the child will be. So many people also are looking to be victims. They say that they’ve been dealt a bad hand and are suffering all the time. For some, it could be the case… but the vast majority of those who claim that don’t actually have it bad and many of their problems are self inflicted. If they just look at their lives and try to see the good, put forth even a little bit of effort to change, their lives would dramatically get better.

  9. Mr. Anderson on

    6. It’s true that we live in a world of materialism. That spawns from people not having control over their desires. If they want something, they need to earn it. It says in there, for instance, that parents provide their kids with whatever they want that is within their financial ability to do so. Families would save so much money if they would just wait and not buy their kids something that’s going to go unappreciated in a few weeks anyway. If the child wants something badly enough, they should save up for it until they have enough money, then they should find the item they want for the lowest price without sacrificing the quality, and then check back in a few weeks to see if they actually want the item. The child will earn a greater appreciation for the thing they purchased if they go through this process.

  10. Mr. Anderson on

    5. Obesity is definitely something that many people struggle with every day, but if you look back on history, you’d notice that as television and fast food became more readily available, people began to tack on the pounds. Maybe the solution would be to… I don’t know… save money by not eating so much fast-food and to stop watching television every single day. People have stopped exercising and walking and have spent far more time inside, watching television or playing video games while eating their favorite snack. This needs to stop.

  11. Mr. Anderson on

    4. A reason many of these poor neighborhood schools have lower graduation rates is because many of those minorities that attend them have become lazy and they don’t put forth effort to do what they need to in order to graduate. Another thing is that some people have been raised being told that they’re victims and that if something unfavorable happens, then it’s a sign that they’re being discriminated against. If they don’t put forth their best effort and they fail at an assignment, then they’re supposedly being discriminated against and the world is stacked against them… Does that sound fair? No! If they want to succeed and graduate, get good jobs and have successful lives, they have as much opportunity to do so as the whites or non-minority. They just have to put forth THE SAME AMOUNT OF EFFORT. I’m not saying this to make people angry, but it does bother me that so many people just sit there and complain about their problems and, without saying it, want someone else to fix their life situations and then they get bitter and angry if nobody does.

  12. Mr. Anderson on

    3. This one is also interesting. First off, not to seem argumentative about this, but how are the state-funded high school students not able to graduate “or even dropout of school without going through the pains of a low-income job?” How does the Japanese trading effect the school system’s ability to sustain a student? I’ll leave that for now…

    I love the quote from the Back to the Future shows where George McFly says to Marty that “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything.” This is true. Looking for a job can be difficult, but if you’re in a slow or down economy, you can’t be all that choosy about the work you do. There are so many opportunities people miss out on because they won’t put forth the effort.

    If you’re looking for a better job, great! Take one that you won’t feel bad about leaving as soon as you find something better.

  13. Mr. Anderson on

    2. There are so many times where I see someone that is a poster-child for poverty and notice that they have smart-phones, expensive shoes, video game consoles, and a lot of things that they have no business buying if they can’t afford food and clothes. They can survive without video games, but the same can’t be said about food or shelter. If people would put forth more effort into finding a better job, budgeting their money, making wiser decisions, etc. then life would be a lot easier for them. Every person I’ve known that are in poverty have had at least some of what I mentioned above. I know that isn’t something that’s all across the board… Not everyone is like that and many are legitimately poor. However, those people are drowned out because of the vast majority of selfish people that think they’re impoverished, but actually aren’t.

  14. Mr. Anderson on

    In regards to my previous ten points, this is mostly my own opinion and my observations. I don’t mean to sound argumentative, though I can come across as sounding that way… but if any of this offends you, that’s your own choice and you’ve chosen to accept offense. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you embrace feeling offense at something.

    One other point, I know there are some that would point out spelling/grammar errors in my posts. For those, I apologize… but you still understand my point.

  15. Mr. Anderson on

    Also, I respect those that put in the time and effort into writing the posts on this website. Some points I may not agree with, but I understand the person and where they are coming from.

  16. mohammed omar on

    Also for my side the major problem facing youth is:
    1)peer apresure and influece
    2)early mariage
    3)Force mariage
    And othets………

  17. Malish Noel Scopas on

    The problem that are affecting youth today is civil wars especially in the African continent, child soldier recruitment, subjection to untold suffering, forceful early marriages, poor formal education, living a refugee

  18. 10. why the hell you guys can’t live together. too many single means you guys are not compatible with each other. Which says about your mind set (not judging all though). but think about it , other nations where people are together despite their problems – do you think you have bigger brains than them?.
    9. Well. you guys do it every BS – and tag it with name freedom. i heard that few places started allowing drugs legally. if parental control was their – they will never leave children to this. nope , you gave that control to business and entertainment.
    8. Too much bad is given in the name of modern things. If you question , they will say hey that’s the way world is now as if the world is some where else. it’s just you and me.
    7. Violence – the same issue . more concentration is given to partying then how your child is growing mentally. for this also they won’t agree- hey , i love my kid, i am the best parent – who is not? – but see how your kid ended up.
    6. more people are thinking stock market then how your brother/friend is in life. market is for the people . you made people for the market. – they wont agree – hey that’s how the market atmosphere is – well, who created it – some other american similar to you.
    5. Take away and packed items are made fashion – Enjoy sitting and eating. – if you question they say – your hurting your child feeling – Enjoy the disaster.
    4. The better culture – the better home – the better planning in life – the better support & care to child. In the name of freedom you destroyed that too.
    2&3. Well , you are better in this than most of the countries.
    1. No comments.

    Bring the sensitivity back to your life on how to decide what freedom is and what is not. the question should not be on freedom , it should be on what works better and what will not. For small Ex. A child is a fresh life- it is a beautiful thing , a wonderful thing. you should do what ever you can to make it grow properly – he/she will pass on the same to next Gen (again don’t confuse single can do better – may be single can but a bicycle needs 2 good wheels – if 1 wheel , it still runs but it is called circus (2 good wheels)). again saying today’s kids are next gen parents. if they are bad that means you didn’t raise them properly to handle life.

  19. Muhammad Umair on

    Hi,
    I have read the article it is informative to some extent. I’m trying to figure those problem’s of societies that can be turned into a lucrative business. If any one of you have any thoughts in your mind regarding this then kindly let me know. I just want to contribute to make the society more comfortable.
    Hope to see your responses soon. 🙂
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Muhammad Umair

    • MUHAMMAD WANTS TO "HELP" AMERIKKKA on

      Kill fat kids and sell them as food to the starving. You can call it SOYLENT GREEN.

      Oh, and….

      YOU’RE WELCOME!

    • HANK AND FRANK NEEDS REMEDIAL ENGLISH on

      @HANK AND FRANK
      “Your” should be “you’re”, oh wise one.

  20. #4 is a little racist. Just because your African american or Latino and you attend a predominantly minority school doesn’t mean you are receiving a poor education. I went to a predominantly African american school and I graduated from college. Getting ready to get my masters. Predominantly minority schools have great curriculums also! The author of this article clearly didn’t attend a predominantly minority school and is writing some of this article based of opinion. He / she didnt even include any statistics to suport their claim