Many years ago the typical American family could be described as, a single income family with a working father, a house mother, two kids, and maybe even a couple of pets. Since then, the typical American family has changed quite a bit. The single income family has now become either a double income family with both parents in the workforce or a single working parent, with the same responsibilities of raising children and maintaining a household. Many feel that the changes in the American family are causing serious problems for the children who are the future of the American society.
Because today s parents have to live up to society s higher standards they are forced to choose their jobs over their own families. This parental negligence contributes to the problems that children face today. These problems include a high divorce rate, which affects children both physically and emotionally, a need for child care facilities, where children are more likely to be exposed to abuse when left under the supervision of strangers, and the lack of quality time spent with their parents, which forces children to become independent thinkers at an age far too young. Broken families are one of life s greatest tragedies.
When a child s parent s split up, there are many emotions that the child must learn to deal with. These feelings may be either internalized or expressed; but they always result in consequential behavior. Children from divorced families often feel rejected, as if the only two people they can trust have abandoned them. Guilt, anger, low self-esteem and shame are all emotions felt by a child from a broken family leaving emotional scars that are difficult to heal. A loss of family identity makes a child feel inadequate or incomplete; they have a longing for attention from both parents.
In the story, Envy, by Bebe Campbell, the little girl s desires of recognition from her father causes her to misbehave in order to receive her father s attention. Maybe my mother would write my daddy and tell him how bad I had been. Maybe he would get so mad he would get in his car and drive all the way to Philly just to whip my behind (Campbell 128). Childcare is another issue that we must face, parents are now turning to daycare facilities because their busy schedules do not allow them to care for their children themselves. But, whom are we leaving our children with?
Total strangers hold our children s lives in their hands. There have been numerous accounts of abuse in daycare centers. Abuse is an issue that should be taken very seriously, not only can it physically harm the child but it leaves emotional scars for life. Another problem that is arising among children is the lack of parental guidance. When we think of families, we think of fathers teaching sons to play ball, or mothers talking to their daughters about boys. But because of eight-hour workdays, not including overtime, this quality family time has been diminished.
A result of this is that children must now face many problems on their own with out the help of a mentor or role model. Parents Now expect their children to be self-disciplined (Irvine 14A), but their expectations are often not met. In today s society we face an overwhelming amount of youth violence. It may be that they are reaching out to us or just that they are not as mature as we expect them to be. The simple fact is that young people need direction; they need to be taught instead of having to search on their own.
Many say that we are moving on towards the future, and that we should expect bigger and better things, but as we are moving forward, the regression of family values and morality is defacing the future of American society. It seems as though there are more conveniences, but less time to enjoy them. Americans are working harder to give their children everything that they didn t have, but at the same time, they are forgetting to give their children the time and attention that they truly need to grow.