Thursday, March 28, 2013

Affluenza | a small idea from Raising Adults


The problems long associated with our economic underclass are epidemic in the suburbs too. As early as 1981, someone called it affluenza—the same behaviors and attitudes slightly upscaled. Cocaine in place of crack. Jaegermeister in place of Colt 45. Burgling suburban homes instead of knocking over convenience stores. Cutting and other self-injurious behaviors rather of lashing out. Oral sex instead of premature birthing.
And so we’re sad, a lot of us. We hate to see kids get off on the wrong foot. They are after all our children, one way or another.
The question is, What are we doing about it?
Parents are not alone. A million middle and high school teachers, instructors and coaches tend to North American adolescents throughout the school year. Add half a million church-based youth workers, 3 million employers and 16 million retailers, marketers, officers of the court—and, of course, demographers—and teenagers have the admittedly divided but substantial attention of a whole lot of adults.
As long as we’re counting, let’s add that North America kids are just a fraction of around two billion global teens. Let me repeat that another way so we don’t miss it:
Right now, two billion teenagers call this world their home.
Is it just me or does that seem like an awful lot of kids hanging out at the mall? Or fighting wars...Or spreading disease...Or building and buying things...Or solving planetary problems.
— from Raising Adults

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