The Youth Of Today This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Go watch TV, G.I. Joe is on," the parent says to the child. "I'm too tired to play right now."

Every day, children in the U.S. are sent to watch TV or play video games. Every day, parents try to provide families and households with necessities and luxuries, if possible. However, many parents believe that their responsibility ends when they return from work. Although many parents are hard-working and good providers, they sometimes forget that bringing home a paycheck doesn't make them good parents. Love, not material gifts, should be the essential ingredient in every parent/child relationship.

Even though I am not a parent, I have a younger brother and sister. Each day I influence them just by living with them. When children are young, they are easily impressed by the values and actions of those around them. They seek acceptance by emulating the behavior of their elders. If parents are always "too tired" or "too busy" to spend time with their children, then the children must find another role model. Unfortunately, that role model may be the neighborhood bully or the drug dealer on the corner.

Many people are quick to criticize the actions of youth today. But what is the world doing to improve the situation? Educational funds are continually being reduced, and the number of cases of child abuse is shockingly high. Every eight seconds of a school day, a child drops out. Every 26 seconds, a child runs away from home. Every 47 seconds, a child is abused or neglected. Every 67 seconds, a teen-ager has a baby. Every day 135,000 students bring their guns to school.* Facts like these should make us open our eyes to the problems we are facing.

At my school, we have felt the cuts in education. We've lost two guidance counselors, as well as numerous teachers. Some classes are too large while others have been eliminated. I just hope that education is a higher priority by the time my children are ready to attend school. We will be the only ones to blame if it is not, because we are the future.

*Statistics taken from Nancy Gibbs, "Shameful Bequests to the Next Generation," Time Magazine, October 8, 1990, p. 42. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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