- By Sam George
- Published 05/21/2009
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another recent survey, by a children’s organisation questioned 150,000 children and found that an astonishing 26 per cent of ten-year-old girls are obsessed with their weight and feel they’re not thin enough. More girls under the age of ten are being diagnosed with anorexia than ever. Some early teens are opting for breast implants as their birthday presents.
May be parents and culture should be blamed. We are putting so much pressure on our children today to grow up too quickly. They access information which is way beyond their level of maturity in terms of sexual and relationship behaviour. They exhibit increased levels of anxiety among young girls who feel they are not thin enough, not beautiful enough, and compare themselves to the impossible images of their airbrushed idols in magazines.
Many ten-year-old girls are obsessed by hair, fashion and make-up. Children are being inundated with images which they are simply not emotionally mature enough to cope with. They tend to believe this is how they should be and that everybody is doing them. According to market research, if the trends continue, by the time today’s 10-year-old turns 50, she’ll have spent almost half a million dollars on hair, makeup, elective surgeries, manicures, and pedicures.
Another recent study found that fewer than 20 per cent of children play outside on a regular basis. As parents work longer hours and have less time to spend with their children, it is all too easy to dump them in front of a television screen. Many of the TV programmes aimed at teenagers, and music videos which are virtually soft porn. Then there is computers with broadband access without any filters or supervision.
The key to a happy, secure childhood – which is vitally important in creating stable and responsible adults – is to feel good about yourself and know who you are. Coming out of broken homes and self-obsessed parents, this latchkey kids are one of the least nurtured kids ever.
I am currently reading Spoiling Children: How well meaning prents are giving children too much, but not what they need by Dr. Diane Ehresaft. Title says it all.