Then and Now Discussion

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Topic 1- Then and Now 

Numerous forces contribute to a child’s developmental and psychological growth over time. Socialization being an important factor is a dynamic process(beginning at birth), in that interactions change over time. In her writing, Roberta incorporates Proverb 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”(2016, Pg. 6). Breaking this down we can begin to understand the importance behind it, Roberta is creating an understanding that children listen(to what parents, peers, and leaders say), see(what parents, peers, and etc. do), learn(from watching), and copy. During the 14-16th centuries, children were raised as if they were adults, they held the responsibilities of adults and were punished for crimes. From the 14th-late 19th century, children were given adult responsibilities and treated most of the time as if they were adults. Comparing past centuries to today there was a drastic improvement in the treatment of children. The youth of the 20th century has begun to bring up their own culture. Today children are treated as consumers, with pressures to compete, and pushed to learn about and become independent. That being said, there are negative factors and a wealth of parental concern that come along with these societal changes. “Children today must cope with a world in which both parents work, drugs are readily available, sex is as close as the TV or Internet, guns are readily available, and violence is just around the corner”(Berns, 2016, Pg. 15). As a result, most parents will become overprotective and not allow the child much freedom or independence. Today parents are much more concerned with the development of their children, whereas in the past children were expected to have the competencies of a normal adult. 

Topic 2- Comparing the Decade 

When we discuss the technology available at our fingertips today we often lose sight of the importance of face-to-face communication. Socializing agents impact child development and enable children to become contributing adults. As Roberta states “… , the digital age paradoxically contributes to human disconnectedness, …” (2016, Pg. 14), we are steered away from face-to-face connectedness and communication every day.  We have become a generation almost entirely dependent on technology. “Snail mail” was a primary source of communication then, as opposed to today. Some people may even remember having pen pals in elementary school and being excited about writing letters and buying stamps. Today we have a variety of technologies that allow us to contact each other whether it’s email, text, video chat, fax, or instant messaging. Technology has shortened communication from several days to minutes. Likewise, growing technological advances do have positive effects on developing children and families today. The use of technology in classrooms improves student engagement, encourages individual learning and collaboration, and has been said to improve knowledge retention. Of course, we can not weigh out the negatives with the positives when we consider how such changes are affecting children and families. In today’s generation children are said to be media junkies, computer savvy, coupled to their cellphones, self-absorbed, and often driven to distraction. The impact of popular culture and technology is entirely noticeable in families. (2016, Pg. 13)  “The more technological and diverse the society, the more children have to learn in order to adapt effectively, the more socializing agents and experiences contribute to the process, and the more time the socialization process takes” Roberta states. Technology has created a growing divide between traditional roles that children and their parents play while, at the same time, disrupting those same lines between parents and children.

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