Many people here in Norway are in the fortunate position, that they can give their children economical safety. One dark side of this is that many young people today grow up and think that this is, and should be, the norm. They are used to getting what they need, and often times getting what they want (which are too different things). They want what the friends want, what their neighbor gets.
Young people are in a state of developing their identity. They are fragile to how they are perceived of others, it is a human instinct to fit in, to be accepted by the group. Hopefully, though, our sense of self worth as adults are not based on what we own and therefore how we are perceived by our peers – but sometimes we are not much better than the young. It is not our fault, really, we are all a result of the society we live in. That being said, we can also be party of the change of society.
In a newspaper article yesterday, a principal in a school in a prosperous district decided to shut down the prom, due to the unrealistic expectations and spendings of the young.
In an article today, the story is about a 15 year old girl at another school who got bullied because she had her big sister´s once-expensive gown re-sewn for the prom.
What expectations are we creating in our young people today?
How can we be responsible adults and help them be aware of what our spending does to the earth as a whole (see my post tomorrow!!) and to be less judgmental towards others?
These are difficult questions, and there are no quick-fixes.
But, one thing that can be done, is that parents talk about what is ok to spend, that they go together and set somewhat the same boundaries, so that the young will not feel left out of the group.
Take a look at what signals you send, how you speak about others. They listen, even when you think they do not. If they experience an attitude from you where the exterior mean nothing, it will seep through…
And does it? Mean nothing? I certainly can not say that…but more on my own behalf. I like clothes, I like make-up, it makes me feel like a better me….how can we incorporate this in our own lives and at the same time emit that these ways of expressing ourselves are not what make us whole, or happy?
So how, how can we manage this in today´s society? I would love to have a discussion!