We often find ourselves speaking to large groups of parents, and recently we have been starting out by saying “Nominations are now in order for the toughest challenge faced today by kids (and by their parents).”

The top seven nominations seem to be the same from nearly every audience (in no particular order):

  1. Peer pressure
  2. Bullying
  3. Entitlement
  4. Drugs and Substance Abuse
  5. Sexual Experimentation
  6. Sibling Rivalry
  7. Excessive technology and gadgets


Then what we usually do in our speeches is give everyone a chance to vote—just one vote each—for the single greatest challenge that parents (and kids) face in today’s world.  Today is your chance to vote too—by taking the Meridian reader poll below.

While we’re thinking about it and before you vote, let’s look at the list and think about which challenges have always existed and which are new (or greater) to this generation of kids.

Certainly peer pressure is an eternal problem that kids have faced forever. But is the kind of pressure and the intensity of it greater today than ever before?

Bullying has always been around, but today it takes on new dimensions of cyber-bullying and nasty stuff on facebook or twitter or blogs.

Number 3, “Entitlement” seems to be everywhere today—with kids thinking they should have everything they want, and everything their friends have, right now, and without working for it.

Drugs and alcohol and other substances that can be abused are certainly not new, but are their prevalence and availability higher than ever before?

Pornography and sexual experimentation and promiscuity has never not existed, but it certainly seems to happen at younger and younger ages and to be more “promoted” by media and popular culture.

If there is one thing on the list that maybe has not changed that much over the generations, perhaps it is sibling rivalry, although maybe it was less when kids worked more together.

Number 7 is clearly new isn’t it?  Perhaps the problem existed a generation ago, but “Technology” then was probably TV and early video games like “pong.”

What do you thnk?  Which problem seems most prevalent to you?  Which one worries you most? Which one most threatens children’s’ chances for a happy life?

Take your vote at Meridian’s poll, which is in the middle of the home page. We will report back next week on the results. Though you may worry about a several of them, you may vote for only one, so pick the one you think affects the most kids today.

Readers Poll:

What is the biggest problem facing kids (and their parents) today:

  • Peer pressure
  • Bullying
  • Entitlement
  • Drugs and Substance Abuse
  • Pornography and Sexual Experimentation
  • Sibling Rivalry
  • Excessive Technology and Gadgets

Richard and Linda recently released new book is THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP How to Rescue Your Child with a new Family System of Choosing, Earning, and Ownership*. They are the founders of Joy Schools and of valuesparenting.com and the authors of numerous best-selling books on marriage, parenting and family.  Their mission statement, developed while presiding over the England London South Mission, is FORTIFY FAMILIES by celebrating commitment, popularizing parenting, bolstering balance, and validating values. Their blog can be found at https://www.EntitlementTrap.com/blog.  You can visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or www.valuesparenting.com  This is the first article in an every-Monday series on Parenting in today’s new world


*Meridian Readers can now pre order The Entitlement Trap at a 33% discount.  See details at www.valuesparenting.com.