Thursday, November 02, 2006

British teenagers are among the most badly behaved in Europe...

There has been some disturbing violence by teenagers in the UK recently, but here is an article debating why the "youth in UK are the most badly behaved in all of Europe" it was an interesting read, I think many perspectives apply across the national borders, but here are some quotes that I would like to highlight:

"Commentators fear that British youth is on the verge of mental breakdown, at risk from anti-social behaviour, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse. These concerns are, to an extent, borne out."

"Southern European nations with a strong Catholic tradition and a focus on the family do not share the same level of delinquency. Scandinavian countries with a large welfare state and a strong sense of civic engagement also perform better."

""Hanging out with mates" is what teenagers do in the UK. In contrast to their European counterparts, they spend far more time with their peers than with adults where they miss out on the development of what are called "soft skills" - the social and personal development which is increasingly vital in a country built around service industry. "

"The key is that youngsters grow up in a warm, nurturing environment with plenty of adult interaction."

"We need to repair the disconnect between our adolescents and the adult world."

I think there are some genuine conclusions that are reached by this reporter, one that really struck me is the importance of connecting adolescents with adults. Which of course makes me wonder how we separate youth with adults in our churches, are we missing out on development and learning from each other that could take place on a greater level, when working together?

It is also interesting what kind of groups had an impact on youth, such as sports, and clubs, and strong Catholic tradition and a focus on the family.

I think it's clear that violence and disturbing behaviour is not exclusive to UK, but the causes of this and the solutions that are being sought by the English are good, in fact they even held a dialouge between students from germany and england to discuss what respect is all about and how culturally different and same the two look at the issues at hand. Anyways I think these are very good discussions going on about the well being of youth growing up in wealthy, materialistically driven societies of the west. It has given me some stuff to think about anyways...


Timothy Nightingale said...

I am living in England right now. I work as the youth pastor in a church in a local town. I would have to agree with the article. Parents and youth are drifting further and further into different worlds. They are entirely different cultures, with different agendas and prioities. Another problem is that they children live at home into their mid 20's. This creates a delayed need for maturing. These kids have money and time and nothing to do with either. Obviously the combination of these two things is going to lead to trouble. As a youth pastor I am not quite sure what to do quite yet. I will have study the culture more closely and just pray that God will open doors and opportunities.

Paul Morgun said...

Thanks for you input Tim, I think you touched on some important issues, of wealth, priorities and what to do with it all...these are hard issues how to convince a rich generation not to be self obsessed? God Bless you in your ministry! and Good to hear from you Tim!