group magazine: July-August, 1995
From: July/August 1995 Group Magazine
Keywords: Trends Cybertalk Success Change
Good Friday for Celebrities
"God is not a celebrity"
So reads a booming ad for Joop! Jeans that pictures a shirtless, slumping rock star-complete with electric guitar draped from his shoulders-crucified on a wood-beam cross. How will that sell jeans? Well...some marketing hotshot probably read up on Gen Xers and discovered "image" sells with them. But will it sell with your kids? Show them the ad and ask.
Nothin' Like a Good Spankin'
Six out of 10 high schoolers say teenagers convicted of some crimes should be physically punished (that compares to half of junior highers who believe in corporal punishment).
Teenager Donna Webb's submission to More Dreams Alive (Saint Mary's Press), a book of prayers written by young people:
Someone who will talk to me,
Let me listen, let me learn.
Someone who will listen to me,
A kind ear that will not turn.
Someone to say "It's all right,"
Who will be there when the nightmare stops.
Someone to say "I love you,"
Who will help fill the emptiness inside.
Someone whom I can trust,
Someone whom will stay by my side.
A pair of arms willing to give a hug,
A voice to whisper, "The nightmare will end,"
A hand to wipe the tears away.
Boxers, T-Shirts and Flannel Nighties:
Coed Slumber Parties Are All the Rage
Now there's one thing you rarely hear at a slumber party. That's because sleepovers are traditionally female rites of passage. But no more. According to The Wall Street Journal, coed slumber parties are a bona fide teenage trend. Journal reporter Christina Duff writes, "Propelled by changing mores, insistent teens and indulgent parents, the slumber party, once a treasured rite of passage for girls, is increasingly going coeducational...The trend, which has been big on both coasts for a while, is marching steadily through the heartland..."
What goes on at a typical sleepless-fest? Well...
*Kids of both sexes wear T-shirts and boxers or flannel pajamas as their slumber party "uniform."
*Teenagers crowd around the television for late-night video viewing (The Lion King is a staple).
*Egged on by guys, girls often perch themselves in guys' laps and give frequent hugs.
*Guys and girls engage in heated discussions for hours (for example, a debate on which sex is responsible for making "the first move").
*Midnight raids on the liquor cabinet are not unusual.
*About half the time, at least one couple sneaks off for a little private romancing.
Duff writes, "For some, coed sleepovers simply represent an inevitable social mutation: They have evolved because some teens, convinced their own families can't possibly understand the problems of modern adolescence, try to surround themselves with artificial family structures made up of peers from both sexes."
The Times, They Are a-Changin'
In the two decades since Richard Nixon stepped down, much has changed in American culture:
What's Gone Up
What's Gone Down
*Cases of AIDS (from 0 to almost 64,000).
*Cases of measles (from 22,094 to 312).
*Children 18 and younger living in poverty (from 15% to 23%).
*Elderly living in poverty (from 15% to 12%)
*Children living with a parent who never married (from 1.5% to 9.6%).
*Children per family with children (from 2.14 to 1.84).
*Deaths by firearms (from 33,056 to 40,230).
*Deaths by motor vehicle accidents (from 46,402 to 40,880).
*Pregnancies ending in abortion (from 22% to 28%).
*Teenagers who say they've used marijuana (from 23% to 12%).
*High school graduates who go on to college in the fall (from 47% to 63 %)
*High school students who drop out during the year (from 7% to 4%).
*Movie tickets sold (from 1.01 billion to 1.29 billion).
*Consumption of red meat per person (from 142 pounds to 123 pounds).
What Kids Think About...Almost Everything
Junior Achievement asked the Gallup organization to conduct a huge National Youth Survey last year. Here's what kids said about..
The Importance of Role Models
(% of kids who say each is "very important")
#1-Your parents (94%)
#2-Your teachers (78%)
#3-Religious leaders (50%)
#4-Political leaders (35%)
#5-Professional athletes (31%)
The Importance of U.S. Social Goals
(% of kids who say each is "very important")
#1-Reduce crime (91%)
#1-Support education (91%)
#3-Help the homeless (87%)
#4-Have jobs for all who want to work (83%)
#5-Provide health care to everyone (81%)
How Much Confidence They Have in U.S. Institutions
(% of kids who say they have a "great deal" of confidence in each institution)
#2-Public schools (36%)
#3-Professional sports (25%)
#5-Federal government (21%)
(% of kids who say each characteristic is "very important")
#1-Helping others (85%)
#2-Having people respect you (74%)
#3-Improving your community (72%)
#4-Being creative (56%)
#5-Serving the nation (54%)
Students' Biggest Bothers
When New Jersey high school teacher Joyce Greenberg Lott asked seniors to list their top concerns at school, they had no trouble agreeing:
#2-Problem kids from other schools
#3-Really, really bad teachers
Flying High on Ritalin
In an age of rapid change, there's always a new way for kids to get high-today's drug du jour is Ritalin, a prescription medication for young people with attention deficit disorder. Police say kids either crush the drug to snort it or cook it to inject it. The drug can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, along with sharper mental alertness, increased energy, and more self-confidence. Abuse, say doctors, can cause a stroke or heart attack.
16 Skills Kids Need to Succeed
When you think about skills your group members need to make it in life, are these on your list? (Adapted from the Lifeskills Program developed by Susan Kovalik & Associates):
*Integrity-acting on what you know is right and wrong
*Initiative-doing something because it needs to be done
*Flexibility-being open to changing plans when necessary
*Perseverance-to keep plugging away despite the odds
*Organization-to plan and act on that plan in an orderly way
*Sense of Humor-to be lighthearted but not at another's expense
*Effort-doing your best
*Common Sense-using good judgment
*Problem Solving-finding solutions to vexing situations
*Responsibility-acting when you need to and being accountable
*Patience-knowing how to wait calmly
*Friendship-knowing how to make and keep mutually trusting friends
*Curiosity-a hunger to explore and understand the world
*Cooperation-knowing how to work together for a common goal
*Caring-to feel for others and show real concern for them
*Courage-facing dangers, difficulties and fears head-on
Do You Believe In God?
From: Snerth-I know God's there, but what does he do? There are different views, and at the moment I don't know which to believe.
From: DaveyD1-Here's what I think: There is NO WAY in my mind that he could exist. I mean, if this "thing" is supposed to be so good and protective and caring and all, why does he let bad things happen? Why does he allow things like the Oklahoma bombing to happen? Why does he let abuse (something I have experienced) happen? HUH? I think that if there were a God, he'd be more caring than that. I HATE Church, and I HATE God, if there is one.
From: EbsIvs01-Davey...you *HATE* God...pretty strong statement. But you're entitled to it, of course...I honestly don't believe that God "let" the bombing in OK City happen. I think it was obviously Satan who conspired the whole thing...
From: CaSh BiLlE-YES!!! That's the whole point, Davey. There *is* a Satan also. Most of the bad done in this world was the work of him. God would not just LET that bombing occur. It was Satan's doing.
From: Twinkie098-God does not create evil. He cannot even look upon sin. As for abuse, these things just happen when Satan poisons peoples' minds. God just makes something good come out of it. Since you are obviously not a Christian you cannot understand that God does not reveal all of His motives. We are just supposed to have faith.
From: Kelly572-Oh, stop blaming Satan for everything. So he's a little upset about having to leave heaven. Can you blame him? I've read the Bible a few times, and I didn't see Satan causing many problems. Seems like God is the one flooding the world and letting all the bad things happen. But if you really need someone to blame for all the bad things, I guess Satan is a good choice. Better him than me...
From: GN453-You are defending SATAN?? Oh, don't we all feel sorry for him...HA!! He is the reason for the OK bombing and all the major wars and hate and murder in this world.
From: Kelly572-Maybe I am defending Satan. So? Actually that wasn't my point. I was trying to say that just because something bad happened doesn't mean that God didn't have anything to do with it. If He made the world, then He controls what happens in it. So maybe everything has an ultimate purpose.
From: LadyGrayce-God is a God of freedom. He created each of us with a free will. He created us with the ability to choose love, but he also created us with the ability to choose evil. And what is the freedom to love or not to love unless it is the freedom to enrich or harm each other? A freedom that is prevented from being exercised whenever it is going to be misused is hardly freedom!!! Thus the OK bombing has nothing to do with God not loving, not caring. It has to do with the evil nature of many people.