Tag Archive | Youth Culture

Youth Culture Watch

Youth Culture Watch

Author: Compiled by Jim Liebelt

Timely information helping parents stay current with the ebb and flow of today’s youth culture. The following information is provided to help parents gain a better understanding of today’s youth culture.

The following articles, interpretations of research, surveys and the host websites are not specifically endorsed by HomeWord. Readers should use discretion when accessing hyperlinks and advertisements embedded within the online article pages listed below.

• Single-adult Households Displaced Two-Parent Homes as Most Common Family. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported the change in its new report, “Examining American Household Composition: 1990 and 2000”. The change demonstrates “the growing complexity” of American households. Nuclear-family households — two married parents and a child – were the most common as recently as 1990, when there were 25 million such households. But by 2000, nuclear-family households fell to second place, both because there were almost a half-million fewer of these type of homes and because the number of single-adult households surged past 27 million. Married households without children remained the third most common, with 20 million in 1990 and 22 million in 2000. Source: The Washington Times. To read more, click here.

• Time Magazine Publishes Issue Focusing on “Being Thirteen”. The August 8 issue of Time Magazine investigated what being 13 in our country looks like. Time polled 501 teens online. Some of the findings were:
• 67 % think being a teenager is harder to day than it was when their parents were teens.
• 46% believe the U.S. will be a worse place to live by the time they reach their parents age.
• 53% characterize their relationship with their parents as “excellent.”
• 53% say their parents are “very involved” in their lives.
• 68% reported that their parents have the “right amount” of involvement in their lives.
• 85% think their parents are either not too strict or just a little too strict.
• 72% say they have not started dating yet.
• 62% reported that their parents think they should be 16-years-old or older to date.
• 60% believe people should wait until marriage to have sex.
Source: Time Magazine.

• Now is Actually a Good Time to be Thirteen… According to Time Magazine’s “Being 13” issue, Today’s 13-year-olds are less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs, get pregnant, commit a crime or drop out of school then those of their parents’ generation of the 1970’s. Source: Time Magazine.

• More Info on Cyberbullying. According to researchers at Clemson University, cyberbullying has been experienced by 18% of 3,700 middle schoolers they surveyed. “Our statistics are conservative,” said Clemson psychologist Robin Kowalski. For every incident reported, many more go unreported. Researchers reported that kids who are victimized “seem to be heavily involved in bullying others.” The reason? While intimidation often prevents kids who have been physically bullied from retaliating physically, cyberbullying eliminates the intimidation factor. As a result, girls rule the cyberbullying world. Guys still rule the bullying world on playgrounds and school hallways. Source: Time Magazine, 8/8/05

• UK School Allows Teens to Use “F-Word” Up to Five Times Per Class Without Penalty. A school in the town of Wellingborough is allowing pupils to swear at teachers, providing they only do so no more than five times in a class. A tally of how many times the f-word is used will be kept and if the class exceeds the limit, they will be “spoken” to, the newspaper reported. The school believes the policy will improve behavior, but parents and parliamentary members have condemned the rule and warned it would backfire. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a trend that jumps the pond! Source: MSNBC. To read more, click here.

• Top 10 Lycos Searches for the Week Ending, 8/27/05.

1) Paris Hilton;

2) Poker;

3) Pamela Anderson;

4) Britney Spears;

5) Dragonball;

6) Neopets;

7) NFL;

8) Pokemon;

9) Mariah Carey;

10) Hillary Duff. To View the Lycos Top 50 Searches, click here.

• Google’s Top 10 “Gaining” Searches for Week Ending, 8/29/05.

1) hurricane katrina;

2) katrina;

3) hurricane;

4) National Hurricane Center;

5) noaa;

6) New Orleans;

7) Hurricane Katrina;

8) weather channel;

9) Lance Armstrong;

10) Pat Robertson. To view other Google search statistics, click here.

• iTunes – Top 10 Downloaded Songs, 8/30/05.

1) Sugar, We’re Going Down – Fall Out Boy;

2) Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day;

3) Lose Control – Missy Elliott & Fat Man Scoop;

4) Don’t Lie – Black Eyed Peas;

5) Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz;

6 ) Pon de Replay  – Rihanna;

7) Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes;

8) Just the Girl – The Click Five;

9) Helena – My Chemical Romance;

10) You and Me – Lifehouse. To view more top downloaded iTunes songs, click here.

• Top 10 TV Shows in Prime Time – Week ending 8/28/05
1) CSI;

2) 60 Minutes;

3) Two and a Half Men (9:30 p.m.);

4) Cold Case;

5) CSI: Miami;

6) Without a Trace;

7) Two and a Half Men (9:00 p.m.);

8) NFL: Dallas @ Seattle;

9) Movie: ‘Stone Cold’;

10) NCIS. Source: Nielsen Media Research.

• Top 10 Game Rentals – Week ending 9/3/05
1) PS2: Madden NFL 2006;

2) XBOX: Madden NFL 2006;

3) PS2: NCAA Football 2006;

4) PS2: Delta Force: Black Hawk Down;

5) PS2: Midnight Club 3: DUB edition;

6) XBOX: Delta Force: Black Hawk Down;

7) PS2: Destroy All Humans;

8) PS2: FlatOut;

9) XBOX: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas;

10) PS2: Fantastic 4. Source: Billboard.

Posted in AIS File Library, YMGE - Youth Ministry0 Comments

Keeping Up with Today’s Youth Culture

Keeping Up with Today’s Youth Culture
By Jim Liebelt

It has been said that the pace of change in today’s youth culture is quickening. Yesterday’s cultural icons are on the ash heap today and what’s “in” today will be “out” tomorrow. It is wise for parents to be students of youth culture, but practically speaking, how does one find time to keep up with all of the trends and changes that take place? The realistic answer is, you won’t find the time. And I would add, don’t waste all of your energies trying!

Allow me to explain: The adolescent years – loosely defined as the time span running from one’s puberty to economic independence – has always been about the process of individuation – separating from parents and becoming an independent, functioning adult. Over the past 50 years, this process has been getting longer and longer. As a result, youth culture has become more easily identifiable. Still, changes within youth culture itself are rapid, making it difficult for the average parent to keep up. Yet, no matter what the form of today’s youth culture takes, it is important to remember that youth culture is just the expression of that process of individuation – nothing more and nothing less.

Reading a good book on youth culture, periodically thumbing through a magazine marketed to teens or occasionally watching an hour of MTV are all worthy endeavors to keep up with today’s youth culture – and good parenting practices. Yet, in the end, the youth culture that really matters to you – and your kids – is the youth culture found in your own community. For instance, it may become trendy on the East or West coasts – for teenage guys to wear Capri pants – but it could also be a trend that never makes it to Milwaukee or Sioux Falls. So, if you happen to live in a place that is, generally speaking less trendy by nature, I wouldn’t advise that parents spend time preparing against the “Great Capri Pant Invasion.” Further, as a general rule, adolescents in rural towns often do not deal with some issues to the same extent that urban kids do – and vice versa. The point is that ultimately where the “rubber meets the road” for parents these days is not found in keeping your eyes focused on global youth culture – but rather keeping up with the what’s going on at your kids’ school just down the road.

To keep pace with the issues facing their teenagers, I believe that parents will make the best use of their parenting time and energies by focusing on local youth culture. Let me share some practical tips for doing just that.

1. Establish, maintain and grow a relationship with your kids. Take time to get to know them. Be involved in their lives. Learn their likes and their dislikes, their hopes and their dreams, their joys and their fears. This takes communication – and don’t forget – perhaps the most important communication skill is listening. Ask your kids about local youth culture trends. They are your in-house “experts.”

2. Know your kids friends. The rule of friendship among adolescents operates in such a way that your kids will conform to the interests, behaviors and values of their closest friends. Friendship groups are formed on a voluntary basis, so understand that your child will either contribute to setting the group standards, conform to them, or move away from the group. The one thing they won’t do is stay in a friendship group long-term while bucking the group’s values. What this friendship rule means to parents is that you should be aware that your kids will be involved in the interests, behaviors and values of their friends – or they’ll change friendship groups. A parent who, for example, knows their child hangs out with friends who use drugs, but believes their child doesn’t use drugs – is most likely a parent in denial. Learning about kids’ closest friends means learning much about them.

3. Pay attention to local news about adolescents. This is one area that parents should spend some time doing their homework. Read and listen to learn about what is going on with local adolescents. Ask your own kids what they know about local stories. Look for community wide trends. A few years ago, for example, a community in Georgia experienced a significant increase in the number of adolescents who were contracting sexually transmitted diseases – and soon community health officials and parents discovered that a significant number of community adolescents were participating in sex-focused parties.

4. Ask local school officials, teachers and youth workers about local culture trends. Engage in regular dialogue with professionals and volunteers who are in the trenches with adolescents, day in and day out. Ask about what new youth culture trends they see emerging as well as those that are disappearing.

5. From time to time, put your periscope up and take a glance at global trends in youth culture. When you see something that concerns you, ask your kids, your local adolescent professionals and volunteer youth workers if they have noticed any similar local emerging trends.

6. Use your influence with your kids! While it may not always seem like it, you – not the culture, not the media, not even your kids’ peers – are your kids’ greatest lasting influence as they grow into adulthood. Don’t waste this tremendous influence. Use it! Set the tone for your kids by establishing and providing consistency in boundaries. Build morals and values into their lives. Keep in mind that not all expressions of youth culture are bad. Support positive local youth culture trends. Be an advocate for change against negative local youth culture trends.

By Jim Liebelt www.HomeWord.com 800.397.9725

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

Posted in AIS File Library, YMGE - Youth Ministry0 Comments


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