CHANGING ATTITUDES OF YOUNG ADULTS TOWARD CHILDREN Essays
May 11, 2011, 10:44
By Lon Woodbury
Up until a couple of generations ago most adults were parents. This was just how the world worked, and becoming a parent was the standard expectation for young adults. This dynamic changed about ten years ago when census data showed that demographics had changed to where for the first time in the US at least, a majority of adults in the US were childless. Probably the same thing was happening in other western countries.
The implications are profound! For the first time the majority of citizens, voters and consumers establishing public policy and cultural norms do not have a personal parenting experience. Any successful parent has learned how almost infinite patience is needed to properly raise a child. They understand that children can be frustrating, demanding and requires parents to compromise their personal living standards. Parents understand this and most willingly make that accommodation because the rewards of helping a young life get a proper start in life are tremendous. But what happens when a majority of adults do not have that personal parenting experience?
Many "childless" adults seem to get into the "Don't bother me" mentality and establish "No children allowed" policies in some apartment buildings and other publicly accessed places. Other childless adults decide they want to help children, and sometimes establish policies to protect children from their parents. The mentality of "It's the parent's fault" often results from these childless adults, with the result parents often become defensive and doubt their parenting abilities.
This change has been evolving for several years, and the following seems to be a manifestation of how far public attitudes have changed from just a couple of generations ago. This study, reported by a pet supplement business, found that not only do a vast majority of young adults not want the responsibility of children, but would rather have a dog. Not only that, but in the last ten years attitudes have evolved to where most young people don't even want a young dog, but prefer an older dog that wouldn't require the time and effort of house-training a puppy.
More Young Adults Choosing to Adopt
Older Dogs Instead of Have Children
(Multiple Jobs & "Me-First" Culture Leave Less Time for Puppy House Training)
Are more people adopting an older dog because they don't have the time, or patience, to train a puppy - let alone have children? Flexcin International, which operates the FlexPet Shelter Program to assist the adoption of older dogs, believes this trend is accelerating. Even George Clooney's girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis said recently she doesn't feel the need to have children because she's happy with dogs instead.
In an online survey, Flexcin asked approximately 1,250 pet owners nationwide between the ages of 21-30 and roughly 61 percent said they would rather adopt an older dog instead of a brand new puppy. The majority of these respondents (89%) said their reason was that they felt they didn't have the time, nor the patience, to house-train a new puppy because of working multiple jobs, or other time challenges to their lives. More than half (54%) also said they are choosing to have dogs instead of children because they're not sure they can handle the larger needs of a child.
"While we're not saying their decisions are right or wrong, it's clear that the stresses of working multiple jobs and a more 'me-first' society are impacting how people view puppies and children," said Tamer Elsafy, CEO and founder of Flexcin International. "Ten years ago the opposite trend was taking place where people always opted for the puppies instead of more senior dogs with less energy serving a companion role."
FlexPet is a natural supplement given to pets - mostly older dogs - to relieve joint discomfort and joint degeneration. The FlexPet Shelter Program helps animal rescue shelters around the country nurse older dogs back to health so they have a better chance at adoption. Dogs with joint discomfort display a lower level of energy, making it harder to attract the attention of an adopting family. The program also enables shelters to keep dogs happy and healthy long after adoption, while also serving as a fund-raising source. Interested shelters can learn more at FlexPet4Shelters.com.
When people accuse our political leaders of not caring about children, they are perhaps missing the mark. The real root seems to be a growing personal attitude of a greater number of adults just not wanting the bother of children.