You know when I was young (admittedly a while ago) my girl friends and I wanted to be different than everyone else. While everyone was doing drugs, we made the dicision to be drug free. What ever was the fad, we figured out an alternative and went with that. Actually we had a great time. and had lots of friends because we had no prejudices.
On the other hand, kids today have much greater physical blessings and educational opportunities. But from babyhood, they are assaulted by the pervasive popular media. Their attention span is assaulted, their personal independence is assaulted by the fads of popular culture and from day one they are exposed to the obsessions of a sex-mad culture. I'm not sure I wouldn't rather be a kid in the late 19th century postwar South.
Thanks for posting this-- lots of food for thought. I'm forwarding it to my teenage daughters (18 and 19). New York may be on the far end of the scale, but it's not all that different from affluent communities in and around any major city.
No child should get an "allowance" life doesn't ALLOW you anything... you earn it, or you don't get it.
My kids are on a commission system, has to earn every penny he gets, has to put at least 10% of it into savings and give the other 10% to charity/church.... the remaining 80% is his to do with as he pleases (within reason)... and he's 7.