“Kids these days…” – undoubtedly the quintessential catch-cry of the ex-juvenile.
The statement, usually uttered with distain, is sprouted by individuals from the moment in time the observer feels detached from “youth” culture.
I think each generation makes generic complaints about the incumbent youths and it’s probably something that has happened for some time. Half a century ago it may’ve related to kids and their rock’n’roll music. 30 years ago clothing styles and general disrespect. 20 years ago perhaps the accelerated arrogance of the young.
Nowadays (and possibly merely as a continuation of a previous theme) “kids these days” can reflect a displeasure across any number of fronts. Rude children, pushy children, lazy children, over-excited children, mannerless children, selfish children, troubled children, confident children.
Now, I can get pissed off at those younger that me as well as the next person – but I come at it from a different slant.
Being a primary teacher, I see a whole range of personalities. The positives, the areas for improvement, the concerns, in each child. What bothers me is attitudes of parents – most specifically, the inability of many to say “no.”
Children, from the youngest age, have very defined personalities. Yet they are also greatly defined by their environment. They are greatly influenced by those who are closest to them.
When children want something and get it immediately without strain, effort, patience or virtue; they are being sold short. Children are capable of the most wondrous things – yet are crippled by the assumption that they must be appeased at all moments.
Not all of life’s experiences should be positive. At least at a young age, parents can control the extent and arenas for how their young manage disappointment so that they can learn and grow. I’m obviously not saying that parenting is easy, but I believe that it is crucial that parents have a clear outline for the values that they want to enrich their children with.
Walking home the other night I witnessed two parents give in to a whining child over the most mediocre of requests. They initially started strong, with a bold “no,” yet within seconds of the child demonstrating near-tantrum activities, the parents succumbed to a “oh…OK.”
Parents these days…