Screwing Up the Next Generation

4 02 2009

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I often wonder what can we truly expect from the next generation? It is clear to me that the way we raise them will determine the kind of individuals they will be and what I see happening around me is not offering me much hope.

It amazes me how lazy and irresponsible some kids are today, they are hardly held accountable for their actions and don’t have to do much in order to get all the conveniences they enjoy like a car, cell phone and computers. Some people think I am strict but my job is to raise kids that will eventually contribute something good to society. In the past parents watched out for each others kids and they were respected by the teens or kids in the neighborhood, today hardly nobody takes the time to even get to know their neighbors. I still believe that parents have the strongest influence on their kids but unfortunately these days parents want to be friends more than parents and they don’t believe that their kids are able to make the right choices for themselves. Obedience, respect for authority, following the law are all things that I teach and expect from my children but once they step out my door there is a whole different set of boundaries in their friend’s homes.

I was always amazed at how minors were able to smoke and drink freely when it is illegal. How do they get their stuff?? Sometimes they get it through older friends but now days most of them get them from their parents, and their parents allowed them to do it home because “they are going to do it anyway” so they might as well do it at home where they have “some control.” Wow! I don’t see how is that going to help them and what about the kids that aren’t theirs? What happens to them when they get behind the wheel of a car drunk? Is that what we are teaching our kids these days? That it is okay to brake the law as long as their parents know? I believe parents are doing a disservice to themselves, their children and to society as a whole, by the time they are 21 years old -if they have survived- they are either alcoholics or with some kind of record for misbehavior with the authorities, or a DUI. Excellent way to start! We as parents need to step up to the plate and show them by example the way things are and teach them to respect laws and authority. It all begin with us and if it doesn’t I don’t know what kind of individuals are going to run this nation 10-20 years from now. Sometimes I feel like I am swimming against the current and sooner or later will drown because I see no lifesaver coming my way. I feel totally alone on my points of view. Am I too old fashioned or do certain values always prevail no matter the times? I believe that there are some fundamental truths that never change and these are one of them.

What is your opinion?


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7 responses

4 02 2009
James A Woods

I’m strict with my two, ages 10 and 7. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not being too strict, but then I see how my kids behave compared to how other kids behave.

I have a great responsibility to raise my children to be God-fearing and selfless, to approach life with an attitude of excellence. I intend to do all in my power to do just that.

5 02 2009
clary

I understand James, sometimes I wonder if I am too strict also but I believe that they rise to the level you set for them. Like you said, I also notice the difference in my kids because of the training they have received at home and I am proud of that. They are always going to do stupid things but if the parents don’t allow it at home I believe it will be much less than if they permit them to do what is wrong. Thanks for your comment.

5 02 2009
jplrosman

I have to say I agree a little bit with you… but I still have hope… in the middle of Caos children will try to find balance in their life and will see what can happen if they don’t control better their actions.
I don’t have a son or anything, but I have to little sisters that are growing up without ever going out alone to fly a kite… this maybe out of topic, but because of this extreme access to violence, drugs is a way youth can mask their problems.

7 02 2009
Samnang

My father started giving me beer at age 2 because he thought it was funny to see my staggering around. Not that I remember it, just that my mother reminds me of it every now and then.

Both of my parents smoked. It was a joy to go to my grandmother’s house for overnighters because her house always smelled so fresh. I dreaded going back home because of the smell. When I hit high school I was often in trouble with teachers who thought I was smoking in the school yard, but it was the result of my parent’s smoking at home and the smell infesting my clothes. I never have smoked a cigarette or cigar because I was so turned off by my parent’s smoking!

When I started drinking my parents bought it for me. Like you said, they took the “he’s going to anyway so it is better he does it at home.” DUI? I never got my licence until I was21, and my ex-gf was killed by a drunk driver when I was 17, so gettting behind the wheel after drinking has never crossed my mind even once in life.

Seems I learn everything the hard way, doesn’t it?

Kids will find a way to do things with or without their parent’s help. Best a parent can do is set a good example and try to instill good values in their children.

And I think education is the best way. Saying “no” is not as effect as “if you do this, here are the consequences.” Teaching them how to think and make informed decisions for themselves, rather than a simple what to think (“do it because I say so”) is something that will last a lifetime and has no real opportunities for rebellion later.

Cheers!

7 02 2009
Taniya

Well I’m a teenager of this generation, and I can agree on certain things. Yes, parents now want to gain their approval from children more so than have power over them but be hated, which is understandable. Though that isn’t the only factor in how this generation is. Here’s my thoughts, though it kind of jumps subject to subject so please bear with me:

I’ve noticed that adults don’t seem to realize that not everyone’s parents cares about their children, some having an absent/busy guardian (there’s a fine line between a spoiled brat and a child with no guidance or time with their parent). When they don’t have someone explaining what’s wrong or what you need to be cautious of, it leads to making irresponsible decisions. So when people say “teen pregnancy has risen…”, understand those results aren’t only yeilded by how spoiled SOME of us are, but a mix of those truly irresponsible or who weren’t informed by an adult on the facts.

Another thing: educate them. Don’t assume their too innocent to learn about what society deems wrong. At an appropiate age, have that conversation with your daughter/son. Trying to “protect” them from what you may consider vile will only hurt them because they’ll be ignorant about the subject.

I agree that it’s good to have a little dosage of strictness. This way, if they ask for a new freedom, it won’t be something you’re totally uncomfortable with or are beyond their limits. If your INIDIVIDUAL child has earned that freedom, give it to them, explaing why they received it and that they need to take whatever responsibility comes with that free will. Don’t generalize all your offspring’s behaivor.

But when it comes to being strict, make sure those rules have a purpose and are reasonable. Not just something you picked up from the television. There’s a difference between having structure and having void rules because someone else’s child couldn’t handle them. For example, blocking MySpace because you’ve heard in the NEWS that dangerous predators are luring there. How can you assume that your INDIVIDUAL will be speaking back with a stranger that has no picture? Why not just talk to them and say “Don’t speak with strangers” or “if they say something uncomfortable to you, stop talking to them, block them etc.” instead of taking it away like they’re five and incapable of understand the possible hazards? This is the biggest issue: There’s no bloody communication between either sides!

And yet what we don’t have rules on, or expectations on are the things that actually matter. It’s shameful when a parent doesn’t expect above a C from their child (unless they’re slow, but even those kids can get straight A’s). Or when physical activity isn’t enforced (I can’t even go out to the mall with my friends or go down my own street by myself, but I’ll still take some responsibility for my health). We need to stop blaming our problems on someone else. A child does something wrong, neither should be blaming television, video games, media, etc. If both have a strong relationship, where one isn’t afraid to talk to the other, then things like that wouldn’t have that much of an impact!

And yea, some kids can be quite disrespectful, though thankfully that can be changed. Also, this generation doesn’t have to grow up being so materialistic, but I’ll end my rantings here.

We need communication and relationships between parents and their children, or else it’s like raising someone else’s.

7 02 2009
clary

Well Taniya, thank you for your post, it gives me hope on this generation to read your thoughts on this topic and the insight you share with us. I agree with you in so many points.

When my kids got on Myspace I was afraid but I let them and gave them guidelines. I also signed up for one so that I could connect with them and from time to time check on them, I still do. My husband asked me so many times not to let them have one because we had a few situations with them but I knew that if I refused to let them they would have it anyway and then I would not know where to find them online. They are older now and I don’t stop by their space too often but every once in a while I do and continue to guide them.

Thanks so much for giving us so much to consider, I will have to read this again I’m sure. Stop by any time.

14 02 2009
sarah the suburbanite

My boy is 5, and he is a gorgeously well behaved child (he has his moments, but they are easily sorted) because we are strict, but we are also fair, and he appreciates and accepts that because we so rarely just say no, that when we do there is a good reason.

My class of children are taught to “sit!” on command in the first couple of weeks that I have them. Because of this, I can get to an injured child on a PE field, I know where they all are, and they know not to move until they get a “play on” when someone is just winded, or has just tripped with no harm done, or a “line up, wait outside the heads office, front person get me an adult” in an emergency situation. Because I am strict with a purpose that they know of, my children are well trained, and can be utterly trusted.

Strictness just teaches how to behave, and the consequences of the not behaving, and the reasons for the behaviour. It’s not a curse for our children, it’s a blessing!

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