When my mother’s generation was teenagers their downfall was listening to music such as Elvis, or the Beatles. Girls were crazy over these guys and would swoon at the stage. For fun at home my mom tells me stories of her getting angry at her brother and how they threw things at each other. Mom says my uncle threw a kitchen knife up over the house so it would hit her on the other side, my uncle says she threw a hammer at her. Mom also has told me about when she was a little younger she and her friends would run around the neighborhood playing cowboys and indians. I know they weren’t real guns or arrows they’d use but parents these days don’t allow such play. To most parents now these stories seem rather violent.
When my generation was at the teenage stage we liked the hard rock bands. We spent a lot of time going to concerts and staying out late. Boys were spiking their hair and girls were dressing like Madonna. I may even remember going to a few ‘submarine races’ down by the lake. If you are from Waukegan, IL you know what I’m talking about. I was allowed to hang out with my friends at the race track. This seems very innocent but it wasn’t always. Some of the group were older and were able to have a brewski if they were thirsty – of course I didn’t, I was only 16. There were other groups that would go hang out at the lake or wherever and get high.
The group of teens that are growing up now seem to have lots more to deal with. They go to concerts, they get high, there seems to be a lot more ways of getting in trouble. There is “sexting,” secret facebook pages, the boys wear their pants down under their butt and the girls just don’t seem to care if their cleavage is showing or not.
These are just some of the things that each generation has to deal with. To each parent it seems that the newest generation is more out of control than the generation before. Maybe it’s just me but it seems that each generation has it’s own way of dealing with reality, their own way of coping with life but the kids today just seem to take so many more chances. Chances with the law, chances with their lives. We can say the same thing about their manners. We as parents have taught our kids manners. We teach them please and thank you and we taught them to write a thank you note when they receive a gift. We have taught them to lock the car door when they get inside. We have taught them to be aware of who is around them when they go for a walk, especially at night. They know these rules but so many times we as parents find that they just choose not to practice them. Maybe it’s to spite us, maybe it’s because they just don’t don’t feel like they ‘have to’. I don’t know.
My hope for my kids and the kids of the future is that they grow up and realize that mom and dad taught us these manners and safety precautions for a reason. We hope that our children will grow up to be smarter than we were. Hope that they will use better judgement and grow up to be responsible adults.
Are we just seeing our kids and their friends as disrespectful and unappreciative because it’s us being the recipient of this attitude or were we just as bad? Who can tell?