Great Scott!

Wow, where was I when all this went down? I think I saw a flash of it on the news, but didn't really read about it until today.

This is so fucked up on so many levels, but not really surprising. We had some middle school girls get in a fight and put it on YouTube, so if it happened here, it probably happens all over. The fact that these girls' parents were making excuses for their behavior just makes me want to vomit. If there's one group of assholes I hate more than any other, it's entitled kids and their trifling-ass parents who raise them that way. See: parent nonsense, bubble-pizza bitch. Damn, people. You are not doing your kid any favors by fighting every battle for them that they come across, particularly if their kid is in the wrong. The foolish idea that children and teens don't make mistakes, let alone need to learn from their mistakes, is ridiculous. That's what growing up is: learning from the mistakes you will inevitably make. If there are no consequences to your actions, all you are learning is that your mom and dad will bail you out (figuratively and literally) any time you make a poor decision.

I see this all the time with my kids. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that the majority of my kids would pull some cheerleading beat down. I believe they know better than that. But a whole lot of my kids lie, cheat, and manipulate on a daily basis, with little care for any potential consequences. A huge percentage of my kids actually work harder to manipulate their way out of a given situation, whether it be homework or something else, than it would take to actually do what is required. They do not fear consequences, because either they will not have any consequences, or, if there are consequences, they either will disregard them or they're minimal. The threat of in or out-of-school suspension is laughable. Don't even think about detention--they won't go. But their problem-solving skills only extend to getting out of things. They can't use problem-solving skills to actually do anything of value.

Is this new? Or was I so busy actually do shit in high school that I didn't realize that everyone else was clowning? I mean, I told some lies in my day, but I have kids who lie ALL THE TIME. About stuff that doesn't even matter. I hear bullshit excuses every damn day. Just tell me the truth. Life happens. I am a master procrastinator/ball-dropper. But take some responsibility for your lack of completion.

Chris and I were talking about this idea the other day: nothing is really special any more. There's no such thing as a real "treat". When not owning an iPod is the norm, not the rule, you know times have changed. I think back to ten years ago. No one even had cell phones, let alone $250 gadgets. Granted, those $250 gadgets did not exist, but was there something similar? When I was 14, the coolest thing a kid could own would be a moped or roller blades, preferably both with a tow rope, and you know only one or two kids you knew had a moped. Almost all of my kids have iPods and cell phones. Seriously, it is an anomaly for a child to not have one or both. Had I asked my parents for something that cost $250, they would have laughed hysterically, then handed me the classifieds.

Jesus, now I just sound like my grandpa. But honestly, I just worry about the level of values kids have these days. I'm not talking about premarital sexin' or religion. I'm talking about honesty, hard work, compassion, kindness, and integrity. These days, it seems like everything is about material possessions, money, fame, and getting attention/seeking approval from potential love interests.

I feel as though American culture is perched precariously on the verge of either totally annihilation or enlightenment. Kind of like on Back to the Future 2, when Marty goes to the future and Biff owns everything, and everything is porn-organized-crime-vice related because Biff gets the sports trivia book and makes a fortune. So Marty has to make it so that his kids aren't complete fuck-ups in the future. Is there a pivotal event that we could go back and change to fix this situation? Is this really an issue, or did I make it up in my mind, or is it just the same tired "kids-these-days" crap old people have based their bitching on for generations? Have I asked enough Carrie-Bradshaw-esque rhetorical questions for one day?


Jaelithe said...

There was a fair bit of lying and cheating when I was in high school. And though I never cheated, ever, myself, because I was proud of my own work, I will cop to more than a couple of dog-ate-my-homework excuses, partly because my chaotic family environment at the time made it very difficult to stay on top of my enormous private-prep-school work load-- especially when so many others were cheating to stay ahead-- and partly just because I was a born procrastinator.

But I think you are right when you say things are much, much worse now than they used to be when it comes to kids understanding the concepts of responsibility and accountability.

Why SHOULD the kids respect those values, when top government officials and corporate CEOs tell bald-faced lies every day, and face no consequences?

I think the real issue is that kids these days don't have many good role models to look up to, and don't have much hope of living in any sort of ideal world. Poor kids especially are well aware of the fact that the world is pretty much designed these days to screw the little people over. And so many kids have no one around to teach them how to deal with a dishonest world in an honest way.

Jaelithe said...

(I should add that though poor kids understand especially keenly how the foxes are ruling the henhouse, as you pointed out, kids who are better off economically just seem to feel entitled these days to take whatever they want from whomever they feel like using.)