Why Adults Should Lay Off "The Youth of Today"

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I am so sick and tired of hearing adults say, "You want to know what's wrong with the youth of today?" All teenagers are automatically labeled as angry know-it-alls with attitude problems by adults. It's one of the biggest stereotypes out there. I also get tired of hearing "in my day"... yadda yadda yadda about how perfect they all were as teenagers and all the things they did or didn't do. One thing judgmental adults need to understand is that the world has COMPLETELY changed since they were teenagers. Goodness, things have changed since I was a teenager and that was less than 5 years ago.

Here are a few issues that adults judge teens on and some facts they need to realize.

"You want to know what's wrong with the youth of today? They all have cell phones."

3012The number one reason teens have cell phones is because their parents make them carry one. They do this so that they know their young person has the option of calling them and leaving unsafe situations. Now teens can opt to call their parents instead of driving with a drunk friend or instead staying at a party that is getting out of control. Believe it or not, many teenagers don't want to be in these type of situations and are grateful for a way out. With that being said, it is up to the parents to make sure their young person doesn't abuse the cell phone privileges. Sexting, Internet abuse, etc. can all be prevented if the parents take responsibility to check up on their kids. If a teen knows that mom and dad are going to see what they've been doing on their phones, they are less likely to abuse it.

"You want to know what's wrong with the youth of today? They have access to too much information."

Long gone are the days where teenagers are oblivious to what's going on in the world. No longer can adults keep them in the dark about war, politics, disasters, etc. I believe this to be a very good thing. It's us adults who are making a mess of this world and if the youth of today can learn from our mistakes and how things have effected us, then maybe they will be the ones in the future who right all of our wrongs. If they are unaware of how the world really works until they become adults, then the world will keep falling into the same routines -- and we have no hope.

"You want to know what's wrong with the youth of today? They are too stinkin' emotional."

It's almost like adults don't remember being a teenager when they say things like this. Don't they remember what it was like when their bodies were changing, and they were beginning to learn that the wold wasn't made up of sugar and ice cream like they believed when they were children? The world is confusing enough when you are starting to learn right from wrong, truth from lies, and what's up and what's down. What makes it even harder for the teens now is that 75% of them come from broken families. When you were a teenager, the majority of families consisted of a homemaker mom, a working dad, and their bouncing children. Now, there are more teens than ever before who are in foster care and relying on strangers to give them the love they so desperately need. So many of them are being raised by grandparents because their parents want nothing to do with them. Dad walked out and refuses to send his love, he's an alcoholic who beats them, his children aren't good enough for him. Mom lives for her next drug intake and allows abusive men in her bed and around her teens, she is too busy fulfilling her dreams and leaves her children behind, mom takes her life and leaves her body for them to find. If you had to face situations like this when you were a teenager, you would be emotional too. Instead of judging the teen who seems angry or depressed all the time, offer them support. Take them under your wing and show them that not all adults will treat them like dirt.

As a counter to all the youth bashing adults, I would like to tell everyone: "You know what's awesome about the youth of today?"

  • They are open to new ideas.
  • They take pride in learning new things.
  • They will tell you exactly what they think instead of beating around the bush.
  • Their interests and hobbies are endless.
  • Unlike adults, they play sports because it's fun.
  • They are all computer smart and are more than willing to show grandma how to change her desktop.

The best thing about teens is that they are not a finished project, but a work in progress.

Photo Credit: a-mon.

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