Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thoughts on today's youth

All my life, while I was growing up, in my 20's, 30's, 40's and now my 50's, I have heard from my elders how the "new" generation was going to hell in a handbasket. I have been told society is failing because of the actions of the kids. I'm here to tell you this is just plain WRONG!

I have a friend, about 17 or 18 years old who is stubborn. He is going to do what he wants, when he wants to. Does he sometimes make bad choices? Yes he does, but at his age he doesn't have a lot of experience to guide him. Experience come from making choices and some of them will be bad but I have never seen or heard of this young man do anything bad to anyone, intentionally. His parents despair at his actions, but they don't realize that they raised him to be exactly the person he is turning out to be. In my estimation, he is someone I would trust with anything I have.

However, I know a young lady, who's behavior is very self destructive. Drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, shoplifting,etc. This young lady is looking for acceptance and love, which she didn't receive while being shuttled back and forth between relatives while the parents were in and out of jail. She's showing self destructive behavior because thats what she was taught.

My daughter is a third type. 19 years old, with 2 children and a husband she is trying to raise the best she knows how. She calls and asks for advice from both her parents, and we both contribute what we can to help, financially or otherwise. While growing up, her mother and I divorced, so now she is searching for a stable relationship. She has unconditional love from both parents but wasn't taught how to have stability in a relationship but she is doing her best.

All three of these examples bring me to the point of my story. Last night we had 15 kids knock on our door at various times while they were out trick or treating on Halloween night. These kids ranged from ages 18 months to about 13 years old and were all escorted by parents, some of who came to the door with them and some who waited for them in the driveway. All of the parents, aged about 18 to about age 35, demanded politeness from their children, as in "please" and thank you". Only one little boy, about age 8, didn't thank me for his candy as I put it in his bag but he was so excited about free candy that I thought he was going to wet himself.

So, don't tell me how horrible today's kids are or how bad today's parents are. The parents I saw last night were spending time with their polite kids. We get out of the next generation exactly what we put into them.