Kids These Days / Bringing Up Brats

Hey, my loves I am back again with another piece that has two titles. It is not two separate stories but they grow on each other. Have you ever noticed how children have changed over the years? Not in terms of looks or intelligence, but the way they behave and conduct themselves. I found that instead of raising kids parents are actually, bringing up brats.

Every generation of people will say that kids are nothing like they were when they grew up. The times when there was no phones and people were forced to communicate with each other and kids had to play outside. Now, technology rules our lives to where all conversations and childhood fun has been reduced to a series of apps and emojis. Let me present you with a scary fact:

“Primary school children are losing their handwriting skills, as touch-screen pinching, swiping and typing and a lack of physical exercise leaves them with underdeveloped arm and hand muscles.” -Jessica Hinchliffe, ABC News (Australia)

This disturbing fact comes from the 2016 NAPLAN test receiving the second lowest scores from Queensland, Australia from students years, 3,5,7, and 9.

When I was little my mother put crayons, colored, pencils, markers and paper in my hands. Not a cell phone or a tablet. I may have drawn on the walls from time to time but, at least I know how to properly hold a writing utensil. I understand that the world is becoming more tech savvy, but what is the point of all that if kids do not even know how to hold a pencil? Days I spent as a child running around outside, going down slides and, playing on swings have been traded for hours sitting idle on the floor watching TV. Let’s think about something else that is frightening. We are all aware of how hard it is to find a Barnes and Nobles right? One day there will not be one to find. We will not have public libraries. No more playgrounds. Nor parks. I am not sure about you but it makes me feel empty. I do not want to deprive other kids of that everlasting feeling of being carefree. Imagine this lush green Earth without any open space for public leisure, now a clustered concrete forest of architecture and office buildings galore.

Due to our world constantly developing, with anything and everything at our fingertips there seems to be a certain amount of entitlement floating through the air. As though any and all you desire will come osmosis, no work involved. This same feeling appears to be rubbing off on children as well. Apparently, there are no such things as chores anymore, lifting a finger is no longer an option. This is so common that I walk into stores and kids just pick up whatever they want. If the word “no” happens to pierce their parents’ lips, a tantrum erupts. The worst part about it is that parents just give in! No hesitation, no effort to discipline, no sense of authority. Is there a line to be crossed let alone drawn anymore? FUN FACT! I was 10 years old when I got my first phone, and it was prepaid at that. That was the best and worst thing my mother could have possibly done. I hated it because I was restricted to minutes if I wanted to use my phone. On the other hand, it really gave me a sense of responsibility. Using it all willy nilly, keeping it charged, remembering where it is, (I can be very forgetful at times guys) all of those lessons prepared me for having my first real phone. Now? Forget about it! Six-year-olds have iPhones ladies and gentlemen. 32- gigs and no responsibilities.

Has anyone else noticed how “grown” kids are behaving? Prime example, a little girl, her mother and older sister walked into Forever 21 earlier this week. The older sister came in to look for a simple dress. The little girl had the audacity to raise her voice at her mother and ask, “Why did you bring me in here? What am I getting out of this?” I was utterly mortified to hear a child that young speaking to her mother that way. At no matter what age would I would not dare speak to my mother that way. To make matters worse the mother didn’t make any effort to discipline the child but merely bribe her by saying,”You’re getting ice cream out of this, calm down.” That was not the end of it. The little girl turned to her sister and said: “You better hurry up, I wanna leave.” Readers I hope you all are just as disgusted as I am. Where is the respect for our elders? For our parents? For the people who are just trying to teach us right from wrong? There is something I want to people to learn from this scenario I gave, respect is not given it is earned. People are always watching, so you do not want your first impression to be your last.

I now understand why my elders always talk about when they were younger. During their youth, the world was not overly complicated and controlled mechanically. Fun was as elementary as 2 cans and a ball of twine. Okay maybe not that far back, but the cartoons were pretty righteous during that time. However, it makes more sense to me now when I hear it. People and kids were just as different as the times were. Discipline and consequences were ingrained, and kids grew up with a full tangible grasp of right and wrong. The easy things in life were not only cherished but coveted. Now I find myself saying the exact same thing. Either I was outside playing, drawing, or watching cartoons, that is where I drew the line, literally. Kids today will never know a life ruled by simplistic values and going breathing fresh air. I guess we are living by the update and notification. I just hope parents get the alert, that giving a child pencil is a fundamental of life. Picking up tablet gives them a one-way ticket to a life ruled by pixels and pageantry.

 

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