I lied about something.
Well, it wasn’t really a lie. I just wasn’t clear.
A few weeks ago, I wrote in a post that “Eye rollers are the worst.'” I would like to clarify what I meant. Eye rollers who roll their eyes at other’s success or ambition are the worst. All other eye-rollers can roll away with reckless abandon.
I feel it’s important to address this, as I have been doing a ton of eye-rolling lately. A ton.
And the reason? The reason is this:
If I have to hear one more adult gripe (either in person or through some ridiculous meme on Facebook) about how “kids these days” are weak snowflakes, I may just lose my composure and, very likely, my mind. (By the way, I really hate that we have forever tarnished the otherwise lovely word snowflake.)
There is a whole inner diatribe going through my head when I see or hear stuff like this pop up.
And, what better place to tell you what I think about that than right here?! I can’t think of one! (And, quite frankly, I think my husband is tired of nodding his head and agreeing with my outbursts, so he’ll be pleased that I’ve moved on to you).
People who say these things sound like every generation before them.
They are not new and original to this thought. Kids these days, they have no respect… (I mean, you just age yourself 50 years saying it.) Every parent and grandparent before you thought the next generation had no respect / ambition / fill-in-the-blank-any-criticism-here. It’s basically a right of passage. How do I know this? Because I have heard three generations back say it throughout my life.
I specifically remember my great aunt, on one occasion, profusely complaining about a younger generation and closing with, “I’m glad I’m on my way out.”
(God, I loved her.)
Many of the people who say these things (likely) raised the parents of these youngsters they are complaining about.
I love this one! Especially when people post memes about how parents are to blame for disrespectful / lazy / weak kids.
I mean, if we’re going for that angle…. well, let’s just sit here a minute and let the irony sink in…
I don’t think I need to tell you why.
These kids don’t get a break from cruelty. Don’t tell me they are weak.
The world wide web is a beautiful thing and it has opened a whole new world of learning, opportunities and ease of life in general. It has also made it that much easier for our kids to get treated cruelly 24 hours a day. If someone was making fun of me at school, at least I could go home each day and get a breather. These kids can’t escape it.
I can’t count the number of times that I have seen the same people who post Kids these days… rants also post the Thank God there wasn’t social media in my day… memes. Again, the irony. If you think it would have been awful for you, how do you think it feels for them? This is their life and I’ve witnessed firsthand how painful it can be for them.
We, including our children, are living in a post-911 world.
Our kids are aware that terrorism can happen anywhere…. a movie theater, a music concert… anywhere. It’s not some made up drill, it has happened. It is on the news daily. It is part of their lives and they’ve grown up knowing nothing else.
It wasn’t a real part of my life growing up. Was it part of yours?
No, “kids these days” don’t have to walk uphill both ways to school, but…
You know what they do have to do? Risk getting their head blown off at school. Or, risk watching their friend getting his/her head blown off at school. No, I’m not sorry if that’s harsh. Think back to your rough days of school. Was this a concern of yours? No?
That uphill walk is starting to look pretty sparkly now, isn’t it? Almost as if it’s covered in snowflakes…
Listen, I get it. Every new generation becomes foreign and unfamiliar to past generations. Therefore, we can’t identify with them or their world. But a little empathy goes a long way, and I can guarantee that you were part of a generation that was once criticized and mocked as well. It’s a generational superiority complex that we all suffer from at some point.
That said, I have two daughters who have to navigate through parts of this world I would have never wished on them – and, certainly, not this early in their young lives. We don’t coddle our kids and feed into their every fear or need. We are doing our best to raise them as strong, solid humans and to also take responsibility for their actions and know they are entitled to nothing. But for as much beauty as there is on this earth, there is also a level of violence, suffering and cruelty that is completely foreign to the world we grew up in only decades ago. Sometimes we have no idea what we are doing or where to even begin. These are things our own parents never had to guide us through.
Don’t tell me kids these days are weak or somehow less than. They have no choice but to be stronger, wiser and more informed than we ever had to be. They will grow up with survival skills we never needed – and they will navigate through a world that we never imagined.
Thank God they’re outliving us.