Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kids Today

My sixteen year old stepson has been living with us permanently since June.  To say he is a wonderful kid and a joy to have is an understatement.   It's also been interesting to me to watch and see how many of the negative associations the media presents about "kids today" are simply not true, at least not for everyone. Problematic, experimental, rebellious teenagers are no new phenomenon and like any generation, there are kids who push the limit and others who oblige.  Sure - social media and technology has made their experience different than mine, but my experience was different from my parents and theirs different from their parents and so on.   We like to think ours was "best" - I'm a little bored of the conversation "when I was a kid we went out and played and came back for dinner" vs. helicopter is becoming a discussion as boring as "can women have it all". There's no unanimous answer and kids, women, people, LIFE is not one-size-fits-all.  I wish people would be a little more assertive in pursuing what worked for them and their families rather than complaining about shifts in society and avoiding personal accountability.  

I wish there was more awareness of the disconnect between traits we desire in our children - leadership, creativity, risk-taking, or whatever desired qualities we seek - and our very own actions. If you want to raise independent children, give them space to fall ...and get back up.   If you want to raise kind people, exemplify graciousness in your daily interactions.   You want leaders, empower them to make decisions.  Don't simply surrender to the easy excuse of "kids today".   Parents are, and always have been, children's greatest teachers.