Social Question

Shuichi's avatar

Are little kids nowadays different to you?

Asked by Shuichi (311 points ) December 16th, 2010

In my hometown a teenager (15 I believe) stabbed a 13 year old girl and her 18 month old brother Sunday morning. I then went on facebook to see people’s comments on it. One of my friends said “I saw a fourth grader cussing! When I was in fourth grade the only word that was bad was shut up!” I’ve noticed this, the new generation of kids has changed a lot. I’ve heard that our 6th graders have drunken and middle schoolers have sex! WTF. I had sex when I was 17.. not 12 or 13.. what do you think about this? Is it to do the media or bad parenting? I’m mind blown.

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18 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I think the prior generation is always going to think the new generation isn’t as great or doing something the right/best way, generally.

Edit: I also feel the same way about some things and I’m only 25: Children with cell phones. I see mothers arguing with their little kids about taking them away, or always having them out etc. It’s just wierd to see that lol.

marinelife's avatar

Unfortunately, children are exposed to more of the world and more adult things and violence younger every year. It is bound to have a bad influence some of the time.

It is not all kids or even most kids though.

Aster's avatar

I think it is due to several factors the main one being the breakdown of the “family unit.” Meaning divorce, kids being raised without fathers, the blurring of parental roles. When I was growing up, kids generally speaking loved but feared their fathers. When dad said no, it meant no.
Add to that the media’s pervasive exploitation of drugs and sex that kids are exposed to constantly, they’re bombarded with that stuff. As an experiment in “childrens’ television” I sometimes turn on Family Guy and 100% of the time there is a sexual reference within fifteen seconds. That makes me assume it’s ongoing throughout the entire show.
Mothers are often not home when “junior” gets home from school, dad doesn’t come home at all, girls are texting guys with suggestive texts – it all feels like a nightmare to me.
The Fall of Rome repeats itself. If its “holy” it’s labeled unscientific and childish, if it’s “sinful” it’s taken as cool and hip. You can have your Age of Technology. I’m on my soapbox now.

john65pennington's avatar

Could your question have anything to do with a one parent family? not both parents to guide a child, but rather just a man or woman? everything a child sees and hears at its home, is carried right into school and their social circle of friends.

The internet is a great contributing factor to children of today. porn sites and war games have a big effect on children and their behavior.

You are correct. there is a big difference in the children today.

zophu's avatar

The messages kids receive from their social networks and media have constant profound effect. I think a lot of energy spent in childhood is to adapt and recover from these effects. I wish parents would generally care more about the quality of the media (and people) their kids have access to. It really is more about making sure they get a lot of really good stuff, rather than just making sure they don’t get anything bad. That allows them to self regulate, even while being exposed to the bad, which is inevitable.

There’s so much crap flying around now, it’s easy to get lost in the most powerful shit-trend if you don’t have anything better to do as a kid. Most kids don’t.

Shuichi's avatar

@john65pennington I don’t even know.. my last bestfriend has a beautiful house (she lives on my block), a mum who loves her, a father who loves her.. etc. She gets ANYTHING she wants. Her mum and her went to Pars and London because she wanted to. Her mum bought her an ipod for no reason. Cool right? We stopped being friends because she destroyed her arms with cuts when her mum wouldn’t buy her stuff. Now she sells pills and does drugs. She even told me when she’s older she wants to be a stripper. I knew her for 8 years.. this rebellion was random and definitely not the parents fault. :/

SO CONFUSED!

wundayatta's avatar

@Shuichi Your story makes me wonder if your friend’s parents buy her stuff in lieu of giving her love. You usually do drugs because you are in pain, and all those other actions (cutting, drugging and stripping) are designed to get attention—the kind that makes you think people like you or value you. That’s usually because you aren’t getting that at home. It is also often a consequence of abuse.

I think a lot of kids grow up faster these days because all kinds of this stuff is happening. People are more alienated and more desperate to find love and approval. That’s why kids act in these ways. Sex, of course, is about closeness and love, even if you have no idea why you are doing it, and even if you think it can be separated from caring relationships.

Of course, using it like that makes the situation worse. You can’t really separate sex and caring, and if you do, you lose a part of yourself that wanted a real relationship. It gets pushed down, and you get cynical about relationships and love, and then it becomes a vicious cycle, separating people further and further from themselves.

I don’t know how prevalent this is. People love to complain about how parents don’t parent any more. The people here all say they are good parents, and I believe them. I don’t know how many tweens are having sex—nor whether that rate is higher than it was before. In the absence of that kind of data, we can’t know if this is something we just happen to see a lot of, or pay attention to more, or if it is something real.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

no. but have fun blaming divorce, feminism, atheism and communism, etc.

MissAusten's avatar

When I was in 4th and 5th grade, my friends and I had swearing contests during recess. We certainly knew all of the bad words. I knew more about sex than my parents realized, thanks to older neighborhood kids and TV. My brother and I did a lot of things our parents probably never dreamed we’d do and they never found out. I’m 36, grew up in an upper middle class area with two parents, and I am positive I’m not the only person who did stupid things as a kid. Back then no one blamed it on anything other than the fact that kids do stupid things. Now it has to be someone’s fault. I’m willing to admit that I did plenty of things that I knew were wrong, that I’d been repeatedly told not to do, and that I knew I’d get in trouble for if I got caught. I still did them. My brother still did them. Most of the kids we knew still did them, from cussing to getting into fights, to stealing, to teasing, lying, destroying property, driving without a license, trying to set things on fire….the list could go on and on. But it’s good to know that by today’s standards I don’t have to take personal responsibility for any of that. :)

Some kids do have more access to technology than they should. The media overreacts and makes parents paranoid and convinces people that kids today are drastically different from all generations before. Their toys are different, and some kids use those toys in very destructive ways (cyberbullying), but overall if I look back honestly at what I was like as a kid I have to say that kids aren’t that different. It seems to me like society’s perception of children and parenting has changed. Now parents are always at fault and always to blame. There’s almost no sympathy, compassion, understanding, or patience. As an example, there was a horrible accident not far from here where four teens were killed in a car accident on their way home from school. I read a news article about it, and the comments people wrote after the article were awful. Several weeks ago there was an article about a toddler who fell into a swollen river and drowned, and the comments on that article were terrible as well. People are so quick to judge and point fingers and take a holier-than-thou attitude before they even know what actually happened. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. :(

Doppelganger19's avatar

Given the breadth of unvarnished influences (movies, TV, Internet) and the dearth of admirable role models, kids ARE different today than in decades past. I’m sure of it. I know every generation says that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Aster's avatar

I dont believe for one second that anyone who is just out of the “kids” years can possibly know if this generation is extremely different from former ones. If you have not lived the forties and fifties you can’t know to what extent kids, society and the world are different now. If those naysayers, regardless of educational level, could go back in a Time Machine it would blow their minds! They might hate it , they might like it but they’d never again say, “oh, our society is the same now as back then.” LOL !

perspicacious's avatar

No. It’s the parents who are different.

YARNLADY's avatar

Lack of proper supervision is the difference.

Blondesjon's avatar

Yes. I have pubes.

cak's avatar

On the level that I know that children have more electronic communication access than I did as a child, yes. We are different. We were still doing the can and string trick, when we were children, cell phone? What was that??? Only adults had those, and they were really just starting to hit the market.

Games were different, I remember saving up for the first Atari system, before that, yes…we had Pong. Boys still played war games in the back yard. They just didn’t have the games they do know, with all the detail and heads being blown off. Overall, violence was still there, it just seems different, now.

I don’t ever remember a pregnant 14 year old, yet the local middle school where my daughter attended had three, in one year. My mother reminds me that when we were in school, pregnant girls went to a special school.

We see things differently as we get older. I see my children have different opportunities, but I think it depends on how they are raised and what they are exposed to in life.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Kids are different, from the way they socialize, purchase things, do a lot of things, and that goes to their manners and ethics too. Many people desire to have kids all innocent and want to write their behavior off as just childhood shenanigans. They don’t want to believe that kids (many of them but not all) have grown more cold and callus and less caring. No one wants to believe the children of today are more nasty and rude than before especially their own which I think goes back to people thinking it is an indictment on their parenting.

Children of today are expose to a whole different set of acceptable behavior than before. And one don’t need to be a stat Nazi to know that. Back in the day you would not have parents who allowed their kid to have sex in their house. Those girls who came up pregnant before they were married disappeared to ”grandmom’s” house somewhere far off. You did not sass adults or insult teachers. When I was a kid and some child threw a tantrum the other parents would be looking at his/her mother if she didn’t put a hand on that backside to let the child know business was at hand and to cut out the BS. These days parents who maybe on the sore end of the swat when they were children want to see it as abuse or something not to be done when a time out will do. I can say, a time out would not have worked in a lot of occasions with me.

I remember once about the 3rd grade some kid tried to cut the line after recess and I intervened, there was shoving then a fight. When the teacher tried to break up the fight and I kicked her because she prevented me from pummeling the kid you would have thought I killed the Pope. I was grabbed by the collar and my feet only touched the ground twice before I got to the principal’s office. I got a swat there but that was nothing, I was more afraid to go home. When I got there I got lit up like a roman candle by my mother. Sure, I didn’t like it. I did not hate my mother or wish her dead. I didn’t harbor a grudge against her. I did learn that you NEVER ever strike or sass a teacher; ever. Simply giving me a time out would not have put a stamp on how bad kicking a teacher.

Just today I heard my neighbor arguing with a friend of her daughter about a lie the girl told the teacher to get her out of class. Not only was she unapologetic to the girl’s mother she dared her to call the cops to get her to go away saying the cops won’t do anything because she is a kid, and was cussing the mother out like a dog. The reason the “butlers” have the keys to the mansion is because we are giving it to them.

Aster's avatar

Kids HIT teachers now? Naww….

MissAusten's avatar

I think I have to stop answering and following these questions about “kids today.” Besides having kids in school, I volunteer at my kids’ schools. I never see the kinds of things people are describing here. I’m sure they happen, and I know there are kids who are out of control and parents who are ineffective. I saw some of them when I worked in daycare but they were not typical.

I was just thinking earlier today how interesting it is that if you make generalizations about people based on race or sex, you will immediately be chastised for it. Making sweeping generalizations about parents and kids is perfectly acceptable. Each time a question like this comes up, parents and people who actually work with and know kids are drowned out by people who don’t have kids and seem to only encounter brats with bad parents whenever they leave their homes, try to see a movie, or go to a restaurant. I’ll just leave you experts to it and avoid these questions from now on.

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