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Old 05-18-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
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Kids Today- Rudest In History?

Are they, and whose fault is it if they are? I would tend to agree that the focus on self is so extreme for some kids that they totally disregard others-but that is true for some adults too.

Today's tykes: Secure kids or rudest in history?
Parents' focus on building self-esteem may neglect compassion for others
By Susan Gregory Thomas
msnbc.com contributor
updated 8:53 a.m. ET, Wed., May 6, 2009

The little wagon seemed abandoned.

So when Ada Calhoon’s 1-year-old son spotted it during an outing to a neighborhood park, he began playing with it. But almost immediately, they heard a little boy on a far-away swing set shriek “Noooooooooooo!” sending his mom storming toward them.

“Rather than saying, ‘We’re swinging now. You can let that baby look at your wagon,’ [the mother] took the wagon out of my son’s hands and brought it to her son in the swing,” says Calhoun, the editor-in-chief of the popular parenting Web site Babble.com.

It wasn’t the child’s fit that left Calhoun speechless: It was the mother’s.

Parenting blogs — and grandparents — echo that shock. A commenter on a recent New York Times’ blog recounted seeing a preschooler purposely trip a woman in a crowded restaurant, and chortle, “‘Mommy, did you see me trip that woman? I tripped her!’” — with no corrective measure from the mother. On Grandparents.com, a mortified grandmother recently asked for advice on how to handle her grandson’s relentless public insulting of his own mother, who apparently seemed unable or unwilling to stand up to the mistreatment.

Many experts say today’s kids are ruder than ever. And it may have something to do with popular parenting movements focusing on self-esteem and the generation that’s embracing them: Generation X, or those born between 1965 and 1977.

On paper, it doesn’t add up. After all, by many accounts Generation X may be the most devoted parents in American history. They are champions of "attachment parenting," the school of child-rearing that calls for a high level of closeness between parents and children, Many Gen-X parents co-sleep with their children, hold them back from entering kindergarten if they feel their children’s emotional maturity is at stake and volunteer at their kids' schools at record rates. Gen-X moms have been famously criticized by early feminists for dropping out of the workforce to care for their young children.

Yet, their kids are, well, rude. It may be that today’s parents are so fixated on their children's emotional well-being that they’re teaching them that the well-being of others is comparatively unimportant, says Dr. Philippa Gordon, a long-time pediatrician in Park Slope, Brooklyn, an urban New York neighborhood famous for its dense Gen-X parent population.

Parents 'ferociously advocating'

“I see parents ferociously advocating for their children, responding with hostility to anyone they perceive as getting in the child's way — from a person whose dog snuffles inquiringly at a baby in a carriage, to a teacher or coach whom they perceive is slighting their child, to a poor, hapless doctor who cannot cure the common cold,” says Gordon. “There is a feeling that anything interfering with their kid's homeostasis, as they see it, is an inappropriate behavior to be fended off sharply.”

Such defensiveness represents a radical departure from Gen X’s parental forebears, who, experts say, were more concerned about their children’s behavior toward others, rather than the other way around. But it also may highlight what makes many of today's parents tick, as a group — specifically, how they themselves grew up.

Many researchers consider members of Generation X to have been among the least nurtured children in American history with half coming from split families, 40 percent raised as latchkey kids — literally, home alone.

“They are trying to heal the wounds from their own childhoods through their children,” says Dr. Michael Brody, a child psychiatrist and chair of the Television and Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In indulging their children’s moods, Brody argues, some parents may be trying to protect their children from experiencing the kind of anxiety and neglect that they themselves suffered as youngsters.

Attachment parenting or enmeshment?
But not being able to separate their own feelings from their children’s has its costs. “Generation X parents seem to have mistaken emotional ‘enmeshment’ for ‘attachment parenting,’” he says.

To be fair, such a response comes from an understandable place.

“Our parents, the Boomers, didn’t pay so much attention to us — they were getting divorced and working and respecting independence, so they left us a lot of times to Scooby Doo,” says Calhoun. “But we’re going a bit far in the other direction and paying so much attention that we’re picking up on every blip in our kids’ whims.”

But not all this can be laid at Generation X’s door. Dr. Susan Linn , who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, points out that children learn societal values not just through parental modeling, but also from the stories and toys passed on to them.

“Commercial culture tends to glorify negative behaviors on the continuum from rudeness to violence,” says Linn. “Anti-social behaviors capture the attention of viewers and add to audience share, and in a world where physical violence reigns, rudeness seems ordinary — it becomes a behavioral norm.”

Just take a quick survey the most popular commercial offerings for kids, Linn says. On "American Idol," which, according to Nielsen ratings, is a top program among 2- to 11-year-old viewers, the judges aren’t just rude but truly scathing to contestants.

And, of course, a best-selling line of dolls is, literally, named Bratz. That message pales in comparison to the video game franchise “Grand Theft Auto,” a perennial best-seller among teens and pre-teens who spend hours engaging in virtual behaviors ranging from bullying to having sex with a prostitute and then killing her. Younger siblings who emulate their older brothers and sisters are peripherally, but routinely, exposed to such violence in large numbers, says Linn.

Preschool delinquents?

It is also worth underlining that rudeness can have more serious behavioral consequences. As a 2005 Yale study demonstrated, preschool students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral problems.

What does this mean for their future as adults? We may be starting to see some of the effects in Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1996, whose self-centered — if not downright arrogant — workplace behavior has been well-documented in the popular press since the mid-2000s.

"They've grown up questioning their parents, and now they're questioning their employers. They don't know how to shut up, which is great, but that's aggravating to the 50-year-old manager who says, 'Do it and do it now,' " says Jordan Kaplan, an associate managerial science professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn in New York, in a USA Today article.

As for today’s little kids? “No one will want to hire them,” says Brody. That's not an encouraging thought, especially in these economic times.

Economic climate does seem to have an effect on manners. Indeed, some experts believe that trend of rudeness among kids first emerged with the rise of Wall Street and its culture of entitlement in the mid-1980s, which is when Generation X began having children. It has been building since then, they say. But today’s downturn may inspire renewed prudence.

“I think that people who lose their wealth, their jobs, and other emblems of success that gave them a mindless assurance about their social status — plus with the new standards in the White House — may examine their values more seriously,” predicts pediatrician Gordon. “It will be less easy to fob off your inner questions by purchasing an expensive education, summer camp or horseback riding classes.”

It may also be easier if Gen X parents start implementing the popular campaign that they grew up with themselves: “Just say ‘No.’ ”
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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I find that the hardest thing to teach my kids is compassion for other people. They are so afraid that other kids will regard them as being wimpy, or as they use the term faggy. Its more important to them what their peers think instead of everyone else.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:25 AM   #3
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What I think I'm seeing is not so much kids that are rude, but kids that are immature to the point that they are lacking respect for themselves and others because it's something they have never encountered, not that they are inherently "bad" kids. Some kids just seem so spoiled and sheltered that it never even occurs to them to use some common sense and be polite to others.

So I guess my view is in line with this from the article
Quote:
“I see parents ferociously advocating for their children, responding with hostility to anyone they perceive as getting in the child's way — from a person whose dog snuffles inquiringly at a baby in a carriage, to a teacher or coach whom they perceive is slighting their child, to a poor, hapless doctor who cannot cure the common cold,” says Gordon. “There is a feeling that anything interfering with their kid's homeostasis, as they see it, is an inappropriate behavior to be fended off sharply.”
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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^

I agree with Lies.

When I was in school, heaven forbid that a teacher called one of my parents about something, that was unimaginable and I would have been punished but good. These days, if my brother, who is a teacher, calls a parent to report such things as their child having skipped the last three days, he's as likely to get yelled at as he is to get thanked.

I'm not sure if it's the kids that have changed, or if it's the current generation of parents that's out to lunch.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:19 PM   #5
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^ I agree. I think the title should have been "Parents Today - Worse in History?"
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
^

I agree with Lies.

When I was in school, heaven forbid that a teacher called one of my parents about something, that was unimaginable and I would have been punished but good. These days, if my brother, who is a teacher, calls a parent to report such things as their child having skipped the last three days, he's as likely to get yelled at as he is to get thanked.

I'm not sure if it's the kids that have changed, or if it's the current generation of parents that's out to lunch.
Parents, lol!

This happens to Phil ALL day, EVERY day. I cannot believe how many times he tells me they had to call home for this or that. Part of it is that schools can no longer discipline or enforce any sort of consequence that has any value to the child (I don't mean hitting kids) because parents get all upset about kids getting singled out, lawsuits, etc. So anytime a kid does anything all they can do is call the parent. Phil works in an inner city school where many of the kids in his class are the ones responsible for younger kids, not the parents because they are either absent or working 2 shifts and can't be bothered. The majority of these kids have absolutely no respect for any other person, personal space, or object whatsoever, as evident by the kid who threw a basketball at Phil's face while he already had a broken nose from a baskeball jab and now Phil has been to the doctor 4 times. If you ask the kid about it he will get all defensive instead of just saying "I'm sorry that was a dumb thing to do."

The kids he works with think they are adults and try to act like adults but really they are emotionally immature. They throw fits like 2 year olds and have less self-control than my 8 month old puppy.

I don't blame the kids at all, I am 100% convinced it is the parenting.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Well--I might be Gen X, but I'm old school when it comes to parenting---but I definately see alot of what I call "Precious Angel-ing" parents who act like their kid is god's gift to everyone.

I can't stand when I (sometimes) drop off my 7 1/2 year old son off at school and some parents stop the car line to PARK and walk their precious angels into school. They some how have to guard them the 50ft from the car door to the school door? I'm like, WTF is going to happen? But, at least their precious angel has made it safely into school. Please.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:41 PM   #8
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The Lord God in Heaven knew what he was doing when he saw fit to not bring children into mine & Mr. Blu's life. Dealing with a lot of the "PA's" (great term/description of behavior, pg43!!!) that exist today? Dealing with their parents?

I'll be the first to admit that although my parents were a bit more strict than they needed to be when my brother & I were growing up (especially my mom - I used to refer to her as 'the Gestapo' ), none of their discipline caused us irreparable psychological damage and most of it was actually beneficial in teaching us self-control, consequences of our actions, boundaries, r-e-s-p-e-ct & that the F-ing world DID NOT revolve around us.

We have dear neighbors who, before their demon spawn arrived, were intelligent reasonable decision makers. Today? A four-year old makes nearly all their decisions: what they do for entertainment, whether they visit with neighbors, where/if they eat out, what to watch on television, etc., etc., etc. It's disgusting and pathetic and as the child gets older, he's only getting more demanding. The worst of it is, Dad's tired of Jr. running the show & would readily place a firm swat on the PA's behind, but Mom will hear nothing of it... because she can't bear for Jr. to be mad at them. Nevermind that letting him rule supreme in the house is tearing at the fabric of his parents' marriage. (WTF, right? I mean, for me to be pissed with my parents when I was living at home was the highlight of their day - meant they were doing something right! LOL)

*end rant* Sorry.... sore subject.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Every successive generation of kids is the rudest in history...

Helicopter parents make me crazy. I'm raising free-range kids.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliEnvy View Post
Every successive generation of kids is the rudest in history...


that's about all i can see. i haven't seriously worked with kids in about 5 years, and i can certainly tell anecdotal about parents with P.A.'s and the like, and i think that, yes, there might be a stronger sense of entitlement generally speaking than there was a few years ago. i think that this does fall under generally good intentions about wanting what's best for your child, even if what you are doing is actually a disservice to the child. but i think it's also fair to speak up for the parents who are bombarded with loads of contradictory information, as well as a ton of information that's designed to scare the bejesus out of them in regards to their children.

from what i can remember, i felt that "kids today" were actually a lot nicer to each other than what i can remember growing up. i also felt that "kids today" have parents who are more concerned with their child having a meaningful experience with whatever activity rather than having their child be an instant success. i think that many parents were actually quite aware of not being the hovering, smothering PITA that gets lampooned on so many shows, almost to the extent that they stood back maybe a little bit too much.

but, on the whole, i generally thought that "kids today" and "parents today" were pretty good and continually struggling to do the right thing in the midst of an overwhelming amount of information and opportunities and choices that had to be made. the 80%/20% rule was in full effect -- 80% of the people were fine, 20% were a PITA, and that 20% caused 80% of the problems.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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i think that this does fall under generally good intentions about wanting what's best for your child, even if what you are doing is actually a disservice to the child.
Not to mention people trying to make parents feel bad for not spoon-feeding their children well into adulthood. People have said some pretty unfair things about my parents not paying for my college education. Personally, I don't see why it matters. They couldn't afford it and I got the education I wanted. But to some people they are mean or unfit parents because they don't have $100K extra lying around for each kid. Same thing about me working in HS. Other parents have said straight out they think that's a bad idea, to let a kid work while they are in school.

I don't think there's a right or wrong way, but whatever way you go, kids need to learn respect, self-discipline, and accountability. It doesn't just happen on its own.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:49 PM   #12
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This thread made me think of a recent Newsweek article about how young people today are considered to be the most narcissistic ever:

Quote:
Perhaps, one day, we will say that the recession saved us from a parenting ethos that churns out ego-addled spoiled brats. And though it is too soon to tell if our economic free fall will cure America of its sense of economic privilege, it has made it much harder to get the money together to give our kids six-figure sweet-16 parties and plastic surgery for graduation presents, all in the name of "self esteem." And that's a good thing, because as Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell point out in their excellent book "The Narcissism Epidemic," released last week, we've built up the confidence of our kids, but in that process, we've created a generation of hot-house flowers puffed with a disproportionate sense of self-worth (the definition of narcissism) and without the resiliency skills they need when Mommy and Daddy can't fix something.

Indeed, when Twenge addressed students at Southern Connecticut State University a couple weeks back, their generation's narcissism was taken as a given by her audience. The fact that nearly 10 percent of 20-somethings have already experienced symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, compared with just over 3 percent of the 65-and-over set? Not surprising. That 30 percent of college students agree with the statement: "If I show up to every class, I deserve at least a B"? Didn't get much of a rise either. When they're faced with the straight-out question—do you agree with this research, that you guys are the most narcissistic generation ever—there are uniform head nods and knowing grins to each other. "At the end of the day I love me and I don't think that's wrong," says Sharise Tucker, a 21-year-old senior at Southern Connecticut State, a self-professed narcissist. "I don't think it's a problem, having most people love themselves. I love me."
Are We in a Narcissism Epidemic? | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I don't think there's a right or wrong way, but whatever way you go, kids need to learn respect, self-discipline, and accountability.
Accountability to whom?
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:08 PM   #14
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'The kids are to blame'. 'The parents are to blame'. You're all missing the point.

The neo-liberals have deliberately created a society based on workaholism and where career advancement and money have replaced spiritual values. This is in order to keep people enslaved and not question the system.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:14 PM   #15
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