8 Things Wrong With Generation Z
1. Kids do not know how to cross the street. I was at my son's football practice when a young man about the age of 5-6 darted out into the street in front of me. He was running across the street to use the porta-potty located on the other side. Luckily I had anticipated something like this occurring and I was traveling slow enough (15MPH) to hit my brakes. I was relieved that I was able to stop in time, but this is not the first time I've had to slam on my brakes for someone not looking before they cross the street. It is becoming a pandemic. I see people of all ages doing this and I wonder when the old adage "look both ways before you cross the street" got thrown out of the window. Learning how to cross the street is crucial. Maybe people got it mixed up when they introduced "pedestrians have the right of way". However, this was never intended to mean: step out into the street without looking. It simply meant that if you had looked both ways for vehicles and had seen none or they were far enough away then you could continue across the street. If a car approached when you were still in the crosswalk then they needed to slow and allow you to finish. Let's start teaching our children personal safety and responsibility.
2. Kids do not know how to handle disappointment. There is a rule that has sprung up in schools where your child cannot hand out birthday invitations during school unless everyone in the class gets one because they do not want a child to be left out. This is the same reason why they give ribbons to everyone on field day. We think we are being fair and not teaching favoritism. What we are really doing is handicapping our children for the future. We, as adults, know that you will be disappointed. You won't always be invited to events or get first place in a contest. What we really should be teaching our children is how to move on from disappointment, to find out what they are good at and go after that, and that not everything is for everybody.
3. Kids are not taught how to read/write in cursive. Cursive is a lost art. I guess when you really think about it most places require you to print other than your John Hancock. However, I like to think there is beauty and discipline in perfecting penmanship. In grade school I remember seeing the progression of my skill as I toiled through the pages of practice letters and words. Maybe that's where schools are missing the point of cursive - it instills pride in beauty and discipline.
4. Kids are not taught that there is a time and place for everything. This might seem like a really inappropriate analogy, but we are all familiar with: Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets. The ideal woman knows how to act in public, but can let her hair down at home. In the same manner, kids should be taught that in public you should have manners and know how to behave. Home is for being free and having fun. A restaurant is not a playground. The store is not your personal playroom. Another important life skill that our kids are not being taught because we are too hooked on the idea that "kids will be kids".
5. Kids are not forced to be creative. When I was 13 I made up a game where you would wear a roller blade on one foot and a tennis shoe on the other foot. You would bat a tennis ball or bouncy ball around, but the rules were it had to keep moving and you could never pick it up. It kept the neighborhood kids entertained for hours at a time. You rarely see kids truly being creative. In a world filled with iPads and computers and tvs, who is really taking advantage of them to be creative? I'm not one to push the abandonment of technology completely, but there needs to be balance. Hours and hours of video games is not creative time. It is wasted time. Push your kids to be creative.
6. Kids are not taught to respect authority. We see this play out a lot in the classroom. Parents have flipped the tables on teachers. Kids are realizing the power they possess and are wielding it against their teachers. Another area where we see kids taking power is in sports. They will cry and complain about the hand they are dealt because they know parents will come to their aide. Slowly we are enforcing the idea that there is no such thing as authority or, at the very least, that we do not need to respect it. Are we raising a "privileged" generation?
7. Kids are unfamiliar with a good old-fashioned whoopin'. This a two-part statement. Most kids have never felt the power of swift hand colliding with their backside AND we are seeing more weapons being used to settle disputes. I am not a parent who easily resorts to spankings, but it also not something I refuse to do. I believe that discipline should be effective and personalized. If you are totally against spankings then at least put forth the effort to find something that does work. Every kid has a tick. As far as fist fights go, let's all step back and remember that the world is not full of unicorns and sunshine. A lot of readers will act holier than thou, but many of you have been in a fist fight at some point in your life. I'm not advocating for fighting. I'm saying I'd rather someone be in a fist fight than hit with another manmade object.
8. Kids don't understand how to "earn your keep". Hard work is not something that is promoted in today's society. Connections are what seem to get you places. "It's not what you know. It's who you know." My kids would love it if everything was handed to them on a silver platter. They believe that I should be at their beck and call and that they should never have to do chores around the house. I do not give an allowance. I feel that they should contribute to the household because they live in the household. I would consider allowance if I was teaching them a lesson in rent and bills, but other than that they get paid in food, shelter, and clothes. My love is free.
If Tippy was a Mortal Kombat character, her finisher would be an overdose of Honest. She's a great mother, awesome friend, who's addicted to writing the truth.
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