Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Words from an old coot!

I know that as we age it is natural to think that the younger generation is spoiled and being reared by incompetent nitwits, never mind the fact that the older generation is responsible for the rearing of those so-called nitwits.  Now that I myself am a card carrying member of the senior generation I have found myself making observations of my own.  However, I am trying to bear in mind that my observations, though astute in their own right, are nothing new and were clearly noted by the generation before me.  I remember hearing the stories of how my father walked 10 miles each way to school in the snow compared to how my happy self was chauffeured by a big yellow school bus.  I was as impressed by his comparison at the time as anyone younger than 20 would be of mine today.  What I do see lacking in the younger generation of today is accountability.  It seems that every parent has an excuse for their child's behavior and can find ways to either justify it or blame it on circumstances beyond their control.  I hear stories every day from teachers about student's lack of accountability.  Parents are quick to protect either a bad grade or issues concerning behavior.  It is never their child's fault.  What I remember as a kid was that if I got in trouble at school I was sure to face consequences at home.  That was just a no brainer.  I was expected to listen to my teacher and to be respectful.  My parents would have never considered the idea of going to the teacher to question her judgment or authority.  When I came home complaining about a teacher my dad would tell me it didn't matter whether he/she was my favorite teacher.  He did however suggest that I find a way to become his/her favorite student.  This was advice that served me well in school and in life.

I don't want to be an old coot that just thinks everything is going to the dogs.  I do however get a little nervous when I see the behavior of a group of young people who will soon be making decisions that will affect all of us.  Will they be prepared if they have no experience in problem solving or have never learned to be accountable?  I've learned more in life from the mistakes that I have made than I ever did from a book and I'm happy my parents allowed me the opportunity to learn those lessons.  I know as parents it is hard to resist the temptation to rescue our children from hurt and disappointment but learning how to cope with minor disappointments while young gives us the tools to manage the big disappointments that come throughtout life.


Olga said...

As a middle school, sometimes high school teacer, I saw parents excuse all kinds of bad behavior. Amazing how many of those kids just kept right on getting into trouble.

marciamayo said...

Dani, I still struggle that not rescuing my grown children, especially since they don't even ask me to. Thanks for reminding me of the benefits of falling on your face from time to time.

Bea Boomer said...

You hit the nail on one of my biggest pet peeves: that people don't take responsibility for their actions (though I've noticed that it's not just the "younger generation" who's guilty of this) My (only) daughter must get sick of my preaching about this, LOL.
I grew up with a parent who would take no responsibility for his actions - it was our fault he drank. He was a "victim." I chose not to live this way. It's empowering to be responsible for your actions, though victims don't seem to realize this.