Today’s Youth- Punks and Lazy Adults?
When I was your age I had to walk a mile in the snow uphill just to get to school. That or something like that is usually said to a youngster who is complaining about having to do something. Laziness is inherit in youth who think they have to do nothing but eat, sleep, and play, all at the expense and effort of someone else providing them the means or opportunity to do so. At what point does childhood transcend into adulthood? When does a child become responsible for their own actions? When do you sanction or take away privileges for punishment or teaching? Is taking away the PC, XBOX, or their allowance appropriate for a teen who refuses to do chores, or talking back, or being disrespectful. And talking back is different today then it was when I was a youth. If I ever told my parents to F*** off or “do it yourself” I’d have a hard time sitting down for a week, while doing double the chores I had to do in the first place. Today, getting a teen to even clean up after themselves without being told is a nightmare, let alone asking them to do something on top of that.
An added complication is the lack of appropriate consequences for bad behavior. Oh dear, even that last sentence is full of politically correct jargon — education is full of it. I know that’s the same in most areas of modern life — full of messages that are soft on truth — full of euphemisms… So, what should the sentence say? Bad behavior should be punished… now, that really is controversial! Maybe then behavior would actually improve, and families could live with peace of mind, without being tormented by thugs — or if behavior was unacceptable then something would actually be done about it (punishment?) rather than excuses being made and nothing done. courtesy of ezinearticles.com
This is not an issue affecting just my kids, or yours, but rather youth around the world. I am probably luckier than most. My kids don’t do drugs, don’t get involved with the “bad crowd”, and they bring home decent grades. I am thankful for that. But the bigger picture bothers me, and what I read in the news every day. When did kids start to think they could get away with acting this way. Did it start when teachers were told they can no longer discipline our kids at school? Did it start when we were told that spanking is a big no-no and we could be damaging our kids for life? I don’t know about you but the occasional smack on the back side to stop them from sticking the fork in the electrical outlet for the umpteenth time is hardly aimed at damaging them for life. Just trying to ensure that they stop doing what they are doing so they can HAVE a life. Or taking away the XBOX for not doing chores, that (in my opinion) is preparing them for the workforce and teaching some sort of work ethic. These are just examples, but the cause and effect holds true in most cases. We could look at the statistics here, and here, and here. But they are misleading.
Depending on where you look and what result you are searching for you could come up with the conclusion that youth crime rate is down, but is it really? Or has it just changed? Do kids get punished as much as they used to? Does it get reported as often? Unless it is violent in nature then it is hardly worth the time of anyone doing anything about it. When I was a kid stealing a pack of gum from the store resulted in a ride home in the back of a squad car and corporal punishment dished out by my father, who had no qualms about making me see the err of my ways at the end of a belt. Did that damage me for life? No, but I sure as hell never stole another pack of gum. Today’s youth are looking at quite a different scenario. Was the kid hungry? Why did he do it? Was it the parents fault for not teaching them right from wrong? Is there problems in the home? Maybe CAS should get involved. It’s ridiculous. Maybe, just maybe. The kid just wanted gum and didn’t want to pay for it. So instead of dealing with the main issue at hand all sorts of other things come in to play needlessly diverting the attention off the child to someone else. And leaving the child with the opinion that what they did was wrong, apparently, but nothing in the form as “punishment” was experienced so hey, it wasn’t so bad, and the chances of it happening again are greater. Also, the store owner or clerk are less likely to even report it because they know that nothing is going to happen. Except, the kid is going to be pissed off for causing it all and create bigger problems, in the form of vandalism and harassment.
Today’s youth have a sense of entitlement that I do not understand. They have no respect for their parents, or authority. And this is a direct result from Society changing its views on how to deal with bad behavior. First it was the Young Offenders Act, which was changed in 2003 to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Under the YOA the maximum sentence for killing another person was 3 years. And under the YCJA it is now 5 years. Could this be part of the problem? Do you think the kids don’t know this?
Repeat offenses by youth are on the rise, and this is just the ones that get reported. Take this case for example. A 15 yr old teen that killed a man while driving a stolen car will spend no more that 1 year in jail. Let me say that again NO MORE THAN ONE YEAR IN JAIL.
He was charged with dangerous driving causing death while fleeing from police, failing to stop and possession of a stolen vehicle.
If an “adult” was charged with the same offenses then what would you guess the punishment to be, minimum 10 yrs to a maximum of life in prison. This kid killed a man, took his life, and will spend less time in jail then I would for not paying traffic fines. And this was not his first offense, no, try his third. And yet I am being told that this is for the benefit of the youth for counseling and rehabilitation. I don’t see the word punishment, or atonement. What is the impression of the Justice system this kid is going to have now? What about his friends? Other youths that are already having brushes with the law younger than 15. They are being taught that they can get away with murder.
Yes it is a depressing thought to see a youth wind up in jail for 10 years. How depressing is it for the family of the man he killed? What kind of message is Society sending when taking another human being’s life only warrants 12 months in jail because a certain amount of birthday’s hasn’t been reached yet. I’ve heard teens say “I could do 12 months standing on my head”. Does that sound like a person that is going to learn a lesson? Or does that sound like a person that things he is getting away with it, and most likely going to re-offend. Gang rapes, lighting kids on fire, swarmings, beatings, murder. I don’t recall these types of crimes being committed by kids when I was younger. Is it the video games, TV, or Society getting weaker in dealing with it.
It’s time that politicians stayed out of parenting, and concentrated on what we elect them to do. We don’t need them to tell us not to smoke, or where we can park our cars. We don’t need them to charge us for composting, or delivering mail to our door. But we do need them to use OUR TAX DOLLARS responsibly. It’s time that our laws reflect our morals.