Friday, March 11, 2011

The Sad State Of Youth Today

I've recently seen an article on Yahoo about a mother being upset how her son's grade school teacher had sent a note home to her. It seems that the teacher in question had stapled a note to the boys shirt informing his parents of his actions. When questioned she stated that she had done so because she had previously sent homes notes and believed that he wasn't giving them to his parents. The mother said that she had received the notes but was upset because her son had been publicly embarrassed by this treatment and that it was unfair.

Now when I was young it was common for teachers to pin a note to your shirt so that it wouldn't be forgotten or overlooked and yes it was normally because you had done something wrong in their eyes. Since I'm not part of this situation and don't have all of the details the only thing that I can comfortably comment on is to speculate that if the parents say they had received previous notes and that the teacher was unsure if they were being given to them then it seems to be that perhaps there was no communication between the two parties. That would explain this disconnect between them.

Thinking a little deeper though this makes me think about how we are raising our children. Currently I feel we are raising generations of children where they don't seem to be able to take criticism at all nor do they understand why they are suddenly not special anymore. Case in point, athletic leagues. Nowadays every child on every team gets a trophy because sometime in the past some parents thought that it wasn't fair that only the top three finishing teams got trophies and that it made their children feel left out and that they weren't good enough. Instead of teaching them lessons that have real life implications such as you can't always be first and that sometimes your team may not be that good and it holds you back but doesn't diminish who and what type of person you are, they chose to try and make every child feel that they were all equal.

That's the problem right there. No matter how much we try to make it so, everybody is not equal. Some are faster, some are smarter, some more athletic, some bigger and some smaller. Some catch on quickly and others have to have things explained to them point by point. None of this means that one person is better or worse than any other, it only means that we are all different and can't be judged by the same standards. I may not be as good looking as others but I have things about me that stand out and make me who I am. So what if I'm not the best athlete or video game player? None of this matters in reality. Just find out what it is that you like and makes you unique, if only even to yourself.

Everybody cannot finish first in everything. It's impossible. There have to be people who finish last the same as there has to be doctors as well as ditch diggers. Simply put, we should be addressing ways to make the children understand that where you finish isn't always the most important thing, it's how you finish. It's the work that you put into it. We need to stop worrying if they get their feelings hurt so much because that's going to happen when they hit the real world. Right now most of them are unprepared for when they hit problems. They don't understand when their boss tells them that their work isn't up to standard or that they need to put forth more effort. They don't understand why they cannot immediately make the kind of money that their parents make. They just feel that everyone is being unfair and hurting their feelings.

So basically they are going to go through everything cruel and unkind in the world that all before them have gone through to some degree or another but they will have no idea how they should and can react. Instead it will be like a gate closing to them. Solid, unmoving and impenetrable. What do they do then? We need to be more understanding of what skills they are going to need to learn so that when this happens, and it will, they will be prepared and be able to solve problems on their own instead of coming running home because life isn't fair. It isn't and never has been so let's try to teach them something about this because it really is so important.

Published by Don Leach

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