Each year, the teachers at our school discuss each upcoming class that move up to the 7th grade from each of the five feeder schools in the community.
There are comments and observations about how rascal they might be, how bright or what other adjective colleagues from the elementary schools would tell us about the graduating elementary classes.
For several years now, as educators, we have also been provided lectures, professional development about how to reach the 21st century learner. We are reminded that schools are still teaching students in an archaic, old-fashioned method that cannot reach the children of today and so we must change in order to meet their needs.
So when I grazed one of the questions in this week’s DPchallenge about whether young people face different challenges today, I wholeheartedly agree, because of a theory I’ve had for a while now. Well, not a theory exactly, but an, “I wonder. . .”
It is almost scary what young people are facing today as compared to what we as adults had grown up with just ten, twenty years ago.
Children today grow up so much faster than yesteryear. When I was a child, one of the major issues that faced a child was being a latch-key kid, and maybe divorced parents.
Today, as I observe my students, there is a kind of paranoia, and overprotectiveness occurring with today’s parenting that children are responding differently. In a negative perspective I think children today are more spoiled, entitled, bratty and coddled.
And so, I wonder. . . are today’s children facing different challenges today? Yes.
But is parenting to blame? Maybe.
My own son was born in the year 2001.
There was a lot happening at the turn of the century. Remember how technology wouldn’t be able to turn over correctly at the end of 1999? There was 9/11 and the Anthrax scare.
Maybe with the onset of the technology age, and predators in new areas, in situations that are new to children of the seventies and eighties, we, as adults, don’t know how to parent under these new circumstances?
Admittedly, I don’t trust my child taking the public bus system. I will make arrangements in my schedule to pick him up or drop him off, and I only trust my immediate family, blood relatives to act as a surrogate parent.
I am very careful with what he eats. Reading labels, and monitoring how much TV time, what video games are “appropriate” for his age, monitor movie ratings, and even what songs are now saying, suggesting or subliminally coaxing our youth to do, behave, react, respond, question and/or live, I censor.
Has our actions as parents somehow created a new breed of children who act differently? Expect and behave differently, causing adults and educators to scratch their heads when it comes to dealing with today’s youth? Yes.
God, I’ve turned into my own parents.
I don’t understand today’s youth culture at all – their music, their hairstyles, their interests. . . and that freaks me out, especially with my own child.
My mom laughs. I cannot yet. Maybe I’ll need to wait until I’m a grandparent myself?