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Kids these days.

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Kids these days.

Postby JayByrd » Dec 13th, 2012, 7:06 pm

Whenever we have a thread on crimes or irresponsible behaviour committed by youth, invariably there is a "kids these days" component to the discussion. Posters lament the end of corporal punishment, we blame the parents, the school system, video games, hooded sweatshirts, etc. There is some validity to all of these points (well maybe not the hooded sweatshirts) but I don't think any of these ideas holds a definitive answer.

When I think back to my own childhood (early 1980's) I was aware of older teens (17 and up) smoking, drinking, having sex. They also got their driver's licenses as early as possible, and the boys grew facial hair if they could. Many moved out of their parents' house at the first opportunity. Those that didn't, wanted to. The reason they did all of this is because they wanted to appear older, and live an adult lifestyle. They were modelling themselves after the adults in their lives. In those days, media wasn't as ubiquitous (and inescapable) as it is now. There was no internet, cable TV was limited to 13 channels, and movies were either seen in the theatre or, years after release, on television. The youth of that era didn't have very many voices outside of family, friends, and school to influence them.

In 2012, today's teens are the first generation that's had access to computers and the internet since they were old enough to use them. Many of us have over 100 TV channels in the home, and instant access to movies, television, and music if we want it. That's a massive onslaught of media, one which simply didn't exist for the youth of my generation and the ones before it. Along with all of that media, comes a fairly twisted picture of human behaviour. Popular culture glorifies irresponsible, destructive behaviour. TV shows focus on bringing out the worst in people, and embarassing mistakes are played for laughs. The voice of reason, whether it comes from family, teachers, or even public figures, is just one voice among many. It's not surprising that teens, who's higher brain functions are still developing, aren't always able to separate the wheat from the chaff. A young person can still model themselves after their parents. Or they can follow the path of the kids on Jersey Shore.

Many parents today are beset by problems of their own. Mental health issues, substance issues, poverty, or simple inability to balance their lives. As we've seen, when parents don't have their own act together, their children likely won't either.

It's not the 1950's or even the 1980's anymore; the world has changed, and what a young person experiences in life has changed. I firmly believe that the youth of today are both much smarter and much dumber than previous generations. A toddler can manipulate technology that didn't even exist when his parents were children. Yet many life skills that were essential for the kids of yesteryear, are a mystery to young people today.

So how do you guide your children in 2012? How do you stem the tide of media that's flooding their brains, without turning them into social shut-ins? What's worked for you? What hasn't?
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby jennylives » Dec 13th, 2012, 7:29 pm

I limit access to media for one thing. They get about an hour of TV per week and we usually cancel it altogether every summer. They get about 2 hours on the computer which is in a common area. I notice immediately when the TV is on they begin asking for more "stuff". We emphasize the importance of being able to DO things. My daughter taught herself to knit using youtube videos and is very good at baking. If it's nice outside they are not allowed in the house. We try to make learning fun and a way of life. My oldest will be a pre-teen soon so I will see how our approach has worked very soon. :ohmygod:
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby rekabis » Dec 14th, 2012, 12:06 pm

jennylives wrote:I limit access to media for one thing. They get about an hour of TV per week and we usually cancel it altogether every summer. They get about 2 hours on the computer which is in a common area. I notice immediately when the TV is on they begin asking for more "stuff". We emphasize the importance of being able to DO things. My daughter taught herself to knit using youtube videos and is very good at baking. If it's nice outside they are not allowed in the house. We try to make learning fun and a way of life. My oldest will be a pre-teen soon so I will see how our approach has worked very soon. :ohmygod:


I strongly suspect that this desire for “stuff” is coming mostly from the commercials.

So there is an effective (if not easy) solution: build yourself an open-source PVR (and MythTV is the best PVR software platform out there these days) that is attached directly to the only TV connection in the house. Schedule it to record their favourite shows, but then have the software strip out the commercials. You can even program a good PVR software with the ability to only display recorded shows in certain time frames, ensuring that they don’t cut into homework or chore time with their shows.

With the PVR attached to the TV with a normal VGA or HDMI cable, they would only be able to view what has been recorded on the PVR (especially if you have disabled the pass-through functionality). And since that content is commercial-free, they don’t ask for as much “stuff”.

Once they get old enough for a place of their own, they will have been commercial-free for so long, that commercials themselves will look foreign and intrusive to the point of being hostile.
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby Nom_de_Plume » Dec 17th, 2012, 7:26 am

rekabis wrote:
I strongly suspect that this desire for “stuff” is coming mostly from the commercials.


I agree, my kids were raised without media for the most part and I wasn't constantly bombarded with the gimmies while they were growing up unlike some of my friends who's kids were constantly whining for every little thing they saw on tv.
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby kibbs » Dec 17th, 2012, 9:58 am

It's not the 1950's or even the 1980's anymore


I agree there is no text book for parenting these days and the ones that exist are outdated ,when first separated and my son was young i couldn't afford cable and raised him on antenna tv and disney videos.to my kids now 15 and 19 tv is dead ,the internet is everything now you tube videos and online gaming.my greatest fear when they were growing up was not too much technology,but not being able to afford to keep up with it.the last thing i wanted was my kid to be left out and left behind.to be the kid with outdated tech.like the kid who dressed out of style when we were kids.limits on time cyber space (im told is an outdated term to just call it the internet)is essential,make sure your kids arn't gaming while you sleep,they will try.Give them chores to do so they still can build real life skills.Make them a part of cooking the meals.Have a set dinner time where all sit at the table.The world is was it is.Try to hang on to the best of what it was and embrace what is good about the new world.and if they start being little goofs cut the cable and watch how quickly they shape up . recently my son ordered a game online without my permission .i gave him a choice lose your game for a week or join me in church on Sunday. My 15 year old attended his first service 2 weeks ago.Don't forget who is the parent .be strong.
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby Smurf » Dec 17th, 2012, 11:13 am

I agree that all the information out there today has got to be hard for young minds to digest and impossible sometimes to sort good from bad. Going into more serious problems I saw some information recently since the last school shooting in the states that really made me think. Guns are being shown and promoted as a solution to problems. All the TV shows and games etc that use violence, guns to solve their problems are actually a problem. People and not only kids are starting to see them as a solution, especially in the US. One state has recently passed a law to allow guns in schools, presumably so people can protect themselves from violence like just happened but is it really a solution.

A second solution is drugs. More and more we are hearing that drugs like MJ are safe. They awaken your mind, they relax you, they are the solution. Kids see their parents, drunk and or high and they are happy or at least seem like it. They see the same thing amoungst older friends. Their parents or their friends seldom if ever tell them about or want to admit any problems involved. Kids and adults have numerous problems now and what do we do. We give them drugs, dummy them down. We do not try to work with them and control the problem because drugs are much easier. Again they are seen as a solution.

It sounded reasonable to me and I am wondering if anyone else thinks that these attitudes are becoming a problem for our young people today.
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby kibbs » Dec 17th, 2012, 11:24 am

sounded reasonable to me and I am wondering if anyone else thinks that these attitudes are becoming a problem for our young people today.

see forums on 10 percent diagnosed adhd and the shootings in ct one
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby Smurf » Dec 17th, 2012, 11:59 am

I have seen those. I was just wondering if we are teaching our kids that guns, drugs whatever are the easy solutions to our problems without even knowing we are doing it. Almost a subliminal type of thing.
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Re: Kids these days.

Postby kibbs » Dec 18th, 2012, 9:28 am

I have seen those. I was just wondering if we are teaching our kids that guns, drugs whatever are the easy solutions to our problems without even knowing we are doing it. Almost a subliminal type of thing.


yes yes we are not so subliminal you just need to learn how to translate SPIN
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