Are kids different today than they were 20+ years ago?

The article that inspired my thoughts today is about an 8 – year – old boy, who committed suicide. Supposedly, he was bullied at school, which might have led him to take his own life.

I will not speculate whether the kid was bullied or not. For the purpose of this discussion I will assume that he was. I will not speculate whether he was knocked unconscious by the bully, or if he just fainted, as he reported to the school. This is not a necessary detail to this discussion.

The mother of the boy is now on a crusade to eradicate bullying and to make the world a safer place for kids. As I wrote the second part of that sentence, I laughed in my thoughts due to the irony of it. She might have been the one who, in a way, helped the boy do what he did. Stop. Do not get angry at me for blaming the mother. I am not. Or at least not directly. Not yet.

Let me get back to the question in the topic of this post: “Are kids different today than they were 20+ years ago?”. The short answer is – “YES!”. The longer answer can be found below.

I really do not appreciate how some topics become one dimensional. The kid was bullied. Kid committed suicide. We need to get rid of bullying. I am not endorsing bullying, and I am not saying that we should accept it because it has been with us for generations. However, this is NOT everything we should focus our attention on!!! Whether we like it or not, different kinds of bullying exist THROUGHOUT our lives. Not just in school. We cannot change every single person on this planet to our liking, but we can adjust ourselves. During my formal education, I was bullied. Who has not? The difference was that I did not expect everyone to cater to my wants and needs like the kids of today are taught to expect. I knew that things like that made me stronger and prepared me for the real world. I knew how to DEAL with it. Most importantly, most of the time, I did not care about the verbal bullying. And soon enough it went away (or just got quieter). When it came to the physical bullying, I would stand up for myself and be proactive. But enough about me.

Back to the topic. When I was 8 years old I had NO idea what suicide was. There were thoughts of going to teachers for help, going to my parents, going to my colleagues, or just going to myself, but no shadow of a thought of ending my life. Because it was not so bad? NO! Because I simply had no idea that was an option!!! Do you see where I am going with this now? It boggles my mind that an 8 – year – old kid not only knew that he could kill himself, but he also knew how to do it. HOW?! I ask you: “How and why?”. This is not an isolated incident. We see these things more and more often. Young kids stream their deaths live on Facebook. Is that not insane?! Have we seen pre – teens committing suicide left and right two decades ago? Umm… no?!

Kids of today have no coping skills. THIS is something we should focus on. Not how to make everyone accepting of everything. Because it is not going to happen. EVER. Because we cannot control every human on this planet. But we CAN control our micro-universe (our kids/ nephews/ nieces, etc). We can teach them to be resilient. We can teach them how to get help. We can teach them to problem solve. We can also do our best to protect their innocence for as long as possible. Is giving them access to unlimited, unsupervised Internet and TV really the best thing to do? Do they really need to be on Facebook the minute they learn how to read or write? Heck, they do not even have to be able to do so. Watching videos does not require those skills. I understand that the mother might be a single mother, who is working all day and cannot supervise the child the whole time. But someone should… There needs to be time for parents to talk to their children so they have even a faint idea of what is going on in their kid’s life.

Bottom line is – the bully is not the only one to blame.

 

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32 thoughts on “Are kids different today than they were 20+ years ago?

Add yours

  1. Kids are always different than the generation before them. But this time it’s more… All the digital inventions and societal changes. Are kids today even allowed to be kids anymore…? Do they want to be?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I went to school in India. There was some verbal bullying, but it never got physical. We knew we had to go to our teachers and parents, if that ever happened. Suicide was an unheard of concept.

    Cracking down on bullying does help. However, you are right. We do need to teach our children to be more resilient.

    When we were kids, rating system was not enforced at the movies. I remember watching the most violent movies as a little kid. It never bothered us. Our parents always told us that, it was just art and that, it wasn’t real. We went out, played games and forgot about all the things that bothered us. The major issue today, is the length of time both adults and kids spend glued to a screen and lack of physical activity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post – I love the little illustration too which does explain it perfectly!

    I think a lot of kids of today have an expectation of ‘entitlement’ (I call then the ‘entitlement generation’) because I feel like they just expect everything to be handed to them without actually working for it sometimes. I think this mainly due to TV and the internet and the fact that they can as you say go on Facebook and the internet and see other people/friends with things they think they should also have…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I agree. It’s hard as a parent to step back and find the line between letting your children learn how to stand up for themselves and wanting to eradicate anyone hurting them from the face of the earth! It’s not easy but as a parent, you HAVE to teach them resilience but if they fails – to know when to seek help.
    I also ANSOLUTELY think no child needs social media. Mine were banned from it until they were 15 and that was too young on reflection. I truly believe allowing your children access to social media is irresponsible. They don’t have the sophistication to use it and frankly, they don’t need to be glued to phones, laptops etc! This is a great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow what a post! Very important topics discussed and I couldn’t agree more! There is so much more access to things these days even compared to a few years ago.

    I’ve just started watching a series called 13 reasons why. It’s had a lot of attention about some of the topics it suggests, very similar to what you have said here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so true! I’m glad you put this out there.
    The children doing the bullying also reflects on the way parents raise their children. Entitlement and assuming that just because you think one thing, everyone in the world should, too. Instant gratification. I was taught to always be polite and kind, and to value human life, and to put others first. Is it so simple as the “golden rule” – treat others the way you want to be treated?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do think that unsupervised Internet can influence kids in bad ways but I really feel that if used constructively then technology like Internet and TV can be a great asset to kids. I also strongly agree to the fact that kids at a young age SHOULD NOT be exposed to Facebook and other social media…

    Liked by 1 person

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