Scroll through any comment section of a news story involving the misbehaviors of youth, and there’s a good chance you’ll come across some kind of “kids these days” chatter about the perceived flaws of an “entitled” generation. Well, some parents are growing tired of these quips and jabs about our kids and parenting styles.
One such mom taking a stand is writer and Babble contributor Christine Organ, who recently penned a powerful post about “kids these days” that gets to the heart of how today’s parents feel about the young people we are raising.
As a mom of two boys, Organ describes some of what she has seen with her kids and their peers these days.
“I see kids who spend time playing Fortnite and NBA2K with their friends, but then also have these really big and deep conversations with their friends about god and religion and what might happen when we die,” she explains. “I see boys who curl up in bed with their little brother when they have a nightmare, and little brothers who say, ‘climb in.'”
As a mom of three boys who happen to be more sensitive and thoughtful than I ever could have imagined, I can certainly relate to Organ’s sentiments.
Organ also mentions the powerful strides being made by “kids today” for our girls that have been bolstered by movements like #MeToo. “I see girls who aren’t afraid to say ‘no’ and ‘why not me?’ and ‘we’ll run the world one day,'” she writes.
She also points out how things are changing for boys. No longer being directed to refrain from showing emotion, she writes, “I see boys cry. A lot. And I see boys comfort other boys when they cry, never once telling them to ‘suck it up.'”
Bullying is another issue we hear a lot about in the media today. And while bullying has always been around, many “kids today” demonstrate kindness in ways big and small every day, according to Organ:
“I see kids go out of their way to invite other kids to play with them at recess. I see fifth graders who let kindergarteners win at a playground game of basketball. I see first graders put their arms around fourth graders.”
I see those things, too, and they are beautiful.
Organ understands kids today are not perfect, but they never have been and never will be. “Sure, there are days when I want to throw the Xbox out the window, and the thought of my kids running amok on social media sends shivers down my spine,” she laments.
But the next generation doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing.
“Sure, there is bullying, disrespect, bad choices and misbehavior. There always has been. These are kids and they are human, after all,” she writes. “But if that is what you notice about ‘kids these days,’ then quite frankly, you just aren’t paying attention.”
It seems every new generation is judged by the one that came before. And while none of us are perfect, there’s so much good to found if we just look.
When asked what inspired her to write the post, Organ tells Babble:
“I’ve grown weary of the constant blame and finger-pointing at parents and ‘kids these days.’ There’s been a lot of conversation lately about all the struggles and misdeeds, but the truth is, kids these days are pretty amazing. They are accepting of others, generous, kind, and willing to stand up for others.”
I would have to agree. I see examples every day of kids displaying maturity, strength, and inclusivity. Kids today are speaking up against gun violence, sharing #MeToo stories, and supporting one another in ways we’ve never seen before.
The next generation needs to know that we believe in them. After all, “kids these days” are just what the world needs.