Kids are bratty and entitled, right?
Today I spent a few minutes watching a video wherein an inebriated nineteen-year-old college student was demanding macaroni and cheese in a restaurant on his college campus, all the while belligerent with the manager, who kept his cool, as he waited an exorbitant amount of time (I thought) for the campus security to arrive . After that video, I watched the tape of the security officer physically ripping a student out of her seat at a high school. The running commentary underneath both of these videos is, to me, the essence of why we are where we are today.
We currently have, in large part, two camps of adults: those who believe we are where we are because no one is using corporal punishment anymore (for fear of retaliation by CPS and/or jail time) so our kids are too coddled, therefore forgetting their place in life. Or, those who believe and treat their children as if they can do no wrong which leads to a child with an overblown ego.
These two camps can be coupled with, and driven by, our new-found ability/desire to achieve fifteen minutes of fame through social media.
But, where exactly are we today, and why are we here?
We are in a place where many adults feel trapped between trying to perpetuate an illusion of function while they themselves aren't emotionally healthy. It's becoming the blind leading the blind. Rebellion and violence we are seeing [everyday] between adults and children (of all ages) or vice versa, whether propagated between kids and parents, law enforcement, teachers, employers, or service workers, (including the acts in these two videos) are examples of how crystal clear off-course we (adults) are.
Because it can't be the kids...
I am in the process of reading Brigid Schulte's Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. The book is fascinating, and filled with a lot of statistics, which could be manipulated to support my thoughts, but I will only share one quote from an early chapter:
A major problem with the relationship between adults and kids today is the amount of overwhelm adults are feeling. Trying to navigate (and live up to) the constant overt and subliminal messages of what it means to be an "ideal" worker, "ideal" parent, and and "ideal" human being quickly (and daily) force our minds and bodies into overwhelm.
Not only is fear of being not good enough permeating our society (how many ads do we see and hear everyday suggesting a product or service that is going to improve our appearance or make our life look better to others?), the pace of life has become a serious detriment to kids and adults alike.
Change can only begin with recognizing there is a problem, realizing how you contribute to it, and then (if serious about change) taking action to do and be different. By making a conscious effort to turn away from the unrelenting messages society tells us are important, and instead return to what we truly know is the only important element in life...connection.
Many of the problems we find in our lives today are due to poor connections. To others and within ourselves. A contributing factor to the disconnection is all of the negative stories, images, and themes we are exposed to on the news, in theaters, through music...
The daily overwhelm many adults and kids feel, physically/emotionally/spiritually, is what sets off the hair-trigger reactions and responses, it's a perpetuating and vicious cycle.
But, there is always an option...choose different. Choose to lead yourself and your children away from the shallow, materialistic messages and patterns of our culture. Choose to look at yourself and work on your emotional well-being.
Take the time to figure out what you and your family really value/stand for. And then take the necessary steps to embrace the changes by putting your own emotional, physical, and spiritual care first.
Because you cannot give what you don't have.
So tell me, why do you think we are where we are today as a society? It's a big question...but, as I said, I think it all comes down to us (adults) and the choices we make in what we do and say every single day. We have to stop blaming everyone else and take responsibility for the state of family life in this moment...because if we don't, the cycle will continue to spiral.