So clearly by the title of this blog, we are going to discuss the state of respect, or lack thereof in today’s youth. Now before you go getting all angry, in no way are we insinuating that every youth is this way, simply we are going to explore and discuss the trends we see on a daily basis. Of course, there are many upstanding and respectful youth! But it seems that no matter how much the anti-bullying campaign is thrown into children’s lives, bullying seems to be getting worse. And not just bullying, the overall respect level seems to be dropping. When did youth stop opening doors for the elderly or the parent struggling to open the door with a child in hand and stroller in tow? When did it become acceptable for youth to hurl around the “f” word in public? When did authority figures such as parents/guardians, teachers and principals lose control?
To begin, let’s discuss bullying. We have all heard of the absolutely horrid cyber bullying that takes place on a daily basis. Fake accounts being set up to torment, accounts hacked to expose the child whether fact or fiction, negative comments meant to hurt and humiliate, and let’s not forget the never-ending parade of gossip and rumours. We cannot imagine what it must be like for these kids going through this daily. What we can’t figure out is this, why do kid’s feel the need to be so mean? Is this a way of attempting to gain popularity, acceptance, or simply a get them before they get me attitude? It is truly mind-blowing how cruel kids can be to one another, and unfortunately there is no end in sight.
Fake friends, mean girls, drama, and disgusting name-calling. This is reality for many children today. School is supposed to be a safe zone, but what happens when this is no longer the case? Have we failed to teach our children basic courtesy, social boundaries, and general respect and empathy for others? Why are young girls being called “sluts and hoes” on a regular basis? What we continue to see are children who seem to lack control of their emotions. Jealousy makes them act out in horrible ways against their “once friends” and assumptions turn into all out wars between social circles. But wait, aren’t these very teachable moments? What we see though, is missed opportunities for the adults in their lives stepping up and getting involved in guiding and teaching their children through life’s ups and downs. We see children lying to family members stating that “everything is fine”. When in reality it is not, and the parents are in the dark.
So, what now? Do we continue on with how things are and watch our youth suffer? Or do we step up and take control by becoming actively and consistently involved in our children’s lives? As adults, we cannot be afraid to take action, monitor your child’s online activity, get involved, ask questions other than, “how was your day”. Teach your children to be respectful, to use manners, that it is unacceptable to treat others with such cruelty. Implement consequences and stick with them consistently when your child is found to be in the wrong. Stop trying to be friends with your child and parent them! Children need guidance and support, how else are they going to learn valuable life lessons? How else are they going to grow and mature into decent human beings with empathy, compassion, and tolerance for others? It’s time parents, let’s do right by our children and watch them flourish because of it!