It doesn’t take much time on the Internet to see a dozen articles about the current generation of teens and twenties who do little more than watch TV and play video games. More adult children than ever are living at home and “Failure to Launch” might have to change it’s genre from comedy to documentary. I don’t know many 16 year olds that have jobs even part time.
Everyone I knew in high school had at least a part time job after school by the time they were 16. It was something you looked forward to doing on your 16th birthday. You’d go get your driver’s license and then head out to the mall to fill out employment applications at every retail store and fast food shop. It felt good to be making your own money and paying your own bills.
I don’t see a lot of that anymore. My own 16 year old doesn’t work and my 19 year old just recently found a job after hunting for three years. Most of the jobs that used to be filled by teenagers are now being done by adults — in my area anyway. Young adults that are pushing 30 are still depending on parents for a place to live and food to eat. It’s crazy.
Is it our fault or is it the economy, or is it a combination of the two? What creates that sense of entitlement that so many kids these days seem to flaunt?
I have read a few blog posts that believe that it’s the result of children growing up in a society that has no time for recreation. They see their parents working hard, skipping days off, and forgoing vacations and they are determined not to end up like them.
I can see the reasoning in this. We are a fast paced society that rarely takes the time we need to recharge. It has affected every aspect of our lives including our relationships with our kids.
I’ve also read posts that assume these kids grow up getting a lot of stuff, having things handed to them rather than having to work for it. How can a child ever understand the value of something if he hasn’t experienced working for it? There is no sense of hardship or giving something up in order to save for something you want more.
Everything becomes equal in value when your parents are the ones doing the buying. Children don’t have chores and responsibilities growing up so they are left with sort of a Peter Pan reality.
Finally, I have seen it blamed on the economy. With adults out of work and getting jobs where ever they can, you are seeing a lot more people with BMWs and master’s degrees flipping burgers at the local fast food shop. Since teens obviously can’t compete with the knowledge, responsibility, and flexible hours that an adult brings to the table, the hiring preference usually goes to the adult.
I don’t have answers. I think that it is maybe a combination of the three. I do know that the teens around here have a very difficult time getting hired anywhere and it can take months to find even a menial job. I have been encouraging them to think outside of the box, see if there is some sort of business they could start up, and do the best they can.
Why do you think we are seeing so many 25 year olds living at home?
I love Christmas. I love the holiday season, and everything about it from the decorations to the stupid, sappy Christmas movies that make me cry. I love the month of December for an entirely different reason.
December is the last month of the year. No matter what has happened, what I have experienced, or what mistakes I have made, once the clock strikes midnight on January first it is an entirely clean slate, a new year, and a new beginning. Best of all, it happens every year.
During this month, I like to look back at my prayer notes, my journals, and even my Facebook updates to help me remember what went on, what things bothered me the most, and what challenges I’ve overcome.
I like to take a look at my goals and decide if I am close to achieving them or if I still want to pursue them. Sometimes we outgrow and lose interest in our goals without ever realizing it. When we reach the goal, we feel empty because it was something we should have set aside years ago. By reviewing goals regularly you can easily see which are still valid and which need to go.
Going over these experiences, deciding what I have learned, and what things need to change helps me to make plans and goals for the next year. For example, I realized recently that there are things that used to be terribly important that just don’t matter to me anymore, but I was upset when I didn’t do them.
My life is different that it was five years ago but I haven’t let go of the things that no longer fit and so I can’t move on to enjoy the things that work for me now.
Decemeber allows me to get quiet inside and make the changes I need to make in order to go on with my life. Are there changes you need to contemplate before January rolls around?
Maybe we need to change the old saying from Walk quietly… to Talk quietly and carry a big stick.
A new study led my Ming-Te Wang at the University of Pittsburgh seems to indicate that yelling will aggravate an errant teenager’s behavior. Not only that, but thirteen year olds whose parents yelled seemed to suffer more symptoms of depression than their peers. Wang says —
“The notion that harsh discipline is without consequence, once there is a strong parent-child bond — that the adolescent will understand that, ‘They’re doing this because they love me’ — is misguided because parents’ warmth didn’t lessen the effects of harsh verbal discipline.”
The study, published in Child Development, examined various forms of verbal punishment.
Researchers say that many parents shift from physical to verbal discipline as their children become adolescents. Ninety percent of the parents in the United States admit to shouting at their children on occasion, half admit to swearing at them and calling them names.
The teens had more behavioral problems which included things like lying to their parents, being disobedient in school, stealing, fighting, and bullying than their more gently treated peers. The yelling made the adolescents angrier, more irritable, and more belligerent. That led to a never ending cycle of yelling parents and teens who got into more and more trouble.
There were 967 two-parent families surveyed. Half were white, 40 percent were African American, and the rest were categorized as “other”. The families were most often middle class and were surveyed over a two year period.
The survey asked questions about how often the parent had shouted at their child, swore, or called their child names. The teens were asked questions about their behavior in school, how often they lied to their parents, shoplifting, fighting, and other types of delinquent behavior.
The kids were then given a psychological assessment to measure depression. Ultimately the researchers agreed that you should talk to your kids and not yell at them.
I don’t know. This seems like another one of those “well duh” research reports. I know that parents yell at their kids. I yell at mine once in awhile, and honestly they yell at me, too. It doesn’t happen very often but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t happen at all.
I do think there is a key difference between having a disagreement and raising your voice in anger and yelling specifically at your child. The difference may be very slight, but it’s there.
Sometimes when one of my teens and I are disagreeing, I yell. I raise my voice because I am angry and because I want them to listen to my point of view. I have seen parents get right in their kids’ faces and scream at them about something they did and that’s what I see being the difference. Sort of like comparing the phrases, I am angry at you and I am angry at what you did.
When your teenager feels attacked because you are yelling directly at him, calling him names, or demeaning him then I think the damage is done. It’s important that kids know that they are loved deeply despite what their actions are.
Is yelling at your kids a problem at your house?
I had a really tough day the other day and made the following comment on Facebook as sort of a diffuser—
Today I am missing that time in my life when I could slam a book shut and stalk out the door screaming “I QUIT” when something was too hard.
I then mentioned that my dad would often take me out for a coke or to the movies or something when I got that way. There were several comments on it, but one person said that their child would immediately be disciplined not rewarded for that behavior. We got into it a little bit and she later posted on her wall how dads should not spoil their daughters.
I thought about what she said and maybe for her child, it was the best way to go. For me, punishment would have squelched me and beat me down more than I already was. You see, I am (and always have been) a perfectionist.
My frustration when I am unable to do something to my own standard gets high and I get very critical of myself. I have learned to take a deep breath, step back, and treat myself to a coke or a book or a chat with a friend and then go back to what was bothering me. My dad, rather than spoiling me, was giving me the tools I needed to handle that most difficult part of who I am.
He took the time to look for the why rather than just reacting to the what. It was a lesson I brought in to my own parenting.
That’s not to say that children should not be corrected, disciplined, or dealt with about bad behavior. I have eight children and each was disciplined on an as needed, custom fit for the child, basis.
Some of my children have gotten the occasional spanking, others have been grounded, had privileges taken away, or been given extra chores. I had one child that kicked walls when she was mad at me so when she kicked a wall she spent time, outside, kicking the foundation of our house until she was so tired of it she never wanted to kick a wall again.
Let’s not talk about my feelings when I see children running in stores.
Before you react to something your child has said or done, take a step back and consider who that little person is and what it is that they really need. In my opinion, when a child is frustrated the last thing they need is more pressure. They need to be taught how to release the pressure that they are already feeling. That’s not an easy thing for an adult to learn to do, think how difficult it is for a child.
I was never allowed to just walk away from my problems. I was taught to back off, regroup, and come at the issues refreshed and ready to tackle it again. I think that my dad was extremely successful in teaching me how to conquer that part of who I am. I don’t think I have ever walked away or given up on anything that wasn’t taken out of my hands.
Learn to take a minute or two to think about your child’s behavior. It gives you the chance to respond rather than react, and that’s the difference between a light switch and a nuclear explosion, don’t you think?
Sugar cookies are traditional and beautiful but they can end up tough and tasteless if the kids are helping and they overwork the dough. This recipe from my cookbook never gets overworked and the cookies are perfect every time. Just don’t over bake them. It’s definitely a favorite recipe around here.
It’s important that you do not substitute margarine for butter. The butter adds more flavor than you may think and it keeps the texture delicate and just right. You can substitute brown sugar for half of the sugar and feel free to play around with different flavorings.
I realize vanilla is expensive and this recipe calls for a lot of it. Cut back if you feel you need to to keep the budget happy but the flavor will be less intense as well.
Amount varies with size of cookie cutters.
image: marye audet
I feel like I need to throw in a disclaimer here. I am in my 50′s, a veteran, a Texan (notorious state for being pro-gun ownership) and very protective of my Constitutional rights — and yours. There is no way I can write this without any slant at all, so you might as well know up front where I stand because you’ll for sure know by the end.
So, a few weeks ago a mother was banned from her daughter’s school campus after she posted a picture of her conceal carry license on her Facebook page. The woman does not have any sort of record as far as we know and she is an Army veteran who is studying to be a paralegal. She has no history of violence, again, as far as we know.
The principal feels that in order to protect the students, this woman is to be banned from the school grounds as both a volunteer and individual.
I don’t understand the concept here and God knows I have tried. First of all, the woman has a license that allows her to legally carry the weapon. She is a law abiding citizen and the only reason she is banned is because she publicly stated she has a gun.
I am sure she is not the only parent in the entire school that has a gun and a conceal carry license. I am also pretty sure that she didn’t have to sign any school paperwork stating that she did or did not have a legal weapon in her home. Finally, I am absolutely positive that anyone who meant harm to the children or staff would bring a gun on campus without asking permission.
At least that’s the way it always seems to be done.
It just seems inconsistent to me. You ban (or outlaw) responsible citizens from guns because of violent crimes committed mostly by people who have guns illegally, people that you can’t control and who will blatantly disregard the law. It’s like telling kids they can’t wear red underwear to school. You are only punishing and controlling the ones that are honest anyway.
I can understand the principal asking her to leave the weapon locked in the car. I don’t agree but I understand. That seems reasonable to me. What is so weird is the idea that the parent can’t set foot on campus, armed or unarmed. That’s not just a knee-jerk reaction, that’s a complete violation of Civil Rights as laid out in the Constitution — and that’s scary.
What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
My husband carries a pocket knife and it has been a source of irritation since we have been married. He is always forgetting to take it out of his pocket when we go to Six Flags or the State Fair, or where ever. He is the gentlest man you ever want to meet but he either has to walk back to the car or have his pocket knife confiscated every single time. He is discriminated against because someone used some box cutters to hijack a plane a decade ago.
No, I don’t think the principal was right. I think that she is part of a wave of fear that has taken over America. I think she is part of the group that stands against discrimination while they blatantly discriminate at their own whim. I find that more frightening that pocket knives, legal arms, or having a crack house down the street.
If you have a comment let’s keep it friendly to all commentators, thanks.
The holidays are upon us and you know what that means, right?
Family drama, children melting down in public, constant time crunch, and big credit card bill in January.
Fa-la-lalala-la-la-la. Or whatever.
Actually, you don’t have to deal with it again, and no this isn’t one of my hysterically funny, sarcastic posts…although that is a great idea. Nope, this is serious. I hate family drama anytime, but during the holidays it is just the worst stuff. Maybe you can’t escape all of it but you can certainly avoid some of it.
Let’s face it, excitement runs high around Christmas. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle, a cacophony of sounds, and a kaleidoscope of colors and sights. Little kids can’t usually filter everything out, especially when they are already excited.
If you can imagine being on a roller coaster with colors and lights coming at you while you are listening to five different radio stations plus a college professor at the same time, then you have a peek at what your child might be going through. I say that because I have sensory processing disorder plus ADD and I don’t filter well. I can’t really explain it but if I am not careful, I see and hear everything at once. It is overwhelming.
You probably have several of your own techniques, too. The main thing is to keep it from brewing in the first place.
We have our share of family drama, God knows. With a family the size of a small Third World village, you know there are going to be issues. I’ve found that my immediate family isn’t usually the source. It normally comes from extended family — people outside the house.
If the ideas on the list don’t help then there is one more sure-fire way to avoid family drama.
Go on a cruise.
What are your techniques for avoiding that holiday drama?
There are two new(ish) websites that you need to know about, especially if you have tweens and teens.
SnapChat is a social networking app that lets the user record video, add text, and take photos to send to their friends. Once the photographs are sent, they have a time limit until they self destruct, leaving no evidence behind. The user can set the time limit from one to ten seconds. Once the image disappears it is totally gone, it can’t be pulled back up (at least not easily).
Selfie.IM is basically the same, but the user can set longer time limits for the image to be up. Both are pretty popular sites with the teens.
I have watched my 17 year old use SnapChat everywhere from the dinner table to the car on the way home from school. Since a lot of the information we get in a conversation is from facial expression, it is definitely easy to see the charm in this little app. There really is nothing more entertaining than watching your teen make strange faces into their iPhone. It kind of takes you back to when they were babies and had gas.
Of course, you have probably guessed what the concerns are. With apps like SnapChat and Selfie.IM, kids can exchange images of themselves that are less than appropriate with no fear that anyone (like mom or dad) will find out.
Of course, there are hacks for these apps that allow someone to lift the image and share it, but that’s another story. The phrase that scared me the most in my research was the following from Wikipedia: The app’s main demographic is users between 13 and 23 years of age, with a growing 40 years-and-over userbase…
I miss the days when I was concerned about intercepting Romeo-and-Juliet-esque notes.
I am so very glad that there was no such thing as social media, the Internet, or cell phones when I was a teenager. The idea of there being written proof and images of my teen foibles and adventures sort of makes me feel sick inside.
Let’s face it, for most of us, getting through our teen years meant making most of the mistakes we warn our own teens not to make. It’s just that back then, there was no record of it other than maybe a diary… that you kept locked… and then burned the day before your wedding.
Not that I had anything like that.
Still, today’s teen girl has it doubly difficult because not only does she have to be concerned about her actions going up on the Internet for the world to see, she also has the very real possibility that she will be judged harshly while any boy involved will be ignored.
I didn’t like double standards when I was 16 and I don’t like them now that I am 53.
Miley Cyrus has been the subject of so many blog posts, images, and conversations (both online and off) since her performance a while back, but nobody has really said anything about Robin Thicke’s part in it. After all, he was up on stage insinuating sex as much as she was.
Why is he left out of the disdainful comments and the disgusted tones? Miley was certainly not acting the lady (did anyone really expect her to?) but Thicke was not exactly being the gentleman, either.
It’s not just that incident. It happens over and over and over again. Just a few weeks ago, an image of a teen girl giving a boy oral sex in a field during a concert went viral on Twitter. The girl was called a slut over and over again while the boy was just there.
He wasn’t called disgusting, or a slut (by the way, is there a word for a male slut?), nor was he subject to harassment. He had his orgasm, his fifteen minutes of fame, and he has gone back to living his life however it was being lived prior to the incident, keeping his sexual antics in the back seat where they belong. The girl had to be hospitalized because she was so upset.
Why was her giving wrong, but his receiving just fine?
You’ve heard my frustrations about clothing and modesty before. Why is it that girls must be responsible for every lustful thought a teenage boy has? Why can’t he be responsible for his own thoughts? Another mom discusses her frustration with the school dress code and her points are my thoughts exactly. Are boys such weak creatures that they can’t control themselves when they see a half inch of cleavage?
Despite all of the strides we like to think we have taken in equality, despite the idea that our society is more open and honest than it was 50 years ago, we still have the same mentality that when boys have sex it is conquest and normal “boy stuff” but when girls have sex it is horrible, slutty, and dirty.
Even when we teach our daughters about handling themselves when they date, we remind them that boys may try to talk them into something and they just need to be strong and not give in. At the same time, the boy is being advised to be sure to use protection.
It’s sad. Until we make boys as responsible for their own sexuality as we expect girls to be, sexually bullying, harassment, and even rape are going to continue to be rampant.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.