Day 154 Question 154:
Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
I found a website filled with controversial topics…you know I love to push the envelope if I can. ;0) This was one topic that stood out to me. A lot of people have mentioned to me that I really don’t have any say on the topic because I am not a parent but I would highly disagree. I have been a full time nanny for over 2 years now and prior to that I worked in the Early Childhood Development field. I have had excessive training and I have been around and worked with children for as long as I can remember. I have been very significant part of a lot of children’s lives…regardless of whether or not I gave birth to them.
I expect to get backlash after I post this entry. My answer to the question is yes. I do believe that child behavior is worse than it was years ago. I DO NOT speak for all children but I do speak for a lot (in my experiences). I work at a restaurant as many of you know and there is nothing more that grinds my nerves than parents allowing their children to run around like wild monkeys. The restaurant that I work at is not considered “high-class” but it is still a nice restaurant. I have seen parents sitting with their children blatantly ignoring them as they throw food all over the floor. One child was even throwing food onto the (occupied) table behind them and the parents just kept on with their conversation. Not only is that rude but it is just plain ignorant.
Again, I am not speaking for all children and all parents, but I do believe that a majority of behavioral issues that are occurring more and more with children these days is due to a lack of parenting. We have become a society that is overwhelmed with every form of technology imaginable. Many parents are allowing the television or computer raise their child/children. About 2 years ago I worked with a group of 7th and 8th graders and I was shocked at the way that these kids talked to adults. I would stand in front of them and they would continue their conversations with each other as if I didn’t exist. It was nothing but pure disrespect. As I stood in front of them I remember (more than once) thinking about how my mother would have my ass if I EVER treated any adult the way these kids were treating me. I, hands down, believe that a class needs to be implemented in ALL schools that focuses on respect and humility (respect for adults and well as respect for fellow peers). There are so many things to blame for the way that children are acting these days (AGAIN, not all children).
I have seen parents try to be friends with their children and in my opinion that is the worst thing a parent could do (especially at a young age). When a parent befriends their child, all authority on their behalf is lost. Parents are not meant to be friends. They can be kind and have a great time with their children but they should not be their friend. They have and will continue to have enough friends throughout their lives. I know parenting can be extremely difficult (yes, I know this even though I am not a parent). I believe times are extremely different because we are living in a society where in most households both parents have to work in order to make ends meet. Due to this fact, children are spending less and less time with their parents. I am not pointing fingers and calling anyone out as being a bad parent because of this…I understand that nowadays it is necessary. I just believe this can sometimes cause behavioral issues for a child (dependent on their circumstance).
I could be very blunt in this entry but I believe in respecting people. I love children so much. I love to see the curiosity in their eyes and watch them grow and learn. I love how innocent they are. I detest to watch a child disrespect a parent/adult (hitting them or talking back). Those things are learned behaviors and I think ALL adults have a responsibility to act as role models when children are around. I used to teach a Life Skills class and my students were all older (17-30). These were all women that were studying to take the GED exam and each one of them had a child/children. There was one mother in particular that I had a great issue with. I was discussing with them how their children are like sponges and they will repeat everything you say and do. I was telling them how their behaviors are going to be dependent on the parents behaviors. I asked the class one day if any of them swore in front of their children. A few of the girls hung their heads in shame and admitted that they had and knew that it was wrong. This one girl said, “I don’t swear in front of my children. I swear at my children.” I stood there in absolute disgust as she sat there as proud as could be. The next day I was in the child development room where her 3 year old son was and after dropping some books on the floor he yelled out, “GODAMMIT”. His mother laughed. She thought her son swearing in front of adults and other children was funny. I told her outright that she disgusted me and that she was in for a world of problems because if she kept up with that behavior that her son would be in the principal’s office all of the time. This was a woman that had no business being a mother and it broke my heart knowing how her children were going to be raised. I tried for a very long time to work with her and to teach her effective parenting methods and life skills but she just didn’t care. Her wants and needs came first and she was not going to change her behaviors on account of her children. It absolutely broke my heart.
I know that some people choose not to have children (I don’t think I want any of my own) and a lot of people believe that they have no obligation to act in any certain way when children are around. In my opinion, it is just common respect and common sense to refrain from doing foolish things (drinking in excess or cussing). My former roommate was dating this guy and he had a birthday party (pool party). There were a ton of people there…many young children included. Majority of the guys got shit-faced and decided to climb up on the roof and jump into the pool. What kind of example are they setting for all of the children? When those children decide to pull the same stunt and one of them ends up in the hospital, are they going to take the blame for modeling those behaviors? I know I have no right to tell someone how to raise their children but there are things (in my opinion) that are just common sense.