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Intergenerational Conflict

(In other words, dealing with these damn new generation kids)

The present generation are a completely different breed of the kids than past generations. What’s even more challenging is being a parent to a child apart of today’s society. Trying to be assertive and deploy the same disciplines that worked on us, today, are simply ineffective.

Past generations were structured and had a foundation. The structure we were provided with was respect for our elders, respect for ourselves and others, we had chores and curfews, we were taught to have morals and integrity, and if those rules were broken, punishment would be the end result. And I don’t mean standing in the corner or being confined to a room, sort of punishment. I’m talking actual ass whooping’s and the loss of privileges. Privileges that were taken away was the television, talking on the house phone, we couldn’t play the game, (Atari, Nintendo and Genesis is all we had at that time), or our outside privileges were taken away, which is what our entire world revolved around.

The foundation we were built on was our Faith in God. God is so far removed from society these days and its scary. Despite the source of ones’ belief, believing in a higher power and being apprehensive of where our souls would render after death is what kept us grounded. While the culture has undoubtedly begun to shift, you cannot deny its direct affects in our upbringing which has molded us into pretty decent people.

The new generation has no fear of anything, nor do they believe they have to respect anyone, including their parents. Many of them take no accountability; they are exceptionally entitled and believe the entire world owes them something, including their parents. When I was growing up, kids were not allowed to talk back. When your parents talked, you listened, it was as simple as that. Kids today will go back and forth as if their parent’s directives should be a conversation or are to be negotiated.

I believe there are a few contributing factors as to why kids today, are running amuck. Firstly, the government got involved and enacted laws that say you are not allowed to physically discipline your children. Kids think they can dial 911 as a backup if disciplined, which essentially gave them the upper hand. (Just not in my household, because I am going to lay those hands, I’m just saying). Fear of your parents and getting a whooping played a major role in the upbringing of many. I am not suggesting that my generation and those before bred perfect kids and that they did no wrong, but the consequences were most certainly a determinant in how we behaved. Natural fear is healthy, and it’s developed at a young age, influenced by their environment and culture.

A lot of today’s music play a role in what occurs today. While people are supposed to use discernment to differentiate fact from fiction, some take those lyrics to heart and make them a reality. One day I was driving and as the radio played, I began to listen to the words. It became no wonder why many of these kids are out running around like heathens, striving to become demons. It’s almost like they compete with one another to see who can be the evilest, and for what?

There is such a low esteem placed on human life. The effects of countless social media platforms, alcohol, drugs, and some of the music seem to be the reality in which many live. There was a saying that parents use to instill in children at an early age: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt. And although we know that words can absolutely hurt at times, people weren’t dying as a result of them. The kids today will kill you over words. Society can’t determine what reality is vs illusion. They pay so much attention to anything that highlights negativity, then become a reflection of what they see and hear.

Growing up, you don’t always understand why your parents do some of the things they do. From discipline, to punishment as a kid all you see is the negative results of your actions. But what we didn’t see was, our parents pure attempt to prepare us for a messed-up world that will swallow you then spit you out whole. Although parents cannot think for their children, it is up to them to provide their kids with the tools they’ll need to get through life. Retrospectively, I am grateful for some of the things I endured as a child because it enabled me to be a better person and mother.

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