Does everyone have that moment where they think, what is up with kids these days? I seem to have them frequently.
One of my son's friends was being dropped off today at 9:45am. The plan was for them to hang out here for a couple of hours, for me to take them and my daughter to a movie, and then drop the boys off at their golf tournament. All was going well (the boys played with Legos and my daughter was with me) all day until after the movie. As we were getting into the car, the boys asked if they could play GameCube when we got home. I quickly nixed that idea, "We just left a movie...enough screen time for now. Go outside," I suggested. "Jump on the tramp, walk the dog, ride bikes or scooters. Get some exercise."
The kid turns to my son and complains, "That's not fair. We didn't play this GameCube at all today. We should be allowed to play now."
I heard his indignant lament repeated to my son all the way home from the theater. Instead of being thankful that I just took him to a movie, this kid complained loudly that it wasn't FAIR that he couldn't do what he wanted when he got back to our house. My son just sat there and didn't do much more to shrug to his friend; we met eyes more than once in the rear-view mirror and he had this look on his face that simultaneously made me proud and sad. He knew his friend was being unreasonable, he knew it wasn't going to work with me, he was a little afraid I might respond to his friend like I would to him (that is, call him on being ungrateful), he was embarrassed that his friend was being so rude, he wished that I wasn't more strict than his friend's family and didn't limit his screen time.
I wanted to yell at his friend, "Dude, I'm right here. Go ahead and complain about me later, but to bitch about me while I am is so disrespectful my head is spinning!"
When we got they all went upstairs to play. Pretty soon I hear my daughter crying...that kid locked her out of the playroom. Where her toys are. Where I had told him she was allowed to be.
I go upstairs, tell them to unlock the door. The kid starts to complain about having her in the room, "She's not bugging you; leave her alone and she'll leave you alone."
He rolls his eyes and turns away.
Five minutes later she's crying again. He wouldn't let her in the room again. My son was in his room, and this kid was pushing the door shut and not letting her back in (but he DIDN'T LOCK IT!). When I let her back she headed over to the Lego table; he watched her and as soon as she picked something up he snatched it out of her hand. "Hey! Let's not grab!" She picks something else up and he tries to wrench it out of her hand AGAIN.
I'm standing right there; I'd just told him not to do that. Now they're engaged in this tug of war over a little bit of plastic. "Let go." I told him. He looks at me and continues to struggle with her. It's not until I say his name THREE TIMES does he let go.
So, there's more, but you get the idea.
Can you imagine talking to the parents of one of your friends when you were nine years old? My son actually has a pretty nice group of friends for the most part, but there seems to be a fundamental lack of respect for us, their elders on the part of a lot of these boys.
Why is that? Why is their behavior trending in this way? Is this everywhere, or just my little academic town full of privileged kids who think that they *deserve* everything they want?
So, I was just talking to a friend and told her about this post...she burst into song ('Kids' from Bye Bye Birdie):
I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they say?
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
While we're on the subject:
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can't they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids today?
I've tried to raise him the best I could
Laughing, singing, dancing, grinning, morons!
And while we're on the subject!
Kids! They are just impossible to control!
Kids! With their awful clothes and their rock an' roll!
Why can't they dance like we did
What's wrong with Sammy Caine?
What's the matter with kids today!
Yes, it is official. I'm just old and crotchety.