I don’t know about you, but I seem to always hear adults talk about how it was different when they grew up. I know that it is true, but I did not understand the significance of it until recently.
Many adults tend to put this current generation (Gen Z) into one big group. In their opinion, everyone in it is disobedient and disrespectful of traditional values. While I would say that it is a large majority, not everyone should be put into that category.
While many focus on the differences between the generations, they do not bother to look at the differences within the generations. I was born in the early 2000s, but I can see a glaring difference between those born a few years before me and a few years after me.
In my freshman year of high school, I observed many things about upperclassmen. As all teenagers do, they would complain about their parents or teachers because of the expectations or homework that was put on them. I noticed that they were complaining more from annoyance than any actual malice. They still had respect for the authorities in their lives.
The drama between them was very much the same. I can say that freshmen and sophomore year had the most drama than any other year I had in high school, but it was not driven by hatred. It all came from misunderstandings or something petty; there was no real hate toward the other person. They were able to forgive each other at the end of it all.
Flash forward to my senior year of high school, the underclassmen were completely different. When they gripe about their parents, it sounds as if they despised them. There was also a complete lack of respect for the school as the students blatantly ignored rules and purposely did not complete homework.
While there was surprisingly not a lot of outward drama, everyone knew who did not get along with someone else. There was real anger and malice, and some talked negatively about others. Problems would not be resolved, and the resentment and irritation would fester until the next problem occurred.
I am not the only one that noticed this. My classmates and those above us were usually stuck together. We all observed this behavior and had many conversations about the differences between then and now. The difference shocked us so much that even we are worried about how the next generation will turn out even though our generation is still considered kids.
Many factors contribute to the decline of our youth. One reason is that discipline is not what it used to be. Many kids can get away with smart-mouthing and disrespect that I never would have gotten away with, and I am just a few years older. Parents need to realize that not disciplining their children will have consequences once they are adults.
Another reason is the kids' shows seen on television. Adults in these shows are often depicted as stupid and wrong. Children in the show think that they know best and disobey their parents. At the end of the show, it is usually seen that the kids were right, and the adults end up apologizing to the kids. This is not a realistic representation of how a family should act, and actively encourages rebellion and disrespect in youth.
Finally, the last reason is that everything is easy for this generation. There are many luxuries that many people did not have just twenty years ago. No streaming platforms or social media existed, and people put stock in hard work. Distractions are plenty now, and many kids would rather be mindless zombies with a phone in their hand than do a physical activity, whether it is for work or play.
The decline in the actions of children is happening at a fast rate. We need to start taking responsibility and realize that what we choose to do now will affect this country’s future. We need to set boundaries and change the way of how this next generation thinks and acts, or our future is not going to look bright at all.