Can We Please Stop Criticizing Today’s Kids For Everything??

Finally. The warm weather is here and we can head outside. It’s what we’ve been waiting for all winter long. There’s no time like the present to visit the beach, the pool, or the park. Family time at its dreamiest in Pure Michigan.

As you shake out your blanket for the kiddos and start digging in the sand, you notice the family next to you. Surveying the scene, your innocent glance quickly becomes an eye-rolling-glare. Why? The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and yet here I sit watching another teenager staring at their phone.

When will it end??

Enough already!

Oh wait . . . you think I’m talking about the teenager?

I’m not. There’s enough people on the Internet ready to do that. Ready to post the culprit on social media to post a status, a rant, or a meme so they can then be trolled, criticized, and judged by whomever wants to chime in.

That’s what the world has come to right? That teenager at the beach . . . he’s fair game. It’s all out there. As a whole, this generation of kids is being scrutinized for EVERYTHING they do. This generation of kids being raised by a generation of parents who thrive on helicoptering, coddling, and needing to be the best friend instead of being the parent. That’s how the world sees us anyway. In one quick look or viral video it’s been decided what we’re all about . . . a mere screen shot of our lives, leaving us to anticipate the next critic.

Leggings and spaghetti straps – What kind of mother would let her daughter wear that?
Toddler with a tablet – I’ll never do that with my kids!
Let your tween walk to the bus stop – What are you thinking in today’s world?
Not let your tween walk to the bus stop – Stop hovering and let them figure it out!
Allow your teen on social media – Don’t do it! #SaveTheKids!
Your kid says, “I’m bored!” – Clearly they’re lost without a screen!
Your son plays video games and watches superhero movies – Watch out, he could be the next shooter!

As a mom of a child in elementary school, a tween, and a teen; I’m really over it. Maybe you are, too. I’m tired of the public mom-shaming, the judgment, and the running dialog from adults everywhere about our entitled kids that get everything they want and have life handed to them. I know and acknowledge that kid’s today get more and have more, but let us not forget these kids we speak of are a product of the world we live in.

There are good kids out there being raised by good parents. And newsflash, parenting is still the hardest job on Earth. With the growth of technology and everything being one swipe or text away, it’s complicated. We struggle. We doubt. Then, we second-guess. We regret. And the cycle happens all over again.

But, at the end of the day, we’ve tried the best we can because we love our kids.

I’m tired of the internet trolls making me feel like a less-than-enough parent and painting my kids as though they’re doing everything wrong. I am on the frontlines living it EVERY SINGLE DAY.  So, from a regular mom, here is a totally biased unscientific list of five things I believe “today’s kids” are either doing better, or will benefit from, in this fast-paced, crazy, and ever-changing world we live in.

  • They’re resourceful. Our kids grow up gathering information from the moment they hear the word Google. Have a question? Ask them. It’s truly second nature. The more information, the better. They will find your answers, create a tutorial, and in turn, are becoming excellent problem solvers.
  • These kids have choices, options, and opportunities. As a parent, I’m grateful for that. Skeptics may say too many choices. I believe those skeptics are forgetting there are still parents behind-the-scenes guiding them every step of the way.
  • Kid’s today are safer and given a better chance at life from the start. I know with all the sick violence in the world, it’s hard to believe that. It’s true. We know about car seat safety, the best way to put our babies to sleep, mental health, and the damaging effects of certain foods, chemicals, smoking, and screen time. There are vaccines to prevent horrible diseases and doctors for new ailments all the time. The bonus is this information, and so much more, is readily available at our fingertips.
  • As a whole, these kids are more accepting of people. All people. People that look different from them and act different than them. Contrary to what the Internet tells you, not all kids are the evil bully on the viral video. Skin color, nationality, and sexuality are no longer deal-breakers. Humanity and kindness are the focus, which I believe is preparing them for this diverse world we live in.
  • Times are changing. Our kids are either witnessing, participating, or learning about movements created from past mistakes; #metoo, #neveragain, #blacklivesmatter, #equalpay, #lovewins, and many more. These are more than just hashtags. They are today’s way of finding a way. These kids have passion and drive. You don’t have to agree with them, but I have no doubt they will be standing up and fighting for what they believe in.

Criticizing Today's Kids

My nieces and nephew at the “March For Our Lives” demonstration on March 24th, 2018, in Washington D.C.

I’m not naïve. I realize it’s not all good, and some of it is really, really bad. But, can we teach them by example and not throw them to the wolves every chance we get? For the sake of all parties involved, please reconsider the “share” about said teenager (or parent) for now. Our instincts as adults should be to build them up, rather than break them down. To approach it any other way is just not fair.

Can We Please Stop Critizing Today’s Kids For Everything??

 

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