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The Youth of Today

The Youth of Today

It really bugs me when I hear people say things like “kids today” and follow it on with some terribly insulting comment about how badly behaved, irresponsible or disrespectful young people are these days.

It especially bugs me when it’s someone who believes everything they see on the news and hasn’t spoken to a kid in at least 20 years.

It is fairly common for every generation to think the generation after them is in some way worse than they were.

There’s even a quote from Socrates (or maybe it wasn’t Socrates, it seems the jury is still out as to who actually said this, but apparently it was featured in a newspaper back in the 1920’s so we know it’s at least that old) that demonstrates just how ridiculous this phenomenon is:

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.".

The reason I’m talking about this today is because I think this quote above and those people who say bad things about “the youth of today” are terribly misguided.

I’ve thought this for a while but haven’t had any real data to back it up until recently...

The Victorian government released a report last year (read it here if you are interested) indicating that the rates of young people (under the age of 25) who engage in offending behaviour has dropped by 37.4% in the last 10 years.

Similar results have also been observed in New South Wales, the USA and the UK!

I’m so happy to see these results and I hope we continue to see a downward trend in the number of young people engaging in anti-social behaviours.

On that note though, if you are a parent who is concerned about the risky behaviours your child may be exposed to heading into their teen years, take a look at our strategies on Teen Risk Taking Behaviour to find out how you can help reduce the risks to your child.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the “youth of today”?

Do you think they are spoilt brats that show little respect?
or
Do you think on the whole, the youth of today are polite, trustworthy, respectful young citizens?

Let us know your thoughts and experiences!

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Divya
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As a teacher, when my student makes a mistake – whether academic or otherwise – I often turn inward. I wonder what I could have done differently to avoid the mistake being made. Was I not clear enough? Did I overwhelm the child with too much information? How could we have prevented this from happening and what are we going to do differently next time? I think it goes without saying that people don’t want to feel blamed for something. But I do truly believe that when we see poor manners in the youth of today, it’s a reflection of… Read more »

Jessica Bradshaw
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This is such a hard question, because I think it depends. I see both at my school, but for the most part, they are respectful and upstanding citizens. Technology on the other hand is what is scaring me.

Charlotte
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I think it’s always unfair to make these kinds of sweeping generalizations… I also remember growing up and having older generations think the same of me and how much that sucked! There will always be good and bad apples in every bunch, right??

Nina
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Being a “youth” I can completely see both sides of the argument. I’ve even engaged in a few “kids today” conversations, but I know that is nowhere near the majority. People need to be more understanding of that.

Nat
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Nat

Ha! Funny you mention this in your blog and very timely I must say. Last night, I was bar hopping in the city way past my usually bed time (11pm) when we were just about to hit the seventh on our planned list. We arrive and upon seeing the crowd we decided that the chaos was all too much. We passed by the door and heard a “youngen” bad mouthing on his phone about the bouncer not letting him in. You know, with the kind of words that make a mature, sensitive lady such as myself want to stop and… Read more »