I have worked with kids for three years now, both genders, rich and poor, ages five to eighteen. And now I teach people ages eighteen to twenty-five. What strikes me when I discuss the youth generation is that unreasonable prejudice some people carry about the youth, that every teenager is a potential killer, an immoral sociopath about to pop. This hyperbole is not mine, but the critic's. And most people carry some kind of stigma. Invariably the argument goes "Kids these days..." followed without fail by some bizarre event culled from the headlines about a seventeen yro who rapes his teacher, a ten yro who shot her little brother, and a twelve yro that set the family cat on fire. I'm at a loss as to how anyone could think that these instances are representative of an entire generation. I am left even more bumfuzzled when I am told that the fifteen yro who raped his two yro sister wouldn't have done that had his parents been smart enough to spank him as a child, as if that kind of action and the pathology that went with it could be prevented or controlled by hitting someone.
I understand that every generation thinks the younger are not up to the standards of the older. But that's a far cry from the assertion that every adolescent is a malformed maniac who will lie, cheat, steal, and kill given the proper motivation and a lack of parental violence. I have worked with all kinds of kids, and what sruck me was the committment to fairness you see in the very young and the willingness to include and help others that you see in teens. No one is one thing all the time, but these traits suggest not a lack of conscience but a heightened sense of, much more than what we see int he adult world and its committment to social darwinism and the 'me and mine first" attitude that flows so freely in older generations.
If anyone else has an opinion about this, I'd like to hear it.