The Problem With Kids These Days is Adults These Days

Kids these days …

These three words together usually are accompanied by a sigh and shaking of the head – side to side – in disbelief. They usually are uttered by an older soul, perhaps one, who as a youth, walked 15 miles to school every day, barefoot through a raging blizzard.

Fortunately for kids these days, they don’t often have to – if at all – travel by their shoeless feet through seemingly unnavigable terrains. We are lucky to live in a world blessed with many more planes, trains, automobiles, subways and Segways.

But are kids these days really better off than the kids who had to trek 15 miles to school everyday barefoot through a raging blizzard? Is our world really better off?

I ask because I don’t know. I tend to think technological advancement is a good thing. I also acknowledge the benefits that can be accrued within one from having to walk 15 miles to school – or performing some similarly strenuous task that isn’t necessary today.

I struggle to form an opinion either way.

What I am certain of, however, is my frustrated disposition when one utters those three words:

Kids these days …

Well, kids these days are exactly the same as the kids from days past.

Jay Paterno, in a column posted today on, wrote it better than I could:

The truth of the matter is that as a person gets older it is human nature for the memory to get hazy at the edges – particularly the less-flattering edges of youthful indiscretion. They tend to look at the successive generations as being ever less virtuous in their behavior than their generation.

Paterno concluded:

No generation ever held a monopoly on virtue – nor has any generation cornered the market on debauchery.

Kids these days …

The only thing that has changed is the world which surrounds kids these days.

Kids these days have greater access to consume violence, sex, drugs, unhealthy foods and poor influences. Many have grown up in single-parent households or parent-less. Many have been left to their own devices. Proper guidance is what’s missing.

Instead of sighing and handing the blame to kids these days, the sigh and shaking of the head – side to side – in disbelief should be directed at the adults these days that allowed it to happen.