So many kids denigrate their homes because they don’t like the messages they get there . . . those being the messages on how to be a decent human being. Any message that interferes with them doing what they want, when they want, is deemed to be one intended to crush their individuality. It is all about what the world owes them, their rights . . .
But many of these same kids want the rights without the responsibilities. They are happy to take their parents money, they may insist on it, but they are not happy to then listen to what that same parent has to say about them getting a job, or about finishing school, or eating a more healthy diet.
I am all for kids finding a different way, but finding a different way is not a cover phrase for being lazy or irresponsible. Finding a different way means you take on being responsible for you. Paying your own way can be one quick way to declare your independence and afford yourself the right to make the important decisions on your terms.
My grandparents were not perfect but they taught me many things I value. They taught me how to work. They taught me proper manners. They allowed me time to be creative and find myself. They insisted on honesty and in taking part in church and community.
I tried to add to those with my kids by creating an environment and safe opportunities that allowed them to develop discernment and to be able to make mistakes without being forever condemned and defined by those mistakes.
We do indeed need the kids today. We need their intelligence, their ideas, their creative efforts. We need them to be ready. Saying you want to make a change, or even criticizing what has been done in the past are meaningless pursuits UNLESS you also provide the understanding or what the answers are and you are willing to do the work to make those things happen.
I go back and forth between asking whether kids are indeed lazy or whether they are lacking in self esteem. Do they know how important they are to our future? Do they believe they can make a difference? That is something I try to keep in mind when I have opportunities to be with or work with youth. Do I let them know how much they mean to us??