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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:12 PM

Are kids today ruder and more disrespectful than they were in the past?

That's actually a question and not mere rhetoric, because I don't know. I rarely leave Vermont these days and the kids that I know or encounter, strike me as pretty wonderful. I have a 26 year old son and his friends couldn't be nicer. In 2011 I had an accident that left me disabled and it's a rare day when I'm out shopping that some kid doesn't offer to give me a hand. so maybe that's just living in a small community (and all of Vermont is a small community). I don't hear that kids are rude and disrespectful from the teachers I know.

Are we perhaps just being cantankerous oldsters, or are young people today lacking civility more than prior generations? If so, is social media and the anonymity of the internet part of that?

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Reply Are kids today ruder and more disrespectful than they were in the past? (Original post)
cali Feb 2013 OP
AngryAmish Feb 2013 #1
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #2
Recursion Feb 2013 #3
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #4
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #5
jberryhill Feb 2013 #8
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #15
cali Feb 2013 #9
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #14
jberryhill Feb 2013 #6
Proud Public Servant Feb 2013 #7
hollysmom Feb 2013 #10
Hoyt Feb 2013 #11
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #12
Deep13 Feb 2013 #13
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #16
LeftofObama Feb 2013 #17
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #18
Golden Raisin Feb 2013 #22
JI7 Feb 2013 #23
snooper2 Feb 2013 #30
REP Feb 2013 #19
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #20
mitchtv Feb 2013 #21
JI7 Feb 2013 #24
TruffulaTree Feb 2013 #25
rollin74 Feb 2013 #26
raccoon Feb 2013 #27
tabbycat31 Feb 2013 #28
laundry_queen Feb 2013 #37
Tikki Feb 2013 #29
slackmaster Feb 2013 #31
temporary311 Feb 2013 #32
LeftInTX Feb 2013 #33
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #34
Joe Shlabotnik Feb 2013 #35
surrealAmerican Feb 2013 #36
nolabear Feb 2013 #38

Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:13 PM

1. and they are gobbling their food...

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:16 PM

2. Yes they are...

But, I don't have a problem with that in general. Most young people I have come across are as respectful as they are treated. In the past, young people were just expected to be polite no matter how horrible their elders or others treated them.

But, it does become a problem for the younger people when they encounter disrespectful authority figures and mouth off or worse. Then they become a target for abuse or worse. Some parents take extra precautions in advising their children to at least appear to respect authority figures. I had that lecture with my kids many times.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:18 PM

3. They volunteer more and commit fewer crimes than their predecessors

I'm always hesitant to believe "the kids these days" are going bad, despite the fact that every generation seems to think so.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:18 PM

4. Yes

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:20 PM

5. I don't think so.

My students are teens and usually quite nice. You get a few cut-ups, but rarely anyone who is genuinely rude.

I think social media spotlights out of the ordinary events, so it can seem like behavior is more widespread than it is. A video of "Girl nicely turns off her iPod when asked and then helps her class with their work because she felt helpful" is unlikely to go viral.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:23 PM

8. You ain't just whistling Dixie


Every day, millions of kids go to school and learn from millions of teachers.

One unrepresentative thing gets onto YouTube - of an incident that years ago nobody but five people would have even heard about - and its a national handwringing epidemic crisis.

That has its good side and its bad side. People have a bad habit of not realizing that those unrepresentative events are interesting because they are unrepresentative. But because they see them a lot, they think they are common.

It's like people who watch the local news ever day. They consistently overestimate the amount of crime and mayhem in their community.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:39 PM

15. Bingo! nt.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:24 PM

9. oh starry, you made me laugh in the nicest of possible ways.

I want the "Girl nicely turns off her iPod when asked and then helps her class with their work" video to go viral now!

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:37 PM

14. Me too!

That would be fun! It's definitely more representative of how most young people are.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:20 PM

6. No

There is less community action, and everyone is comfy in their social cocoons.

As noted above "kids these days..." is an oldie but goodie.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:23 PM

7. You need to define "the past"

They're certainly less rude and disrespectful than I was at their age (in the 1960s and 1970s). But compared to earlier eras, maybe.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:28 PM

10. rude is in the eye of the beholder.

I find all people more rude and more open than they used to be. Wisecracks are the norm and the phrase "my bad" sends me into convulsions of anger (the epitome of rude, admitting guilt without feeling bad), I have made it clear that if someone feels the need to use that phrase, they should apologize instead - my house, my rules. I do not insist in public unless the remark is addressed to me.

On the other hand, with the internet, volunteering is up, and caring for ideas more than I did as a kid is common, there is just more information out there. I find the younger they are, the more vegetarianism I see because of cruelty to animals.

I.E. it is a mixed bag.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:32 PM

11. Maybe. Unfortunately, with all the back stabbers, cheats, etc., in society it might be a good


thing -- learn how to cope in what has become a "me first" society.

Not saying I endorse it.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:34 PM

12. And are they on your lawn more? nt

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:36 PM

13. some are. many are very nice. nt

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:44 PM

16. DU DEMANDS MORE CREAMED CORN AND EPISODES OF "THE MENTALIST" ON THE GROUP ROOM TV!

Last edited Mon Mar 18, 2013, 02:52 AM - Edit history (1)

That young remdi95 on that show is so nice.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:44 PM

17. I find that people in general are meaner/ruder/more disrespectful.

If it happens to be a kid just locate the parent and you'll see where they get it from.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:45 PM

18. Our culture is more rude and disrespectful than it was in the past...

I grew up when all adults were called sir, Mr., or Mrs.. No exceptions. Disrespect was met with swift discipline. The use of please and thank you were not just pleasantries and polite. They were required.

Adults treated one another more formally in public. People dressed more formally.

So, yes, children are more disrespectful.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:40 PM

22. The phrase "Thank you" has

basically disappeared among the younger generation and been replaced by the ubiquitous, "No problem!"

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Response to Golden Raisin (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:44 PM

23. i don't see that as turning into more rude, more like just a change in culture, less formality

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:07 PM

30. I blame it on Cartman

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:51 PM

19. Kids, what's the matter with kids today?

They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
While we're on the subject:
Kids!
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
Kids!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can't they be like we were
Perfect in every way?

From Bye Bye Birdie, 1960

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:53 PM

20. Socialized very differently. Some ways for the better, some for the worse.

 

WARNING. GENERALIZATIONS FOLLOW, THEY ARE NOT, NOR INTENDED TO BE ABSOLUTE.

Many are woefully ignorant of the niceties that make society polite or even possible. Many have been protected and privileged for their whole experience and simply are not aware of how life is for those that have not. Many, having never been taught anything beyond anything is OK as long as you don't get caught, and so have no moral compass. Many seem to lack any empathy. This is likely due to the previous points. Most are appallingly uneducated.

OTOH. They do not live in fear of physical abuse that can be meted out by any adult with impunity. Many haven't been indoctrinated as thoroughly with a long list of reasons they must be embarrassed or ashamed of being who they are. Many are much more outgoing than previous generations. Many are much more accepting of new and different. Many have a better self image and so demand that their respect be earned.

That'll be $.02 (None of them know what is)

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:21 PM

21. Not at all,

I think the boomers would be hard to surpass for 'rudeness' We were bad in the 60's. Tho, we had reason.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:46 PM

24. What do you mean by Rude ?

just being assholes and picking on other people type rude or the kid you are talking to who suddenly stops listening because they have to check the text they just got type of rude

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Response to cali (Original post)


Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:57 PM

26. no, not at all

to the contrary imo

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:04 PM

27. Yes. If I had said to my parents or another adult, "fuck you!" I'd have gotten


my bleeping head cut off (hyperbole). As would my friends and classmates.





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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:05 PM

28. Respect is a two way street

I grew up in a 'kids should be seen and not heard' era (I was born in 1980 to very old fashioned parents) and was told to shut up most of the time. When my parents had company over, 9 times out of 10, we said hi then went upstairs to watch TV.

All of the adults that told me to respect my elders were the ones that were the most disrespectful of me. This included an aunt who would say rude and sarcastic things and bully people constantly (she still does), a family friend who's kids bullied us and did nothing about it, and people who just expected to be waited on hand and foot. I find it very similar to the customers who always say 'the customer is always right' being the rudest ones there are.

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Response to tabbycat31 (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:50 PM

37. I can relate to this

my parents were very much into the 'seen and not heard' crap (I was born in '75). I was shamed, belittled, and bullied into behaving and being a 'polite child', and screw any of my feelings (not just talking 'i haz a sad' here, I'm talking about being famished or extremely thirsty and feeling ill and being "poohpooh'ed" and being called a baby, or getting a whack for 'being annoying'). My parents were more concerned that people thought I was a 'good child' so they could look like wonderful parents. My dad used to enjoy getting my brother and I to fetch him everything he wanted. Beers and other drinks, snacks, tv remote, you name it. We would complain and he would say, "why have kids if they don't serve you like you should be served? I put this roof over your head." My mother made us do all of the housework - I'm not talking chores here, I'm talking ALL of the housework. And she'd inspect it, and punish you if you left some streaks on the mirror....Let's just say when I became a teen I rebelled - and rebelled good. I became rude, disrespectful and treated them exactly how they had treated me all those years....

Now I'm the parent of a teenager. My teen was raised in a totally different manner. From day one, she was respected, as a human being. That doesn't mean I spoiled her rotten, or that there was no discipline or chores. It means I found a better way, a way that guided my children to act intrinsically and with empathy so that harsh discipline was rarely needed (and I never spanked or hit at all, harsh discipline is 'grounding' or time out).

My teen is a joy. She is respectful, she is polite, she is socially aware, she is an activist. I'm so very proud of her. Her friends are the same. I enjoy having them in my home. They are FAR more polite and respectful than me and my friends EVER were. Teachers, relatives, friends and random neighbors come up to me to tell me how nice my daughter is. I have a feeling that how a child is raised DOES have something to do with rudeness, but not in the way people expect. People want parents to CONTROL their kids and MAKE them behave. I know from experience that extrinsic enforcement never works when the parent is not present. It's better to teach a child empathy (and show it!) and intrinsic motivation, then you don't have to worry about their behavior when they are out of your sight.

Also, I think it's important to remember 'times are a changing'. My mother thinks the young 'uns at her work are the rudest people alive because they check their phone all the time and sometimes wear black jeans to work. Social norms have changed and just because something was considered rude when you were a youngster doesn't mean it still is. Once upon a time it was rude for a lady to show her ankles. Thank goodness THAT doesn't exist anymore.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:06 PM

29. No, not necessarily...Depends on how you are with them...

Back in the late '70's we were in our late twenties. We started going to punk rock shows in the LA clubs because
we liked this newly emerging sound.
The young ones would come up to us and ask us why we were there.
Straight answer.."We really liked the music". They just wanted to know we cared about what they cared about.

These kids were some of the nicest, most respectful to us we had ever encountered.

We pretty much learned that the generations respond to each other in a respectful way if they know you
are genuinely in their corner and if you don't trivialize them and if you treat them with respect.



The Tikkis

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:09 PM

31. I think people in general are ruder and more disrespectful than they were in the past

 

Especially while driving.

Seriously, when I learned to drive, back in the mid-1970s, people practiced common courtesy such as obeying the rules of the road at stop signs, consistently using turn signals so that other drivers could see their intentions, yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, etc.

Now the use of turn signals, at least in my area, seems to have been out of fashion for a long time.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:10 PM

32. No.

Probably should've defined 'past' a little better, though. I mean, in certain eras, it might seem like it at a cursory glance, but probably only if you shared the same skin color.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:11 PM

33. I was a baby boomer

We were public enemy number one, according to "everyone over 30"

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:14 PM

34. No, ma'am, I can't believe they are.

Admittedly, there may be more normally decent kids who do some really stupid stuff, like TP a teacher's house, or draw graffiti on a storefront, or something, but there's always been a small number of truly nasty kids out there. If I may post an (slightly modified) example from the Soto thread:


A overall decent kid from Southern California who might have thwacked a mailbox once or done 100 miles an hour on the 405 a few times just to avoid being late to work in the '00s, just can't be held in the same light, as the favorite son of a pro-beating anti-feminist Klan family in Georgia who burned a few crosses on black families' lawns out of sheer hatred back in the '60s, or a wingnut college student from Ohio in the '80s who decided that it'd be fun to cherry bomb the house of a local liberal Democrat just because she opposes corporal punishment or supported fair trade or whatever

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:18 PM

35. I think the level of cynicism has increased

but that comes from increased social awareness and interconnectivity. Also I don't think the Me-generation have been the best role models, especially when todays authority figures are routinely exposed as venal and hypocritical. I think they coping the best they can in a frantic, disposable, cutthroat environment.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:42 PM

36. No more so than anyone else.

There's something to be said about increasing stress and workload leading to a lack of civility in general. I don't think young people are immune to this, but I think, in general, people are showing less awareness of one another, and hence less "respect".

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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:19 PM

38. The kids I know are wonderful. Left and right.

Granted there are crazies on the left but I don't happen to be subject to them. My young adult sons are liberals. It have lifelong conservative friends too and they are sweet, helpful, caring people who are used to being among all kinds of races, religions, classes, etc. and just don't see division the way many older folks do. They are wonderful to me and I enjoy being with them. The kids I see in therapy are by and large much the same.

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