Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Day

Fourth of July fun? Yeah it was okay. Our town parade lasts entirely too long--I mean, when there is only one new car dealership in town, do they really need to have like 15 new cars in the parade doing nothing other than being a new a car? And I'm all for churches and politicians alike having their floats and passing out candy...but do not pass out your literature to me. I'm trying to enjoy the morning with my daughter, getting candy and clapping at the high school band...not trying to be saved or swayed to vote. There's a time and a place.

But here's the kicker of the day...

We're with a large group at the parade---I'd say 20 adults, give or take a few, and probably 7 or 8 little ones. I was very proud of the little ones, too. They made sure that everyone got candy and shared things very nicely, even making sure kids who weren't in our party were getting things too. When my daughter saw the first batch of candy being thrown out, she thought they dropped it and exclaimed, "Oh Noooooo!" It was super cute.

About 10 minutes into the parade, an 18 year old who just graduated from high school came to sit with his folks that were beside us. Great. Family time. Good for you. But said 18 year old dashed for all the candy and Frisbees and stuff. C'mon. An 18 year old??? Are you kidding me?

After about 10 minutes of it (and in these ten minutes, I'm watching all the adults around us get madder and madder and the kids get sadder and sadder), I parked my fat butt up beside him and beat him to the punch. Then I'd throw it down in front of our group of kids and let them have at it, and again...they shared not only with each other but with other kids who were getting beaten out BY AN EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD. I don't know which was worse...the 18 year old doing it or the parents of said 18 year old who didn't think anything of it.

I teach high school. And ya know, I gotta tell you...I'm afraid. Very afraid. Not for me. For our future. Not because "all kids are so bad." I'm afraid because of the sense of entitlement. I see it every single day. I'm afraid for how they've been taught to "stick up for themselves." Being assertive when necessary is one thing, but they think if they don't like how something is going, they have a "right" to fight against it. Sometimes in life, you just have to do accept and do. At school, I hear all the time, "it's my right to..."

My reply....

"You, my dear, are a minor. You have a right to a free education and right to not be abused. These are your ONLY rights."

Usually it works. But then they turn 18 and fall right back into, "my rights."

Well, I'll worry about your rights when you can't hold a job because you're so busy arguing with bosses over "your rights."


Maddy said...

I heard a similar debate when I was back home in England this summer, all 'rights' and no 'responsibilities.'
Best wishes

pjmomof3boys said...

Oh, I'm scared too. The sense of entitlement and complete lack of responsibility. I think we've "self-esteemed" our kids to death and now we're facing a generation of self-centered youth who think the world owes them a favor. It's not going to be pretty.

BTW, you should've come sat with us at the parade! :)

groovyteach said...

pjmomof3, i should have! it would have been way less stressful.

i know--our kids have so much "self esteem" now that when it really matters, they'll realize it's all fake esteem and not be able to handle it.