I caught myself using that term to a young person and he cringed when he heard it. I can’t really blame him. He let out a long sigh. He knew what was coming next…”things were tougher”…back in my day. “We had to do all the term paper research by hand”…back in my day. “Young men didn’t expect to go all the way on a first date”…back in my day.
Adults—do you know what we are really saying when we say this?
THINGS WERE BETTER BACK IN MY DAY.
Are you sure? Or, are we just being a little envious about all the freedom and choices young people have today? And why not. We had to go into a library to do our research. We couldn’t just cut and paste our way through a term paper. We didn’t have the instant gratification that comes with instant access…
Young people have it too easy, is really what we are saying.
But do they?
We had bullies and gossip mongers and queen bees, but could anyone post images of our privates for the whole world to see? We had lists of the most beautiful girls. The handsomest boys, but no one could send those lists to thousands of followers in a few minutes.
Our suicide rates for young people were lower…back in my day.
Young people today must guard against a lion’s share of judgment from the ogling eyes, and the groping hands. How do we help them cope? By imposing tougher laws, a la the Brock Turner incident. But, when does erecting a law help a young person understand how to behave in situations where “correct” behavior is almost impossible to process with all the conflicting messages online.
I know a solution. Find a book, a YA novel with a really tough theme; suicide, date rape, trans-gender issues—all those things that weren’t really talked about…back in my day.
I think I’ve found one to share with parents and young people. Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls. Some of you mentioned it in my last post where I asked you to name some books that might help us bridge the growing divide that laws and lectures can’t address.
I will share some of the themes from Wintergirls for parents to discuss with their kids. And to be completely honest, I don’t think things were better back in my day.
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