Evaluating the Shifts and Drifts in How We Lead Students
There has been a slow shift going on over the last forty years in how we lead our young people in America. I actually think I am seeing this shift happening all over the world. Adults view the educating and raising of children differently, and it’s affected our work with young kids as well as young adults.
YESTERDAY VS. TODAY
We used to pride ourselves on giving kids whatever they needed.
Now, parents pride themselves on giving kids whatever they want.
We used to offer school rewards when our students put out excellent effort.
Now we reward everyone, because we don’t want anyone left out.
We used to say to kids: “You can do whatever you want; go figure it out.”
Now we say: “You can do whatever you want, and I will make sure it happens.”
We used to give kids an allowance for doing chores around the house.
Today, we give kids money regardless of any contribution they make.
We used to allow kids substantial playtime outside to exercise and make up games.
Now, we structure their days with practices and playtime is in front of a screen.
We used to let our kids fail and lose, but would help them learn lessons from it.
Today, we refuse to let our kids fail. We don’t want to damage their self-esteem.
We used to see nearly every teen work at a job; it was the only way they’d have money.
Today, most teens don’t work yet somehow find the money for items they want.
We used to affirm young people for outstanding behavior, performance or character.
Today, we praise young people for effortless and even basic behavior.
We used to learn about values and how life works over dinner with our family.
Today, kids may learn about life, values, and even sex from school, since there’s no time for dinner together at home.
Yesterday, when a student got in trouble in school, they also got in trouble when they returned home. Parents took sides with the school rules.
Today, when a student gets in trouble in school, the parent sides with their child and the teacher or administrator now gets in trouble.
This may just explain much of what we see in our culture today.