The disconnect between adults and kids

One of my biggest fears is that one day far in the future, my kids will be crying themselves to sleep at night and I will have no idea. It just seems to be such a common feeling these days – kids grow up thinking that they have no real support and that no one really understands what they are going through. We act as if there has to be some huge disconnect between adults and kids and I think that this divide is proving itself to be extremely emotionally draining.

In my generation, people are becoming much more open with who they really are. The LGBTQ community is growing each and every day as people come out, finally deciding to be true to themselves. Kids are getting into serious relationships at younger ages; it’s as if we have this instinctual urge to grow up quicker and experience real love earlier. We can’t help it though, that’s just how we are.

Adults, specifically parents, are in a very special place. They have the ability to build up a child’s self esteem or completely tear it down. They have the choice to emotionally support their child, which sadly, some parents refuse to do. Which is partly what has created this gap between kids and parents. There are certain choices that parents don’t have the right to decide – such as if your child is gay, or transgender, or if they want to date someone of a different race or a different religion or financial class or if they just want to date someone in general. No parent has the right to choose who their child falls in love with.

By the age of 18, we have a pretty good idea of what we like and what we don’t like. We know which foods make us sick and we know which school subjects we like the most. We also sort of know what career path we would like to take and what sort of people we want to surround ourselves with on our journey there. Most of us have picked a learning institution that we hope will carry us to success and many of us have had to figure out a plan to pay for it. We are considered to be adults, yet we are still treated as young children. This also adds to the divide between us.

There is such a simple solution to this problem though, and it amazes me that this isn’t universal knowledge. We both need to support each other. Parents should lift their kids up when they are down – no child should have to cry themselves to sleep feeling as though they cannot talk to the two people sleeping in the room next door. If your child comes out as gay, you should be thrilled that they had the bravery to do so in front of you, because it is a huge act of courage. If your child is in love with someone, you should wholeheartedly support that relationship. As long as no harm is coming to either party… there is no reason to separate them. From a kid’s perspective, it is so hard to live your life without support. Feeling alone while making decisions is so ridiculously stressful. We need help from those older than us, even though we will deny it to our grave. Just as those older need help from us, and we will be there to give them that.

We need to push to close the divide between us. It’s time for both sides to come together and to realize that there is no reason to not support each other. We both feel the same things – it’s time we respect that.

My very biased opinion of Dr. Phil v. 16 year old Kristi

Hi everyone!

Fun fact: a girl from my school was on Dr. Phil last night. Another fun fact: I don’t like Dr. Phil.  I did, rather grudgingly, bring myself to tune in last night so I could watch him dissect a 16-year-old girls home life. Needless to say, it quickly turned into quite the comedy special. It wasn’t the girl, Kristi, that was the source of my laughter though – it was how ridiculously unprofessional Dr. Phil sounded throughout the entire show.

He started with the parents; there were no questions asked about how they feel about their daughter or what their family was like before she began having anger issues. Rather, it began with immediate criticism of them as people. Granted, they both needed a bit of a reality check, but it seemed that Dr. Phil wasn’t even focused on shaping them to become better parents. He simply just ranted on about how horrible of people they both are. There were no suggestions to help them deal with Kristi or fix their own marriage, he did not offer them any true solutions to put their family back together. This confused me because… isn’t that what psychologists are supposed to do? Find solutions? Help fix those who come to them? Be compassionate? No? Oh, okay.

Up next was Kristi. Here’s the deal: she has some serious anger problems, she’s disgustingly disrespectful, and does not seem to respect others or herself. I definitely think she needs some help. However, putting her on national TV with an audience waiting for something to make fun of her for and an asshole telling her every bad quality she has is NOT going to accomplish anything. Throughout the entire interview, he was in her face telling her how awful of a person she is. What made it even worse was that he did attempt to offer up a solution – he told the parents to ship her off to an isolated ranch in Utah, and to not allow her any say in the matter. This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

I’d love to have a chat with Phil. I’d do anything just to explain to him that kids cannot be treated like animals. Kristi obviously has problems she is dealing with, and yes, getting help would probably be very beneficial. This is a mental health issue though, and when it comes to these types of problems, a person needs to have a support team – which is usually his or her family. And yet it seems that Dr. Phil, master psychologist and world renowned therapist, has decided that shipping off a girl lost her own head is the way to fix everything.

Maybe he should spend some time in Utah.

I wish the best for Kristi and her family – I do hope that they learn to use compassion in order to heal each other. Rage and despair seems to be the only two emotions in that household. A family needs a base, one created from sympathy and care, and hopefully they find a way to work together and find that.

Dr. Phil, however intelligent he may be, really needs to spend some more time with those who are internally broken. Maybe then he will realize how terrible separation is for a lost person, and maybe… just maybe… he will become compassionate himself.

The new generation

I live in a very populated area. To give you an idea, my high school has almost 7,000 students, there are five middle schools that feed into it, and ten elementary schools. As you can see, that’s quite a bit of kids. With this many people, I’ve noticed that it is easy to see the differences from generation to generation. My focus for this post will be on current middle school students.

I have a younger brother in eighth grade. He is your average sort-of teenage boy: he has a large group of friends, he is starting to have those awkward “I like you,” talks with girls, and he likes to spend his time playing sports or long boarding outside. Although that all sounds fairly normal, I can still very easily spot the difference between his generation and mine.

First off, the technology. My oh my do they have much more that I did. His friends and him are constantly on their phones, they are all connected through social media, and they never once had to deal with phones without a touch screen. I know what you’re thinking – technology is a great thing. I completely agree with you, considering I’m sitting in a coffee shop on my Macbook typing this right now. However, with this technology young kids have constant access to the internet – which is not always a good thing. I hear kids use more foul language than I do at the ages of eleven and twelve. They see pictures and videos of things I didn’t even know about at their age. They are being influenced by entities that were never available to me at that age.

With those influences, I have heard so many awful stories of middle school students getting involved with drugs and alcohol. I remember middle school vividly and having no idea what drugs were. When I was with my friends, the thought of stealing my parents liquor never crossed my mind. I knew that those things were not acceptable and I knew that they weren’t going to lead me down a successful path in life. I was fully aware that those substances were not good for me physically and that they would have horrible effects on my life in the long run.

I do have to admit that young kids have a lot more pressure on them than I did at their age. I see girls with full face makeup on in sixth grade – I don’t remember owning a bottle of foundation until late into my freshman year of high school. Girls are wearing short shorts and crop tops, looking skimpy as ever, and I have to wonder how parents are allowing this to happen. Even today, if I walked downstairs with a shirt that hardly covered my chest I know that my mother would spin me around and send me right back up to change. I don’t think I will ever understand who an eleven year old girl is dressing like that for – and if it’s for the same reason girls my age are doing it, then we have a much more serious problem on our hands.

With this new generation, we have to be more cautious than ever. It is up to us to be role models for these kids. We must pave the paths of right and wrong and lead them down the correct one. Parents need be sure that their kids are not being influenced negatively by technology and they need to be aware of current trends in society. Older brothers and sisters need to take responsibility and teach their siblings to learn from their mistakes or their peers. We must learn to adapt and to grow positively from this change.

Pay attention to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love attention. What girl doesn’t? It’s gotta be one of the best things to receive. To have someone look at you like they truly want to talk to you, to have them compliment you, to feel wanted for just a moment. It is something that almost every person craves. It’s an addiction – once someone gives you that attention, you just want more and more.

I’ve noticed that it is one of the quickest things to disappear in relationships as well. I’m talking about all types of relationships – marriage, dating, friends, siblings, etc. The attention we give a person at the start just fades away more and more as we get closer with him or her. At the start you feel this need to connect with them, this subconscious need to always impress them. Yet as you get comfortable around the person, that feeling gradually goes away. You stop working as hard to impress them, stop working as hard to give them what they want.

I believe that’s the problem with so many relationships. Both parties crave attention, but neither is willing to give the other the time of day. In a dating situation, the boy stops saying good morning every morning, or doesn’t compliment what he likes about her. In a friendship, they forget about the other’s opinions and feelings. Parents forget that their kids are growing up. We don’t stop and think about the other person – a common quality of all people.

I need attention. I can honestly admit that. I like feeling like someone truly wants to talk to me. Like I am worth the effort. I also like putting in effort to talk to another person. I will gladly give a person my full attention if they want it. It’s what fuels a relationship. Two people will not connect if they cannot pay attention to one another. You know the cliche story, “I just couldn’t take my eyes off her, she was just so beautiful.” That is still a super common way for a guy to pick up a girl; by simply giving her attention.

I’m not a love doctor or anything, but if I had to give one solution to mending broken relationships, it would be to start paying attention to the person as much as you did when you first met them. You should never stop trying to impress the person. If they mean that much to you, you should want to do things to keep them close. That first moment means so much more than people think it does – that first moment of making eye contact, it’s the start of something that will never be the same. We as people need to recognize that and work with it, using it to our advantage.

We need to be loved as much as we need to love.