Monday, May 11, 2009

It's not the kids who are rude

I got an email from Joel H. about an MSNBC article that name calls the children of Gen X. It got my attention, because the subject line was "You are a bad parent." Here's what he wrote:


And apparently, so am I. But besides that, I still enjoy your blog, even if we do have rude children. I think you should shred this woman for being
the piece of boomer trash that she is. To be fair, she does give GenY a little of the business towards the end of the article. Is it me, or are the boomers
more and more becoming the cranky old timer yelling at us to stay off their lawn? And this is one more example of them shaking their fist at us "darn
kids"? I look forward to your comments. Thanks! Joel"

So I decided I would chime in on this one, even if it's a little late. I think the article is full of crap, basically. And not only does it take a swipe at Xers as parents, but it also makes Boomers look like a bunch of douche bags.
And they're not.

Sure, my worst boss ever is a Boomer. But so is my best boss. And my second
best. And my third.The real conflict between Boomers and Xers is simply a difference in communications styles. Over the past 15 years or so, both groups have made a lot of strides in understanding each other better and working through those differences. But just when you think things are smoothing out, some idiot has to write an article like the one Joel refers to. And then those feelings from 15 years ago come back.

Most normal people, regardless of how old they are, know better than to verbially attack someone's kids. And anyone who was a kid in the 70s or 80s or 90s knows that old grouches always point the finger at kids and how the new generation just isn't as good as previous ones (I'm sure this is also true of kids in the 40s, 50s, 60s, etc - I just wasn't around to witness it.)

I'm sure the next article by Susan Gregory Thomas, the woman who wrote the scathing piece on today's kids, will be on how Xers are slackers, Millennials are willfully entitled, and that darn G.I. Generation won't just go to the "home" where they belong.

And in response, all I have to say to Ms. Thomas is - "Get of my lawn!"


Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

I really think problems between X and Boomers is far more complex and deep-seated than you suggest in this post. Human conflict is tied to the inherent aggression in man/womankind. People, by nature, seek to control and dominate. Survival of the fittest has absolutely nothing to do with breakdowns in communication.

J- said...


No amount of botox or tummy tucks will change the fact that the Boomers are aging into the old farts that they always wanted to rebel against.

To me, this article is the Boomers trying to pass blame again for thier own doings.

GenX was raised by the Boomers, for the most part.

We were the children of the "practice marriage". We were the "busters" and the "accidents" during the partying 70's that hinered them from "finding themselves".

If the Boomers don't like the way we raise our children, maybe they should look into their own past at how they raised us.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I have verbally chastised someone else's child. I was at the ice rink where I used to live, and someone's unattended child and his friend were attempting to scale, from the spectator side of the rink, the protective plastic "windows/walls" surrounding the rink. The walls were bending, the rink is supported through donations, etc. -- the child could have fallen and broken his ass or his head, depending on whether you believe his head to be the same as his ass. No other parent or rink official was in sight, so I bellowed GET DOWN FROM THERE NOW and the child, apparently stunned that anyone would dare to address him so, since probably no one had ever before told him NOT to do something, complied. I was born in 1969. If this makes me a grouchy X-er, then so be it.

Connie said...

That article is poorly researched and woefully lacking in facts. Using my GenX slang, it is stoopid. One of the few "facts" she trots out is that preschoolers are expelled at 3 times the rates as those in K-12. Which actually has very little to do with the kids' behavior and is more about school policies and approaches.

Personally I've seen about 10 times more examples of GenX parents being nice to other parents and their friends' kids than the stories the author uses in her article.

It's just a stoopid article.

Maxine from Texas said...

I'm almost speechless...almost. First of all this very much has the ring of 'get off my lawn!' to it. and of passing the buck. I'll add some anecdotal evidence of my own, I'll even use the all encompassing language of the article's author: Most of the rude kids I see around are being parented by Boomers who had kids late in life because they decided they wanted to wait after they had a career to have them. This article is so full of generalizations, I can't even address them in a decent comment length, so I won't.
I have a four yr-old son. None of the parents I know co-sleep or are overly "advocating" of their kids. Not that either of these are related in any way.
And she does throw Gen-Y under the bus a bit, but seems to gloss over the fact that WE aren't Gen-Y's parents, Boomers are!
sorry - i'm getting angrier, must get off soap box

ChoSanJuan said...

I read both the MSNBC article and your response. It kind of struck a nerve with me and it spawned a post for my family blog. I hate to spam your comments but I feel it might really be worth the read. In short, the MSNBC article had holes but it did bring up some good discussion points. I really made it relate to my life and how I raise my daughter in a divorced, half time house.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

yeah (re: Connie's comments) - preschoolers get suspended because they might try and kiss a classmate on the cheek and it is perceived as sexual harrassment. Or perhaps they use a potty word and it is taken out of context.

ChoSanJuan said...

Hey Anon...

Let's not forget the semi-recent events with the no-touching issue that got insanely out of hand. Seriously, is this what we are really coming to? High 5's and Respect Knuckles are outlawed? Though I have not seen Wall-E all the way through yet, there is a social implication that they touch on with the lazy messaging that they do though they are in the same room. People state that we are going to end up like that because of text messaging. No, we are going to end up like that because society continues to oppress free thought and feelings. Orwellian future anyone?

Le said...

my kids are kids - some days rude - like just now when the six year old told me to shut up and is now in his room for five minutes - and some days just lovely.

I find feeding them protein and no refined sugars helps no end ... is it generational or is it just poor nutrition and lack of awareness ...

I knew some awfully rude kids when I was growing up ....

juvenal said...

Another product of " boomers parenting", and I use that term loosely.

juvenal said...

That's crazy. Some of the crap we pulled in High school should have gotten us expelled. Its amazing what we got away with.