Monday, May 5, 2008

"Why do you think that is?"

my Nigerian train friend asked me this morning. She was talking about what she and her husband have witnessed - the decline of our American youth. And, as usual, she wasn't talking about EVERY young person out there, although it does appear to be a large number and that number is growing.

"It is multi-layered and my mind doesn't always think that way. So, my gut answer would be a crumbling of the family structure. The exact thing that my father and grandfather would talk about at our kitchen table in the late 60's - early 70's - except they identified the culprit as 'Communists'." I replied and furthered with...

“Left-winged or Right-winged or anywhere in the middle – I believe it comes down to the basics. If there was a candidate running for President that talked about the need to get back to the basics of life – discipline, respect of family, and a good work ethic, to name just a few – I would be first in line to vote for him/her.”

As we were parting ways, I said “I need to have you and your husband over for dinner some time soon.”

“Yes, we would like that. Could I bring my mother too?” she responded.

“Of course, I would be honored to have her over also.” I told her.

What a great testimony to her generational family respect.

You must admit – how often when asked to dinner at a friend’s house – do we follow with the question “Could I bring my mother too?”

Never for me.

You?

7 comments:

the dilf said...

I can't understand why some people are so distant from their parents. We go on vacation with my mom every year. We have a blast.
I also miss my father a ton too. He's been gone 2 1/2 yrs and still think about him 10 times a day.

Enjoy them while you can people.

Susan said...

I miss my dad too.

blue

CRUSTYBEEF said...

if only my mom would come if invited, but unfortunately she is rather busy with my dad and his mom..

the issues of the youth today stem from the faulty fingers of their parents, regardless of what wing they are on, less respect and more spoiling it seems.

if you ask me, are you asking?? :)

Happy monday,
E~

Susan said...

Crusty....I am a asking!! Thanks for the comment...all so true, so true.

blue

Wise Ol' Man said...

The dumbing of America is now into its third generation. The third generation back wouldn't have known anything wrong was happening. But the latter two, to those who looked at it as they should, the disintegration is more than obvious--it is glaring.

Most people, like you, look immediately to the family unit. But...count the actual hours you have a meaningful time with your children (while both were in school). Breakfast--forget it. Then, you're at work...but the kids are out of school hours before you get home. Then, supper. Forget that. too. Then, that period after supper--they have homework or things to do, and you do too. Then bedtime.
So...you do the math. How much meaningful time did you have with your kids?

But kids are curious, impatient, anxious, inquisitive, and demanding. So who takes the place of the parent who once-upon-a-time filled those needs. Ah, the kids themselves. And, again, you do the math.

Now, last but not least, what academic challenges are put before these kids? Oh, the schools have to be careful now. Discipline is out. And the curriculum is deliberately geared to meet the lower necessity standards. So a bright kid gets bored--school doesn't hold a challenge. The average student finds how to coast--why work when you don't have to? And the lower percentage--what they are required to do is still more than they want to put out, so they form their own little cliques, and form their own little mobile society.

So...less discipline at home. Much less discipline and less work at school. Way too much time on their hands...and then add the internet and cell phone and video games, and again, you do the math.

And there is a strong established core working to keep this going. Any proposed change--back to the past--will be fought tooth and nail. But...that is another subject.

Catherine said...

Susan - great subject!

I have to agree with Wise ol' man - not enough time in the day for parents to parent - too much free time for our youth - the internet exposes my kids to things I never even knew existed until I was in my 20's, While I am all for progress - even if I had no internet at home, my boys would be over at some other parents home online, I'd rather have them home so I can see where they travel on the net - Schools really have their hands tied these days, and the "no child left behind act" while good intentioned - is failing our children in my opinion - lowering the standards so they can pass, as opposed to making them do the work.

Susan said...

Catherine - Welcome!! I look forward to sharing with you, a fellow Chicagoian, blogger and a Sentencer of Six.

in the mix