This is something that has been bothering me for quite awhile. Where in the world do teenagers get the idea that they can say whatever they want, no matter who is listening or reading? I have several relatives (mostly teenage guys), who have mouths that would make sailors blush. Just recently, my teenage cousin posted something so vile on Facebook that it made me consider deleting him from my friends list. My own family, deleted, can you imagine?
Funny thing, I’ve confronted his mom about how he talks on Facebook before. Her reply: “Oh, Nate, whatever, you were that age too, once”, or something like that. Here’s the thing, I was that age once. And yes, I did raise my share of Hell. But I never talked like that. . . . . . . in front of adults. Did I talk like that among my friends? Yes. In the locker room? Yes. But within earshot of adults? No. To be fair, it isn’t just members of MY family. I emceed an event at a local skate park yesterday and heard a couple of boys (I’d say about 15), using bad language within earshot of adults and young children.
Do you want to know the difference between me and the teenage guys of 2010? I’ll give you a clue, there’s a famous song about it. Respect. Period. I have respect for my elders. The teenagers of today, do not.
Do you know what is more frustrating than the behavior of the teenagers? The behavior of their parents. There must be a book somewhere full of responses for parents called out on the behavior of their teenagers. Here’s my favorite: “I can’t watch them all of the time”. I also like this one, “I’m doing the best I can”. First off, you CAN watch them all the time. Secondly, no, you’re not doing the best you can. If you were, your teenager would be so afraid of messing up, that they wouldn’t talk like, EVER, because they’d be afraid that you MIGHT somehow be listening.
If you’re the parent of a teenager, and I’ve offended you. I don’t care. Stop laughing, stop being your kid’s friend and teach them some respect. If they don’t get your lesson right away, do what my mom did. Make them suck on a bar of soap, works every time.