- Family and Parenting
Growing up as a teen today - computers, games and battling school
Where are we heading with this generation? A lot is gone what guided us before....home and school is not the same anymore. How it affects our teens today is a tragedy.
I have a 17 years old son. I know he is smart. I know there is a lot of opportunity ahead of him. But I don't know where he is heading, what he thinks life is all about. Computers and games I guess - at least for now. I cannot complain since he's not into drinking, drugs or behavior issues. He's a nice guy, liked by many, more on the calmer side overall, with charm and likes to be funny. Very caring and gentle.
But when it comes to school....I am getting the creeps! He does not take it too serious, is bored of school and tired of it. I keep talking to him how important it is to have a decent High School Diploma and he has to work a little harder and study. Studying - what a word! It must come from another planet I guess. I am thinking - when will he wake up and do something? When it's too late?
I look around this generation and even though I am very easy going and modern in raising kids, I am not sure where we are heading at with this generation. The lack a sense of responsibility, doing what they need to do to have success, moan if they are asked to help, socialize via computer or texting. The school system is not the best either on top of all that and home schooled kids are much better off, smarter and more in tune with life. Why don't we all home school then? We pay the government so much money for such lousy results. But teachers are crying - crying about what?
Let me tell you how teachers work in Germany. There is no such test where all you have to do is mark a, b, or c. The students have to answer with their own words. Now, for the teacher that means work! The have to go through each individual test and read actually the answers! Imagine teachers would have to do that here - I think they would scream at you. Instead of constantly being told to read, there was homework for almost every subject that day in school, so in average we spent the day in school from 8 am until 1 pm, got home to have lunch and had our homework to do, about 1-2 hours each day on our own. In the class there was not much chit chat and just sitting around - it was 45 minutes intense learning, asking questions to the teacher.
I heard from my son's girlfriend, she doesn't even want to ask questions anymore, because a teacher once yelled at her for asking a question, because she didn't understand. Isn't that what a teacher should do - answering questions and helping kids to learn?
Maybe the reason for low performance, attention and respect lies a bit in the teachers themselves and in the teaching being done at school. I am beginning to wonder. How can kids be interested in learning when the teacher doesn't show interest? How can the be interested when it is boring? How can it be challenging when there is no challenge? How can kids focus when there is nothing to focus on? I strongly believe a big part lies within the schools. Kids are no longer challenged, everything is given to them, fed to them the most simple way. They have lost interest because it is boring.
Have you ever been to a meeting or class, which was boring? How much did you learn, how much did you focus? Did you scribble circles on your paper? Did you sent texts to your friends how boring the class is? - You are no longer focused, interested or paying attention. And it also shows in your attitude and respect towards the teacher or speaker - right?
Where do they learn to be organized? When I look at my son's loose paper mess I freak out. No binders, no folders nothing....the papers are mostly copies from school and when I look at them they are mostly study papers, to fill in missing words!!! Where are we that a teen is not able to write a whole sentence on his own anymore?
Why is spelling and writing becoming more and more an issue? Well, if they don't have to write much, how can they learn? I am not bringing up how writing was done in Germany, I don't want to compare. But in 2nd grade they talked about cursive - maybe 2 weeks - then never ever paid attention to it. Why? Why is it no longer enforced stronger, when it is the most efficient way to write? - Are they already counting on computers, that nothing will be written by hand anymore? Or is it the laziness of the teachers to actually have to read handwritten stuff?
What is a fuzz about reading here? I never was pushed to read that much when I went to school ever! It almost seems that reading is all they care about. Why? Shall they one day read everything they should have learned at school on their own? Is that the purpose? I am beginning to wonder. Then why do we even send them to school?
There is a lack of respect among teens, the way they go about life and growing up is scary - but I hope that maturity will kick in one day. I am torn about maturity though - was it really there 20 yrs ago, 30 yrs ago or was it rather "enforced" outwardly maturity? While I see my son being mature in a few ways, I see him being miles away in other ways and that's scary. The main and almost only interest lies in video games....I personally have never played a single game and I don't think I ever will. I have an older son and I once talked to him about this and he said he was the same way and I should not worry, that he will grow out of it - unfortunately I can't see it and that is what worries me. I hope my son is right!
I am also aware of the changes at home. Mothers are no longer at home raising the kids, but spending time at work, getting home exhausted and have to get their chores around the house done in the evening. Sometimes the husband helps along, sometimes she's all alone. There was a lot of teaching and character building that happened at home - but that is yesterday. I honestly wished we could turn the clock back a little - to give our children what they need. I am glad that I was able to spend time at home being there for my son the first 11 yrs of his life - I really believe it made a difference in his overall character. But I worked 50 hours or more for quite a few years after that and I hated to do it for my son, but what choice did I have? Got home totally exhausted and never home on weekends. So I also understand the difficulties and changes happening at home. I don't think they are positive changes though for our children.
But I also know tomorrow comes fast and I can't control it. I just want the best for my son and want him to reach what he wants to reach, to do what he wants to do. As long as he is not in tune with life....I worry, as every mother does. I look back to how things were long time ago and I wonder what kind of a future this generation will have, since I see that my son is not alone. There are so many teens out of tune and tomorrow almost knocking at their door, parents lost about what to do and how to get them to turn around. This is a whole generation it almost seems, that is out of touch with reality. What if they miss the right moment?