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Why Kids Today Don't Respect Their Elders

Updated on June 22, 2012
Bus Monitor Being Bullied by 7th Graders
Bus Monitor Being Bullied by 7th Graders | Source

Current State of Affairs

The recent news regarding a bus monitor (Karen Klein) really saddened and angered me. If you haven't seen the video (also embedded at the bottom of this article for your convenience) which has already hit over 3 million views in such a short time, you need to. It clearly illustrates one example of where kids are today in terms of behavior and how they treat the elders of this nation.

In my opinion, the kids of today are this way for many reasons, to include:

  • Poor parenting
  • Public schools' decline
  • No good role models

Poor Parenting

One of the key symptoms of why kids today aren't respectful of elders is poor parenting. This can be one of many reasons.

The most obvious is parents of today don't seem to have any time for their kids any more. In order to pay their bills, both parents have to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, 58.5% of married couples were both working. For single mothers, 65.9% were working in 2011, and likewise for single fathers 79.6% were working. Note that with the poor economy, these numbers were actually slightly lower compared to 2010.

This means the kids from these families didn't get as much quality time with their parents compared to those where at least one was home.

Another reason why many kids today are disrespectful is, plain and simple, the parent or parents just don't care. Many parents shouldn't even be parents because they cannot even take care of themselves. Take a look at the ever expanding population of people that have to get government help to support themselves; almost half of the US population are getting some form of government benefits!

More and more people on welfare
More and more people on welfare | Source

Some parents are just too young. Even though the teen pregnancy rates have declined, every year, around 820,000 teens get pregnant. Kids who become parents too early are kids themselves who have yet to experience and learn from life.

Public School's Decline

What I'm about to say here is purely my opinion, having personally attended public schools in the United States and having seen what has happened to them over the years.

Back in the good old days, teachers had great leeway in how they managed their classroom to deal with unruly and disrespectful kids. So kids back then learned discipline. In addition, teachers had more freedom in terms of helping kids understand some of the more important human characteristics like respect, courtesy, integrity, and such.

Flash forward to today. Teachers are pretty much powerless when it comes to student discipline. And aside from having to deal with the kids, sometimes they they have to deal with parents who side with their disrespectful kids!

If you do a search on, you'll find there are videos there of kids beating up on teachers. What has this world come to?

No Good Role Models

Today many kids have no good role models. People they look up to or like have your typical "bad boy" or "bad girl" image.

Celebrities in sports, in Hollywood, and in the recording industry are overrun by people who are great at what they do, but extremely poor examples of what kind of person kids should strive to be.

With the exception of Tim Tebow and a few other celebs, most celebrities are no beacon of respect. As a matter of fact many are blatantly vulgar.

These blatantly vulgar anti-role models are who most kids imitate today.

Karen Klein, Bus Monitor, Being Bullied by Kids


Simply said, many kids today have no respect because of poor parenting and declining public schools. On top of that, they really have no good role models to emulate.

Do you agree?

Can you think of other reasons why kids are so disrespectful today?



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    • profile image

      food stamps 

      3 years ago

      I have a law degree. I'm on food stamps. I can take care of myself, but we need help to take care of our kids. I also get medicaid for them. My ex husband gets child support for me in an amount exceeding the monthly food stamp benefit. He makes six figures. The more children you have, the more you have to make to pay for everything. This does not mean I shouldn't be a parent. Maybe you shouldn't be a parent because you are a bigot.

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      6 years ago from US of A

      There is always exceptions to elders knowing how to best teach their kids. So I could see why you had to do what you did.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      When I was a kid and teenager in the '70's, I had to go by my elders' verdicts instead of mine just to respect them. If they said I copied homework, or behaved badly when I did neither, I had to lie and pretend I did, since being on the same page is more important than going by my own verdict. When I tried to tell them I'd behaved myself, they refused to listen. So my efforts to please them were totally justifiable, don't you agree?

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      6 years ago from US of A

      FreezeFrame...thanks for stopping by. It definitely starts at home.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image


      6 years ago from Charleston SC

      Very interesting hub. We all point our fingers at each other, it's true. You are right about many things. Most importantly, children need to have positive role models (parents) to help guide them. We all need to show our children how to respect one another, and it starts at home!

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Levertis, you are certainly spot on. Don't worry though. It isn't over yet. Fortunately not all kids are this way. And for those ones who are, well maybe we can make an impression with them as good role models. Thanks for taking the time to read, and thanks for your comments.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      7 years ago from Southern Clime

      One point that you made is certain: there are many reasons why kids are disrespectful. Parents and teachers are often blamed. The whole truth is that most of society is to blame. I cannot go into it all, but it is true. Kids are exposed to so much that do not help them. The media and loads of other technology have captures the children's interest. Bad music, drug dealers, pedophiles, pimps, and the list goes on!

      Parents and teachers who abused their children in many ways, including beating them without mercy, brought in the law which closed the door to others disciplining them properly. All the talk about the generation gap and children wanting more freedom brough problems with it. Birth control and easy abortions afforded children to be more promiscuous. More jobs for teens pulled them away from home to other influences, gave them money to use as they chose. The young people could afford cars, hotel rooms, drugs . . . Need I go on? Parents and teachers are to blame? Yes, some, but those to blame are scattered all over the globe. I do not have time to go into adults who lure children, fill their heads with garbage against their parents and teachers only to take advantage of them and lead them to destruction. Have you ever seen an adult who does not want anyone to touch their children, but will have regular sex with others' children? Who is to blame for the disrespect? Because of all of these bad experiences, children think that they are wise and grown, so, they rebel. It is true that "It takes a whole village to raise a child," but most of the village has gone crazy. The whole world is corrupt, not just some parents and teachers. We are in this pot together, and it is boiling over.

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Shawn, a lot of kids, and sometimes adults don't realize what gets recorded on the Internet will be there forever. Maybe this is one form of punishment for them--to have their poor behavior on display reminding them, as well as others, how cruel they were to this woman. Maybe it changes their lives forever, for the better, that is. Thanks for commenting.

    • Shawn May Scott profile image

      Shawn May Scott 

      7 years ago

      Do the children in this video realize that this is out there for ever??? What about future employers or if these children need help from a stranger in the future how are others going to treat them??? Most of us know these children have been given their fifteen minutes of fame and now what??? What will this change??? Awareness of poor behaviour only changes a small few. I guess that is better than nothing. I would like to say Goddess save us from ourselves, but I will say mankind save thyself!!! :)

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      alyessamoore, can you elaborate on what you mean?

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Moonlake, I agree with you. I would not want these particular kids around; I'm not really sure they have learned any lessons. I'm afraid, the only thing this might have done is teach the kids to behave in front of a camera...maybe. On the other hand, if their parents were really concerned, they would make sure their kids understood the implications and impact of what they were doing.

    • alyessamoore profile image


      7 years ago from Miami

      Kids are no more kids... They are advance and far advance then our thinking.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      If I were this woman I would not want these kids in my yard or near my house. Who knows what they would do they talked about sticking a knife in her. Part of the problem is the way they teach kids that anyone over weight is not worth knowing.

      I agree celebrities are the worst role models our kids can have. Kids worship the ground celebrities walk on. It's really to bad. There are some mean kids out there.

      There are also some very nice kids that would never think of doing what these kids did even if they were with a group of kids. What in the heck was the bus driver doing. You can't tell me he/she couldn't see what was going on. The bus driver should have stopped the bus and called the police right than.

      Mothers and fathers both have to work now days. I see mothers come home from work and spend all their time with their kids, taking them to sports sitting for hours waiting. Being as involved with the school as much as they can. There are really good parents, they do much more than I did and I was a stay at home Mom. Not that I was a bad Mom the kids didn’t have as much to do as they do now days. I was never a soccer mom because they didn't have soccer back than. Voted Up and Shared

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Bankscottage. I think you are right about the kids. I think the only lesson they learned is to behave when there is a camera around. I bet that given the chance, they would do that again, because it is their idea of fun.

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Ms_jkim, i think you may have just hit the nail on the head...some kids expect things to be handed to them. It's the 'me' generation.

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Phoebe, based on the background you've noted in your post, I am in awe of your maturity, and admire your parents. They sound like awesome parents who provided you with role models upon which to base your life. I applaud you for being very responsible. Your case is, in my opinion, is a rarity for your age group. Also, the examples I've given were meant not to generlize, but was intended to identify possible contributors to children's disrespectfulness today. Thanks for sharing!

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      J Forlanda 

      7 years ago from US of A

      Breathe2travel... that is an interesting thought regarding having the kids serve the woman for restitution; but if I were her, I wouldn't want these kids around me, at least until my emotion about the incident have calmed down.

    • miss_jkim profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent hub.

      I have read the article and seen the video about this incident and I see a few things that contribute to the way our young people behave today.

      You were correct in your assessment that is takes both parents to work just to make ends meet these days. One reason for that is so that parents can provide their children with every technological gadget on the market, the latest offerings from the fashion industry, teenage girls have to have their nails professionally done, hair coiffed in designer shops, and they all have to have a beautiful new car to ride in. Do they have jobs to pay for these things? Heavens NO! They are too busy socializing, going on beach trips, etc. Working is what mom and dad are supposed to do to provide them with all these things. We've created a generation of young people who "expect" to be handed everything on a silver platter.

      This goes along with your statement about the increase of families on public assistance. With nearly half of American families receiving some sort of financial aid from the government, we are perpetuating an entitlement culture in this country. The Uncle Sam owes me generation.

      Next is the school decline. Instead of "raising" standards in our schools and expecting students to rise to meet those standards, the NEA has dictated that standards be lowered to "level the playing field" for disadvantaged students. Which has done nothing more than create an entire country of disadvantaged students within the scope of a global economy.

      And finally, the idea of the young people of today actually doing any kind of volunteer work for anything is totally outside their selfish mindset. I have worked with two community service organizations for the past several years, and it saddens and appalls me to see the decline in the number of young people volunteering to better their communities and help those in need. They see volunteering as a waste of their time because they see no benefit in it for themselves.

      Our country is on a very sad decline, and your hub is further proof of how far we have slid.

      Voted up and awesome!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      I am a "young" parent. I gave birth to my son, Dante, in 2010. I was 19. My age does not define my ability to raise my child. I may not have the experience in life that a 30-year-old parent would, but I intend to raise my child to respect others, especially his elders. The children in the video are heartless. I'd wager that they have never cared to listen to anyone but themselves.

      As for the rate for people who have assistance from the state... the population has increased and we have taken refugees into this country and provided for them in order to save their lives. Some families have to go to the state for help. It's not a matter of choice. It's either swallow some pride and accept foodstamps or let your child go hungry. In this economy, it's really not shocking that families accept help from the state.

      My father worked 12-hour days and my mother was disabled and stayed home with her five children (myself included). I can remember a lot of kids coming to our home and staying with us off and on. My father hated it, but he accepted foodstamps because when his health took another turn for the worst the medical bills were horrid. He had kidnety failure, but still worked this fingers to the bone at his junkyard.

      He took care of everyone since he was 14... and he did the best he could until he died. He did everything for his family. When he was a young man growing up, he took care of his sister and his older brother. He would give as much help to his neighbors as he possibly could. When he married, he took care of my mother. And then he took care of all of us.

      State assistance has nothing to do with parenting skills.

      I work at a store, I clean houses, and I also tutor. I still don't make enough to make ends meet. Does this make me a bad mother? No. Does it mean I don't care? No... I care more than you could imagine. I accept foodstamps for my son. I would go hungry, but I will never allow my son to ever be hungry. By accepting some assistance, I am able to provide my son with other things... books, music and all sorts of knowledge off the internet. You would be amazed how much information is on the internet. He is learning Romanian, Russian and Spanish by native speakers thanks to having the internet. I pay 30 dollars a month for the internet... but every once in a while I have to have it turned off and back on. It depends on my income for the month.

      I agree that many kids are disrespectful, but the blame doesn't fall solely on the parents. They weren't on the bus with them. These kids made a decision to actively harrass Karen. We can't push the blame around. It was their fault and they need to atone for THEIR actions.

    • breathe2travel profile image


      7 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      I agree with Glenn Beck, bankscottage - the kids should have to serve the woman in effort of restitution. I have not watched the video, I've heard about it, read about it, etc. My stomach turns at the thought of its contents - - much like my stomach turns at the thought of the video which captured adults heckling children singing "God Bless the USA."

      Our country needs to step back, reflect on the consequences of programs, legislations, entertainment -- and take appropriate action to change.

      Thanks for writing this, Forlanda. Voted up.

    • bankscottage profile image

      Mark Shulkosky 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Forlanda, I couldn't agree with you more. As I understand it, I have not heard of one student apologizing to this woman. I have heard that their parents have stated that the kids 'have learned their lesson'. Really! Could the kids explain what they learned? Could the parents explain what the kids learned? Mrs. Klein doesn't even want to press charges.

      Glenn Beck suggested that the kids involved rake the leaves or cut the grass for this woman for a year. Maybe they should volunteer in a nursing home or adult care center to get a better appreciation and respect for adults. Even better, maybe they should volunteer in an infant's and children's home where profoundly disabled kids live. Maybe then they would appreciate how lucky they are.

      On a positive side, many generous individuals have donated to a fund for her. I believe the goal was to raise $5,000 so that she could go on a vacation. Last I saw, the fund was approaching $500,000!.


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