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Raise your hand if you think "kids these days" are nicer than they used to be

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

I hope I am not being naive, but it seems to me that the children in my son's school seem much more caring and supportive of each other than what I expected from a public school.  And I get the feeling that most children these days *want* to help each other and care for each other.  I have read some stories and known people whose children experienced bullying, but for the most part the kids that were bullied were able to understand that people who bully are people who have experienced a lot of negativity in their life and that the majority of people are not bullies.

 

Do you feel like the world is actually becoming a nicer place through our next generations' attitudes toward one another?  

post #2 of 55

I do.

 

I also think that schools are more likely to approach problem behavior in a more positive way. I think that kids are more accepting of special education students than they were back when I was in school. I also see a lot of kids who are concerned about the environment and want to do something about it.

 

I think the world is getting better!

post #3 of 55

Not really. I think different people have different experiences. Some is just the luck of being in a sweet class as opposed to an aggressive class. My DD has experienced very little negativity from peers. My DS has experienced too much.  I wouldn't say that kids are better or worse towards each other though I would say that behavior in the classroom has gotten much worse than I remember it as a child.

 

Having a child that's been bullied, I will say that the new "poor bully" mentality drives me up the wall. I'm all for compassion but it often goes too far resulting in more compassion for the bully than for the victim. Nothing worse that sitting in a meeting and spending the whole time talking about the "poor bully" and how lucky your child is because their parents aren't getting a divorce or whatever. Yeah, so lucky to get tortured at school. You try and try to be compassionate but eventually hit that point as a parent when you could care less how bad another kid has it... you just want them to keep their hands off your baby whose crying to sleep every night. Sorry, touchy subject obviously.

post #4 of 55

whatsnextmom,  I think I would feel the same.  My son has not been bullied, but there have certainly been times when other kids have treated him badly and hurt his feelings and *I*can't*stand*it*!  When I see it, I feel kicked in the stomach and, though I know I should be adult about it and all, I have a very hard time being compassionate toward the kid who's making my kid feel bad.  And in my former life I was a criminal defense attorney and felt (very strongly, in fact!) that there was good in all people and that the people don't do bad things unless bad things have happened to them.  I still do believe all that, but now I'm also a mama bear.  

 

Anyhow...  as for the OP...  I will have to watch for this.  I actually haven't witnessed or even heard any first hand accounts of the kind of bullying I saw as a child.  I moved around a lot and I think at every school I went to there were one or two kids who just got treated terribly.  Milo goes to a small montessori where they'd never allow anything like that to happen, but I have friends who's kids go to all sorts of schools or don't go to school and I haven't heard of any such stories.  OTOH, I definitely think there're plenty of kids with *issues* and it's hard for me to believe that things could really be changing much in that regard.  I guess I kind of think that it's part of the human condition.  It would be great if it wasn't and there was some sort of progression towards people really treating each other well.

post #5 of 55
The bullying we experienced was all part of growing up. I haven't seen the poor bully mentality, though they do teach the kids why some people bully. I think understanding it is a very good thing. The class environment depends greatly on the Teachers willingness to turn an eye or do something about it. And so far, when anything has come up it's taken care of immediately. DD was getting bullied by a boy in class.
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveJewel View Post

  I have read some stories and known people whose children experienced bullying, but for the most part the kids that were bullied were able to understand that people who bully are people who have experienced a lot of negativity in their life and that the majority of people are not bullies.

 

Do you feel like the world is actually becoming a nicer place through our next generations' attitudes toward one another?  

 

I don't think a bullied kid cares or even should care that a bully has a lot of negativity in their life.  I think they primarily feel angry, hurt and degraded - it is really unlikely (and perhaps not healthy) for them to feel sympathy towards their abuser.  Yes, firm  words, but I was bullied and it is a form of abuse.

 

I expect adults to care about the bulliers and try to help them stop the pattern - but I do not put the expectation of sympathy and understanding on the bullied.

 

I do not know if kids are getting nicer or not - but I do have a couple of points:

 

-kids hide bullying and being teased.  It could be a pride thing, fear of how the parents and school will react, etc - but we know they hide it.  I knew I hid bullying from my parents.  When I think kids seem nicer overall, I simply wonder if I am deluding myself.   Maybe it is a self-protective thing adults do?   I do think my kids have it easier than I did - and I am so happy about it!  Heck, 2 of my kids choose to go to school - something I never would have done.  That is somewhat telling of the environment, I guess.  

 

-cyber bullying is a whole new world.  I think the cyber world can be very inclusive  (they all friend anybody) but can get out of hand quickly. They revert to swearing at each quite easily, and flame wars.  Posting inappropriate stuff about other people in a rage.  Stealing other peoples account information and impersonating them (often to get information or for kicks).  I have seen all of the above - though thankfully my daughter was not involved in most of it.  

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 9/16/11 at 7:16am
post #7 of 55
I'm not sure I've met one person who has not been bullied.
post #8 of 55

Most kids are nice, but the ones who are mean...just MEAN...are so intense.  There's a lot of casual age-appropriate stuff like making clubs and leaving someone out and I won't be your best friend, but the kids who set out to be mean and get a reaction are so above and beyond ANYTHING I would expect from a kid, kid - it's shocking.  There's this mentality of hounding someone until you have just thoroughly, utterly dominated them that I can not understand.  I don't understand how a kid thinks it's ok to be like that and I don't understand how a parent doesn't pull them out of school and make them stay home till they learn to act human.  It's almost like schools are so on top of things that most kids are developing habits of being inclusive and considerate so in reaction, the odd mean kid has to amp it up.

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I'm not sure I've met one person who has not been bullied.


I agree with you (although I think intensity and duration of bullying vary dramatically) but I am a little confused - do you think kids are nicer, meaner or the same as in the past?

post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

  It's almost like schools are so on top of things that most kids are developing habits of being inclusive and considerate so in reaction, the odd mean kid has to amp it up.



I do think schools do a decent job of trying to promote inclusivity and a acceptable job at promoting consideration. I do not think they do a good job of dealing with bullying, though.  Obviously this is only based on what I have seen. YMMV.  

 

My sons school wasn't on top of things when he was being picked on.

 

Indeed my son and most of his friends would not tell the teacher of issues because:

 

-unless the teacher saw it or there were witnesses or the bully admitted it (ha!)  there was little the teacher could do

 

-both parties got pulled into the office and lectured and asked to see "their part" in the ordeal - when really child a was playing nicely, and child b went out of his way to pick on child a...but they were both in trouble.  Likewise if A hit B, and "B" hit back - both would be in equal amounts of trouble.

 

post #11 of 55
I think most kids are nicer. The bullying that goes on in the play grounds is stopped immediately. And most kids are more caring and helpful towards their peers. Now it could just be the school my kids attend, but I've been on the play ground during recess and the bullying is seriously a kinder gentler bullying. Still there but not what I experienced when I was that age.

I think we can attribute that to more attentive parenting. I see parents stepping in and stepping up more than ever. Moms and dads are not letting it continue. The mentality of it will work itself out and it's normal is practically over. Don't we all wish our parents saw what we see now? So far I have a great relationship with the DDs teachers and they let me know what is going on even if the DDs don't. I'm always in their corner and most parents are just as involved. The ability to talk it through with them and help them come to a better understanding is important. I hope they see that we won't allow it to happen to them because it's ugly, and we won't allow them to do it either.
post #12 of 55
My kids have always gone to public schools with a low tolerance for bullies. Even a hint of it can get a kid talking to the counselors and parents being called. I love it.
post #13 of 55

I'm not sure that I think kids are nicer.

 

Just because a school has a policy on paper regarding bullying, it doesn't mean there is much effort to try to enforce it.

 

Just as teachers turned a blind eye to theses issues years ago, they still do today.

 

My son had an issue with two different individuals.  One was a girl, who repeatedly was trying to be physically affectionate with him.....then eventually became more aggressive, and choked him.  The other was a kid who would repeatedly touch him, including on the butt.  Both of these individuals were known to be behavior problems....but no one seemed to monitor them.

 

I'm not sure that I would characterize them as bullies....but my eventual fear is that my son was going to react in a way that the school wouldn't consider appropriate.  Even though my son had told the teacher numerous time....but nothing seemed to really happen.

post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral123 View Post

Even though my son had told the teacher numerous time....but nothing seemed to really happen.

You spoke to the principal, the school counselors... called the parents of the other children? Gave your son some coaching on how to handle them? I find it hard to believe that in this day and age of the anti-bully that this could still go on. The couple of incidents my kids faced were dealt with swiftly and decisively and the incidents were never repeated again by the bully.
post #15 of 55


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post





I do think schools do a decent job of trying to promote inclusivity and a acceptable job at promoting consideration. I do not think they do a good job of dealing with bullying, though.  Obviously this is only based on what I have seen. YMMV.  

 

My sons school wasn't on top of things when he was being picked on.

 

Indeed my son and most of his friends would not tell the teacher of issues because:

 

-unless the teacher saw it or there were witnesses or the bully admitted it (ha!)  there was little the teacher could do

 

-both parties got pulled into the office and lectured and asked to see "their part" in the ordeal - when really child a was playing nicely, and child b went out of his way to pick on child a...but they were both in trouble.  Likewise if A hit B, and "B" hit back - both would be in equal amounts of trouble.

 


I agree. DS's school did act quickly and got the aggressive bullying to stop (once we realized that the teacher felt too sorry for the bully to really make a difference and went to the principal.) I'm very grateful for that. However, that doesn't turn a negative situation into a positive one for the victim. The victim rarely regains their social standing and the bully usually ends up winning class president (there have been studies on that and it's true... in elementary/middle school, popular boys tend to be the most aggressive.) My DS was pretty much invisible the last two years of elementary and that's pretty hurtful too. Certainly, there is a lot of peace talk on campus but it hasn't really changed kids in my opinion. It just changed their vocabulary. I'm not saying it's worthless but I think it's important that we don't make assume that because the words sound good that all the kids are truly embracing them. 

 

I also agree with the earlier post about cyber-bullying has replaced a lot of school yard bullying. My DD gets stalked by this girl she did one show with 4 years ago (when they were only 10.) We stepped in right away and blocked this girl from any access to DD. They haven't even been in the same room for 3 years and I know this girl moved several hours away. Still. after all this time, this girl continually seeks my DD out. Within a month of any new online presence DD has, this girl pops up to trash her. DD is smart, doesn't respond and blocks her. We're fortunate that it hasn't really effected DD who actually laughs about itl. However, we know other girls who have left schools, changed all their numbers (including family home numbers) because of the constant out of school harrassement.

 

 

 

post #16 of 55

I think MDC is a unique sort of place.  

 

Most parents here practice alternative and/or attachment parenting.  I tend to think that most parents on this forum  (Learning at School) are overall happy with their childs school experience or they would change it.  HS, another school, etc.  In short, I think MDC parents are quite aware of options and many have the means to do something different if their school has bullying issues.

 

I am not sure that is the case in the real world and across socio-economic boundaries.

 

So while it is great that most people here have their kids in schools where the kids are nice - it does not really prove kids are getting nicer (although they may be!) it just proves parents on here have their kids in schools with nice kids.

 

 

 

 

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



You spoke to the principal, the school counselors... called the parents of the other children? Gave your son some coaching on how to handle them? I find it hard to believe that in this day and age of the anti-bully that this could still go on. The couple of incidents my kids faced were dealt with swiftly and decisively and the incidents were never repeated again by the bully.

 

 

I didn't speak to the counselor, no, because he seems like he is afraid to act on anything.  My son was told by the "curriculum" that he should tell the teacher, and he did.  The problem is though, that whoever is monitoring the playground isn't really trying very hard to monitor the kids they know that are behavior problems.

 

You can believe whatever you want.  These issues are past....but I could go to the school's playground right now, and probably get video footage of adults huddled together ignoring problematic behaviors.

 

The irony is that my kid tried to handle things as he was told he should.  I'm sure my kid would have been in a heck of a lot of trouble if he would have physically put a stop to butt toucher.  

 

 

post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveJewel View Post

 

Do you feel like the world is actually becoming a nicer place through our next generations' attitudes toward one another?  


I hope so. 

 

But I don't think I believe it as a general truth. To be true, I think people have to become nicer, not just children. People are not nicer. If they were, we wouldn't have the political, social, and environmental problems that exist today, which are no better (and sometimes worse) than in earlier eras. 

 

I think there is greater awareness and more understanding generally. I think people have higher expectations of good behaviour and that has made a difference. There are more resources and alternatives, so when problems arise there are often better solutions than when I was at school. Certainly, I don't witness the kind of outright physical abuse, racial intolerance, and gender bias that I experienced when I was in school. My kids and their friends are pretty quick to jump on any signs of racism, sexism, classism, ageism etc. So perhaps I should be even more hopeful. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I think MDC is a unique sort of place.  

 

Most parents here practice alternative and/or attachment parenting.  I tend to think that most parents on this forum  (Learning at School) are overall happy with their childs school experience or they would change it.  HS, another school, etc.  In short, I think MDC parents are quite aware of options and many have the means to do something different if their school has bullying issues.

 

I am not sure that is the case in the real world and across socio-economic boundaries.

 

So while it is great that most people here have their kids in schools where the kids are nice - it does not really prove kids are getting nicer (although they may be!) it just proves parents on here have their kids in schools with nice kids.

 

 

 

 


 

And yet, I've seen behaviour at MDC that rivals any schoolyard. I don't want to resurrect the controversies from this past year, but if mamas here can act like that to each other, what do we really expect from our kids? And it's nothing compared to the piling on that happens at other message boards. 

 

I really hope that younger generations are kinder, respectful, more tolerant, forgiving, yes, nicer than previous generations. If others are seeing it, that's wonderful and inspiring. I'll keep hoping. 

post #19 of 55
You may very well be right muggle.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral123 View Post



 

 

I The irony is that my kid tried to handle things as he was told he should.  I'm sure my kid would have been in a heck of a lot of trouble if he would have physically put a stop to butt toucher.  

 

 


I taught my kid to say in a very loud voice "stop touching my body part" No one has the right to touch you without your consent. If you speak/yell loud enough... adults will hear and the word butt will get attention. No one wants sexual harassment issues at their school. The staff gets classes on that every year. No school wants any negative attention on that front.


Kathymuggle did have a point in that if you are miserable with your kids school.. you should make a change. As someone who has homeschooled and public schooled as a parent , I can tell you they both have their challenges but you can find a balance for your family needs and your child's needs.
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