I think there are three things:
1-Children are out in the world a lot more now. Once upon a time, when I was a kid, we didn't go along when mom went to the grocery store, once we were 6ish or older. We stayed home, either with an older sibling, or with a neighbor keeping an eye on us now and then. We walked places, and we did less scheduled classes anyway, which meant kids had less interaction with random strangers, who nowadays give kids the stink eye for just being kids.
2-Correspondingly, I think adults behave worse and are selfish. When I was a kid, people were pretty tolerant, when I was a child and when I was in high school and college babysitting. This may have had something to do with kids not being out in general public as much. But I don't recall anyone being outright insanely rude to me or younger siblings on airplanes, for example. I don't think we behaved any differently on planes than my kids do. (My siblings are much younger than me, so I remember pretty well being on a plane with 4 year old brothers). Fliers have been utterly crazy toward my kids, and to strangers kids when I've flown without my kids. Absolutely insane turning around screaming about how the kid is kicking their seat (that was when my child was asleep in a car seat that faces backward, making it physically impossible for him to kick the guy's seat). I rolled my eyes, said "really? You know his feet are facing away from you, right?" "Well, stop him from kicking my seat." "Sir, the laws of physics are already 'stopping him." I'm pretty sure it was the full grown airhead adult sitting next to him who kept bouncing in her chair, hence moving his seat, but he decided it had to be the sleeping 18 month old who was FACING THE OTHER WAY because he would never think badly of a hot babe!
3-Children are different, because they're treated differently than children in other generations, generally taught that their opinions are extremely important. Many kids talk to adults more. I've had kids who want to tell me their life story at the playground as an explanation for why they want to play with my kids' toy even though we're leaving. Once it was a kid who went on and on about how much she loved the particular food we had in our lunch. I'd never have done that as a kid. (My kid would never do that either). But it's not *that* big a deal. In those cases, I just tell the kids "Huh. You need to go talk to your mom/dad/nanny about that (and give me the toy first.)"
There are some entitled, opinionated, annoying kids. But there always were. I don't think there are actually that many more of them. I think adults run into kids more often, kids talk to adults more often, and adults are more selfish and poorly behaved. All that said, I think in the 70s, people thought kids were out of control, etc. It's a tale as old as time to grump about the young.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
Last edited by LitMom; 06-10-2014 at 07:08 AM.