From Dr. Jane's Notebook

How to Understand Kids Today!

With the random acts of violence erupting in American high schools, parents scratch their heads wondering just how well they know their own children.

In the early 1960's, one of the classic songs from the hit play "Bye Bye Birdie" exclaimed, "Kids... I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today". Within a few years of its release, this song became even more prophetic as parents scratched their heads over the clothing, philosophies, and politics of their children.

Today, many parents express a similar dismay and lack of understanding of their children. With a sense of helplessness, we scratch our heads over horrific incidents such as that which occurred at Columbine High School. But just as we all claim some of the pride when our local kids excel, we must also recognize the responsibility we bear for our children who "go wrong". So what have we learned about raising children? Here are a few thoughts on the matter.

Unfortunately, children and teenagers represent an underclass in our society. Let’s face it... Kids have no voting rights, no economic viability, and they have fewer privileges than members of most other age groups. While there is no excuse for the criminal actions of those who wish to harm others, regardless of their age group, we must resist the urge to treat all young people like potential criminals. Otherwise, in the effort to exercise more control over our youth, we risk abusing that power by imposing rules which are oppressive. We must remember than any repressed people may eventually rebel against its oppressors.

ęCopyright, 1999, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated June 5, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.