Category: Education


Entitled Spoiled Youth

Just this morning, I read an article posted on the CBC news website (For non-Canadians, that’s “Canadian Broadcasting Corporation”). It talked about how teachers are becoming more and more frustrated by the coddling that their students continue to get.

Steffie Hawrylak-Young, a teacher who has taught in Nova Scotia for almost 30 years, has noticed a shift in how her students deal with schooling, and prepare themselves for college.

“A lot of our young students are very entitled,” Hawrylak-Young told CBC News. “They have probably been used to getting a badge for every single little thing that they do, and they’re very disappointed when they’re being critiqued. In many of our businesses and industries, performance evaluation is very real, and they seem to have a hard time accepting that their performance is not there yet.”

Not being a teacher, but having seen nieces and nephews grow up, and listening to parents talk, this isn’t something new. Kids these days can be quite spoiled and entitled. Sadly, this begins at home.

Many parents around my age (30’s and 40’s) grew up in quite a different environment than kids today. I remember a lot of stuff we did as kids would never be done today because it would be considered dangerous, or wrong. Climbing around on old cars, in old barns and abandoned buildings, going by ourselves anywhere, and so on. These were things we did because our parents didn’t micro-manage our lives. Sure there may have been some actual danger or threat to our lives, doing the things we did. But we learned a lot about ourselves and our world by doing such things. Plus, we had a lot of fun doing it! It gave us a sense of self-reliance to play without constant supervision.

Today, I’ve heard stories about parents being told they are bad for letting their kids go to the park alone. That is, if they can actually go anywhere without their lives being constantly controlled and managed. If they aren’t in some group activity, then they are doing extra work from school that should have been done there if they were given the time there to do it.

When kids don’t have any of these things keeping them busy, they shut out the world to play on their pods, phones, tablets, or whatever. Parents try to control that too, but it was them that gave in to peer pressure and constant whining by the kids themselves to get them these electronic life suckers. Even if they don’t have their own phones to play with, they just pester the parents until they get to use their parent’s phone.

Why do parents seemingly cave in so easily? Peer pressure from other parents who give their kids whatever they want because when the parents were kids, they had nothing, and they want their kids to have whatever it was that they didn’t.

One of the parents I knew stood fast on their kids not having their own TVs and computers in their room. I thought this was good, despite the fact that I had the opposite up-bringing. In my case though, I was always an introvert. The kids in this case weren’t. But, in time, the parent relented and eventually, all the kids had TVs and computers in their room and you never saw them.

I don’t know if its parents today not having the stubbornness that my generation of parents did, or if its society judging them on how they raise kids today affecting what and how they do things. But what this article, and many others have observed, is that many kids today are not prepared for life beyond high school.

Luckily, I have seen one batch of nieces and nephews enter adulthood with decent heads on their shoulders. Definitely not perfect (but who is?), but they are at least somewhat ready for adult life. The other batch are still young, and hopefully will be taught what is needed. Although spoiled and hounded, if they turn out like their father, they’ll do well.

That cliché, about “children being our future” has never been more true than it is today. But if we don’t give them the correct education and skills to get by, there may be a generation of self-centered, spoiled brats who think they should be awarded for everything they do and expect everything to just be given to them.

 

To read the entire CBC News article for yourself, click… Nova Scotia Entitled Students

In my home province of Ontario (which is up in Canada, for those who don’t know), the Ontario Ministry of Education has updated the sexual education curriculum. The last time it was updated was 1998. Unfortunately, there has been an uproar from parents who deem the changes too explicit or not the kind of material they want their children exposed to. Mostly, it has been religious groups that have been the most vocal, but it also seems that some parents want their children to be under-educated about something as serious as sexual health and education.

I was hearing a lot of stuff back and forth about what was being taught, so I thought I would have a look for myself. I went to the Ontario Ministry of Education and downloaded a PDF of the curriculum for grades 1-8 to see what all the fuss was about. What were they teaching that would piss off so many parents.

The biggest stink I heard was about kids in grade 1 learning about identifying various parts of male and female genitalia. There were rumours flying around about graphic pictures to be used, which has since been refuted. I mean, c’mon, graphic pictures?! Seriously? Who believes this shit?! It seems that from what I read, its pretty standard stuff. And honestly, if I had kids in school, I’d want them to know the proper names for things, instead of doing what parents usually do, like calling a penis a “pee-pee”, or a vagina a “who-who”, or some other stupid bullshit like that.

As I skimmed through the curriculum, especially towards grades 7 and 8, I noticed two things of interest.

The first thing I noticed was the emphasis on communication about sex with elders or people you trust. It talked about respecting yourself and others with regards to sex, as well and understanding one’s feeling about sex. They also talked about abstinence from sex, and the consequences of having sex (pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases).

The second thing I noticed was a curriculum that taught students about “gender identity” (IE: male, female, transgender, transsexual, intersex), “gender expression”, and “sexual orientation” (IE: heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual), as well as other identifying factors that could help “individuals of all identities and orientations develop a positive self-concept.”

Now I know that different teachers will teach differently, but if they followed this new curriculum closely, it seems like they would be teaching some pretty important things about sexuality that need to be taught these days.

Some of the parents seem to think its all going to be about graphic sex, and saying that having sex is ok. Well, I hate to break it to those parents, but those kids probably already think its ok to have sex, and are willing to try it out to see what happens. Wouldn’t those parents want their kids to have better knowledge about sex, so maybe they wouldn’t go around exploring?

Personally, I think it is the conservative-minded parents objecting to their kids learning about gender identity and such. After all, if they are God-fearing people, then they would fear homosexuality the most! It didn’t help that there were more rumours going around that kids taking the course would engage in homosexual activity…

I have to sidebar this for a second and ask, who in their right FUCKING mind would think that this would happen in school? I mean, this isn’t France or Lolita’s School For Horny Kids. This is a regular, public school! I don’t know who is stupider, the person who created the rumour, or the complete morons who believed it! ARGH!

I digress…

These Right-wing conservatives probably fear that their kids will “get gay” just by learning about it in school. They believe their children should never learn about, understand, or, heaven forbid, accept homosexuals, transgendered, transsexuals, or any one else that is too different from them.

Seriously though, if religious parents don’t want their kids in these updated sexual education classes, then they should have the right for them to be pulled from class. After all, this is a free society. I just feel sorry for those kids who will be stunted in their knowledge of one of the most important things in our lives, knowledge of reproduction. The reason for their stupidity? Their parents, who believed rumours and feared what they are afraid to talk to their own kids about.

Currently, there are parents protesting in front of schools about this new sexual education curriculum while their kids stay at home, not getting an education, and probably surfing the internet wondering what the fuss about this sex stuff is all about. Maybe, by causing this stink, these moronic parents are allowing their kids to find frighteningly ease-to-access porn sites so they can learn about the sex the entirely wrong way.

Way to go closed-minded, prudish parents, you just screwed up your kids even more.

Chapter TK

Question Everything

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Kate Heartfield

writer and editor

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