Skip to comments.What’s Wrong with America’s Kids? A Look at Christmas Then (1913) and Now (2013)
Posted on 12/21/2013 7:17:24 AM PST by IbJensen
Lets face it: There is something very, very wrong with kids today. It seems as though there are hordes of young psychopaths running around, wreaking havoc on others.
Two recent examples, and the reasons that I refer to these young people as psychopaths, are the Knockout Game in which a mob of youths target a random victim and punch him or her in the face, hoping to knock them unconscious with one blow, and the boy in Texas who got away with the murder of 4 innocent people because he was too wealthy to be punished like a normal person would have been.
Psychopathy is defined as either an aspect of personality or as a personality disorder, characterized by enduring dissocial or antisocial behavior, a diminished capacity for empathy or remorse, and poor behavioral controls or fearless dominance. (source)
Lots of research has been done exploring whether psychopaths are born or created by circumstances. In the case of these teens, I believe that our society has created them. They have been raised with an entitlement mentality. They have parents who either ignore them and are not present, or who give in to every whim and constantly try to give them the wow factor, forever upping the ante with bigger and better gifts and experiences. Kids, even those who are mainly ignored and neglected are still constantly stimulated with television programs, movies, the internet, and cell phones. Their needs are met electronically and this removes the very vital element of empathy from their lives.
When every day is a trip to Disneyworld, how are you going to be satisfied with climbing a tree and finding animals in the clouds that float by?
When your entertainment consists of stealing cars, running down hookers, and shooting into crowds of people, like one popular video game, how will you be entertained by going skating or taking a walk in the woods?
I came across an article about the Christmas wish lists in 1913 versus this years wish lists, and I believe that the list says it all. The differences illustrated in these two lists define our society, then and now.
In 1913, the yearned-for items were mostly simple ones. Many of them could be homemade by a loved one who cared enough to take the time to do so. The toys on the lists were imagination toys that required kids to playact scenarios in their minds.
3. Rocking horse
6. Toy train
Fast forward to 2013. The most popular toys on the list are electronic stuffed animal that dispenses affection and companionship on command. Personally, the only items on this list I would have ever gotten my kids were the dollhouse, the Nerf Gun, and the Lego.
1. Furby Boom
2. Teksta Robotic puppy
3. LeapPad Ultra
4. Flying Fairy
5. Bug Hugs Elmo
6. Barbie Dream house
7. Giggly Monkey
8. Nerf Gun
9. Ninja Turtles
When you are forever seeking a greater wow factor in your belongings and your experiences, youre doomed to either be completely unsatisfied or to turn into the kind of little psychopath that we see every time we look at the news. If you are always looking for some type of excitement and stimulation that tops the last episode, then you will never be content with simplicity. If you look to your electronic devices for companionship and entertainment, you cant fully develop a love and empathy for your fellow man. Those random people on the street simply become a character in the video game that is your life, and causing them pain and harm means as little to you as pushing the buttons on your video game controller.
This Christmas, instead of going broke and focusing on the number of extravagant packages under the tree, focus on experiences. Focus on small simple things that you cant buy from the store. Homemade candy and cookies. Singing Christmas carols together. Going out with hot cocoa and looking at Christmas lights in a brightly decorated neighborhood. Have a snowball fight.
Children who grow up with traditions and with families who are present do not grow up to punch innocent strangers in the face or mow down pedestrians without regard. They develop qualities like empathy and kindness. They become productive members of society.
The problem is that God is no longer the highly important center of everything like He was prior to 1962. Jesus said, 'Without me you can do nothing, with me you can do all things'.
Today the leftist portion of our declining society considers young boys as vermin to be drugged and emotionally beat into girl-like sub humans.
What has changed, is that everything is now made in China.
Bring back American goods.
Wrong with kids? Who raised them? Today’s kids are just the fruits of 60’s radicalism.
Poor parenting since the 60’s has done it. 60’s parenting psychology that has continued through today basically encouraged them to never say no to their children because it will damage their ego. Peer pressure causes these parents to literally never say no to their children. Narcissists are being raised in droves.
We posted just about them same thing within a minute. It is soo true that the 60’s psychology has done it.
The real issue is that we are now a much more affluent nation.
Add to that modern technology, easy credit and the availability of nearly any item at any time.
Children used to wait for their birthday or Christmas for that special item. Now they can have it at will.
While this has many bad aspects such as creating immediate gratification and reducing the concept of saving and delayed gratification it is also a result of the benefits of a capitalist system. All those things that were once the exclusive domain of the 1% are now available to almost everyone.
I looked at the picture and immediately thought that many of today’s kids are missing a united family. I overheard several parents at a sporting event the other evening.. all discussing the difficulty of “splitting” up the kids for Christmas Eve, day, New Year’s Eve/day between the divorced parents/grandparents. A little girl (my daughter’s friend) whispered to me, “I’ll be glad when the holidays are over”. Poor thing must feel like she is being torn apart...
>>What has changed, is that everything is now made in China.
>>Bring back American goods.
Corporations sent those jobs to China to jack up share prices.
That caused higher unemployment.
That allows them to say that “market forces” allow them to pay their workers less money for more work every year.
Meanwhile the stock market is the only “prosperity” left in the US (and that is mostly due to gummint bail-out money).
I can’t afford to “Buy American” anymore because I make my money from my labor and not from my excess money.
But, none of that has anything to do with the OP.
Expensive,over-the-top, nothing-but-the-best for our kids generation.
Respectfully, all of this has a great deal to do with the original post.
Thanks for your reply.
America needs to make things once again. Bring back manufacturing to America.
In the meantime to stop importing everything, let’s immediately start charging people to import stuff.
How much taxation is appropriate, is clearly a matter for discussion, but we have been de-industrializing what had just one generation ago been the world’s foremost manufacturing economy so extensively that now virtually every store in America is simply a sales hub for stuff actually made by Chinese employees on Chinese manufacturing lines.
Bring back American jobs now.
My grandmother(born in the 1920s) told me that she would be thrilled to get a few oranges for Christmas, which was unthinkable to me. When I was a kid, GI Joe, Transformers, and video games later on were all the rage.
If I gave my children Oranges for Christmas, they would probably get pissed off and throw them at each other.
Children used to wait for their birthday or Christmas for that special item.”
My children each received four gifts: Something they want (not expensive), something they need, something to wear, something to read. We have continued the tradition with the grandchildren and it works well. Two Chinese families I know give each of their children one small gift for Christmas. A larger, more expensive gift is given when the final report card arrives each May, providing they have done well and performed at an excellent level.
My dad just turned 91 two days ago. On the path of life, he’s made that last ‘turn’ and is headed “Home” (congestive heart failure). I am talking to him a lot and getting him to recall his childhood memories for me and I am documenting them in a private blog for myself, the grandkids, and the rest of the family. We’ve been talking about Christmas .... which when he was growing up, was also during the Depression Years.
A significant observation .... people in those days, including kids, had to WORK hard (manual labor) to SURVIVE. There was not all this free time people/kids have today. Working for the survival of the family made early men out of boys and women out of girls. Responsibility was something you lived, not read about in books as a characteristic you should have. It was all “on the job” i.e. “living life” training.
My dad’s sister shouldered an ax and went out and chopped down a cedar tree. They decorated it with a precious few glass ornaments my grandmother had & with paper chains made out of wallpaper samples in catalogs. They did have silver tinsel ... placed individually on the tree ‘til it shimmered “like a waterfall” (dad’s description). When Christmas was over, each tinsel icicle was removed and carefully laid out in a box for next year. In this day and age, the tinsel stays on the trees, all the way to the dump.
On Christmas Eve, the kids would put out their plates at the table where they ate their meals. In the morning, they would find an orange, a couple pieces of hard candy, a chocolate drop or two .... and being the youngest, dad might have a pair of socks or a 5 cent tube of bb’s for his gun. That was IT .... and they were GRATEFUL.
This year, I made virtually all my Christmas presents .... I’m trying hard to have an old-fashioned Christmas by taking a lot, if not most, of the commercialism out of it for me personally. It’s the best Christmas I’ve had in years .... more satisfaction, more anticipation .... and more joy. I can’t wait for our family celebration (tomorrow, to accommodate folks traveling). Merry Christmas to all .... and I think we need to take Christmas back ... to where it is something meaningful again ... and doing so is a choice.
“The real issue is that we are now a much more affluent nation.”
God does warn a number of times not to let wealth corrupt you or your nation.
you see that “person”, with hat on his head, it was called a father, a man....see where he is standing behind the family, backing up the family unit, with strength...
>>Bring back American jobs now.
I agree with that 100%. But, the key is not “Buy American”. People who work for a living cannot afford to pay even more for the things they buy. As you said, make it expensive to import goods. That would be a good start. But, if the full cost of those tariffs is then passed on to working people, then what has it done except to make us poorer?
This isn’t a problem that is solved with a bumper sticker slogan. And the real solution cannot even be stated on FR.
The only thing wrong with American kids is their parents.
>>you see that person, with hat on his head, it was called a father, a man....see where he is standing behind the family, backing up the family unit, with strength...
And that is the real reason for all of America’s family problems. Even in two-parent families, the father is ridiculed as a fool by popular culture. He also lives in fear that his wife could declare that she is “unfulfilled” or that he is “controlling” and suddenly he will find himself thrown out of the family and forced to use lawyers to be able to just spend time with his children. So, many fathers try to “out-mom” the mother and that leaves children with no authority figure to learn from.
One look at the picture brought me back to the late 40’s, I had that same red hat. The picture isn’t 1913, more like 1950. It was a time when a family unit was a unit. That unit included all the relatives, who in most instances lived close by. Unlike today with all it’s dysfunctional families spread out all over the country. They redefined the meaning of Family and in the process destroyed what was so near and dear to all of us. I doubt if we will ever return to that kind of family life again.
The US is still the world’s leader in manufacturing.
Although many jobs have gone to China or Mexico, etc. the real culprit in the decline of manufacturing labor is automation.
My mom was born in 1921. She told me they would each get a stocking with candy, orange and maybe a little toy. They were happy. Kids these days are never happy, always wanting more.
I don’t know about that.
Last I saw China had taken the global lead, and all the indicators are on China’s side for continued growth.
Bring back manufacturing to America.
For an entire generation we have been firing Americans and sending their jobs to Chinese workers, then bringing back the stuff they make, to buy right here.
Scr*w that. Bring back the jobs.
I think more than anything, Christmas has really been influenced by the retail industry.
I am the survivor of divorced parents....and have major issues around Christmas...being torn away from my grandparents when I was young scarred me forever....not to mention my maternal grandfather died on Christmas Eve day when I was 6...so many issues, so little time....
“.. have major issues around Christmas..”
I really wonder about many of the children today and how they will celebrate/see Christmas in the future. The little girl just “wanted it over”. No excitement in her eyes.. no real plans to “enjoy” her time off of school. She and her brother will be with their Mom till Christmas Eve and then with their Dad/new wife. Then they will spend time with paternal Grandparents for two days (while Dad/new Mom take a mini-vacation without them) only to go off to New Jersey for two days with the maternal grandparents. The best I can hope for them is that they grow up together despite all the splitting and are close siblings in the future.
Only white boys, the vermin leftists to hold their coalition together fear touching “boys of color” This I know from watching my overpaid administrators have double standards at our local mega HS.
And who raised the kids of the 60’s and left the door wide open to cultural change?
The greatest generation America ever knew survived the Depression and won WWII. When they came home to start families they wanted their kids to have it better than they did. As a kid living in my hometown bubble I witnessed this first hand.
One example I vividly recall is a proud honored WWII vet purposely keeping his son out of Vietnam so he would not have to face the same hell he did. This kid was a perpetual student throughout the war, and became a liberal professor at and lib university. Just one example.
Many HS graduation gifts were new cars in my hometown. I believe this was totally unheard of before the 60’s, except maybe for the extravagantly rich.
I am not dishonoring all the good this generation did, but I am disgusted they let their guard down raising their own kids with such permissiveness and ignoring the values of our society that they fought so hard to keep.
Everybody here seems so down on modern families and kids. Our personal experiences are quite different and I think yours probably are, too. We’ve enjoyed wholesome family life and so have most of our friends and large circle of acquaintances. All of our kids and their friends are in their early to late 20s. They are all great people: caring, kind, hard working, and accomplished. Several have gotten married and a few have kids of their own already.
I can only think of a couple of divorces in our wide circle. There has been tragedy: a friend of my son lost his Dad in a bicycling accident and our wonderful Boy Scout Troop leader lost his son in a sea kiting accident.
We taught the kids to be wise with money — we raised our family in a modest 1,800 sq foot ranch house built in 1952 with some improvements, but no major remodel and we’ve driven cars to 200k. The kids all had jobs in their early teens and learned a strong work ethic. The kids all have incredibly wealthy friends, but never complain and they all understand our situation.
Life is good and so is the next generation. Sometimes you just have to tune out all the naysaying around us.
Well....my first marriage ended in divorce, but I swore (silently to myself) that my son would not live the life I did....my ex’s family was a good family, and I made sure he didn’t get yanked around at Christmas ....and now he is married with kids, and we are one state apart, and I still make sure he is NOT yanked around, so his kids (this is his wife’s 3rd marriage - 3 of 4 kids are not his) do not have to suffer...it means I have had to suffer...but, that’s the way it is.
I do think we made mistakes in entering so-called free trade agreements. The existence of a WTO or other supranational bodies to oversee trade is an attack on liberty. We now have managed trade, not free trade. Also, giving MFN status to China was, and is, a sign that the US no longer lives up to its own ideals. Despite what neoconservatives say, I see no evidence that the rise of a Chinese middle class is bringing about political freedom there. Economic freedom and political freedom do not go hand in hand.
This said, the economy is different than at then end of WWII.
The information economy has transformed commerce. Every company, even the smallest companies, use technology to conduct ordinary business. The jobs needed to support the infrastructure are characterized as “service” jobs. In fact, the product of these jobs is a hybrid of good and service.
Of course, there has been a strong effort to offshore these jobs to India. The jobs where this was first attempted were the true service occupations, such as administrators of corporate systems or data resources. More recently, firms have attempted to offshore value-added work such as management consulting or business analysis.
Take, for example, my own field of analytics, which I have done in a variety of industries for the past 20 years. In the past eight years, I have seen a vigorous effort to offshore work in my field, the idea being that there are well-educated people in India who can do the work much cheaper.
Unfortunately, the offshored work product is often of much lower quality than what I would insist upon getting from my own staff. The BPO firms count upon the ignorance of their clients - that they don’t know what quality looks like or what questions to ask regarding methodology.
Further, projects done through this channel are no longer much cheaper than doing work onshore and in-house- perhaps 80% or 90% of the cost of a regular employee - not a cost savings when you account for the rework necessary with a BPO firm.
I’ve come to the conclusion that offshoring, whether to China for manufacturing or India for information services, is not being driven by a desire for greater profits. Given the risks, it really isn’t cheaper to conduct business this way.
Offshoring is being driven by a set of crypto-religious imperatives, a social justice ideal that ignores business reality or societal impact. In other words, “it’s the right thing to do”, just like setting up a diversity industry within each company.
I hope conservatives didn’t think that Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions” would stop at the security gates of our corporations. The leftists are in charge. Their religion is the cultural currency of our fallen republic.
My father used to get oranges and socks.
In my new position, I see pediatric patients pretty much non-stop all day.
Some of the kids are delightful. But I am almost embarrassed for some of these parents over the way some of their children behave.
These kids are rude, disruptive, incredibly jaded, smart mouthed and they rule the roost — only because the stupid parents LET THEM.
Parents don’t know their own authority anymore. They let these kids walk all over them. If the kid doesn’t want a certain medicine or treatment, they don’t get it ...even if it’s best for them. It’s all about their “wants” and avoiding any sort suffering, even if it’s only temporary.
The worse thing is ...you don’t enjoy their company a bit and it’s just a huge relief once they all just leave.
Parents need to know . ..you are not doing your child a favor by raising them to be spoiled rotten ninnies. No one is going to LIKE them ...or want them around. They are indeed “spoiled” human beings. It’s just sad.
I wish I could say this to all parents: if they want to throw a fit, LET THEM ...let them tantrum until they can tantrum no more. Shut the door and ignore them. Eventually they will learn that tantrums get them nowhere. Reward GOOD behavior ...not bad behavior. It’s basic behavioral training for crying out loud. People have forgotten it.
Heartwarming and sounds quite a bit like my background.
A very good contribution to this thread.
Every generation has been written about as the ruination of all that is good and decent (check out what the Romans and the Greeks were saying about their youth thousands of years ago).
Yes there are bad children but they are not now, nor ever, the majority. We hear about the ‘dramatic’ cases. It is like working in an ER one gets to the point where everything is an emergency and yet that is not the truth.
Children want what is intriguing. In 1913 that which intrigues was far different than what intrigues today. Blame flush toilets, hot and cold running water, electrification of the home, affordable automobiles, and lots of other inventions.
Every one has the opportunity to make a choice as to how they will celebrated Christmas. I don’t need to blame lefties or government for the greed that is intrinsic in man’s nature
What’s wrong with the KIDS, you ask?
Well, for one thing, it’s not the kids doing the purchasing, it’s the parents.
Secondly, I don’t see walnuts, oranges, handkerchiefs or mittens being marketed as unique, must-have christmas gifts.
In 1913 ‘’tv’’ wasn’t as influential as it is today considering it wasn’t developed yet.
And parents aren’t any different today with regard to wanting to supply the kinds of things a kid might enjoy at christmas.
And finally, christmas greed as we know it today was not the cultural norm back in 1913. It’s a much more recent marketing invention.
In 1913, there was more celebration to the birth of a man they called savior, and the bowl of nuts and oranges was more likely to be an extravagant part of the family dinner after church, IF they were fortunate. And home made mittens were a necessary part of agrarian life, a must have item when you had to go outdoors to feed your livestock, and shovel your way to the horse carriage lane, or to school.
So what’s wrong with the KIDS???
Nothing. Look beyond the kids.
My father (born 1920, passed away 2008) would always look at what I got at Christmas and tell us that they got oranges and candy, and thought it was the greatest thing in the world.
A lot of that 1913 list wasn’t actually that simple in 1913. Before assembly lines manufactured goods really were made by hand and represented a lot of man hours. And perishable goods like fresh fruit and candy with the transportation network we had then weren’t easy to come by, especially in winter when travel gets harder.
Astounding story in WSJ this week that a Chinese yarn manufacturer is moving to S. Carolina because the cost equation has reversed.
That story is behind a paywall but I found another version: