Misplaced blame


#1

Does anybody feel that young people today take too much blame for how they act in today's society? I'm 20 years old and can see how many of my friends give off that vibe of being "good for nothing hipsters with tattoos and red hair".

I've been doing a little thinking, and have been wondering how they (or we) got to be this way. The conclusion I've come to is that about 70% of my friends have divorced parents, and on top of that, the parents are never around. No wonder people act the way they do.

Does anybody see this hypocrisy besides me??? The younger generation is who they have been growing up to be! It's not the kids faults, but the parents!
What do you think?


#2

I could not care less about your (as in your generation not you personally) tattoo, hair, t-shirt or music, but I care a lot about rudeness, profanity, inappropriate behavior in public, the way you talk to each other, the way you talk to your elders, and there is nothing, nothing, about having divorced parents, or no parents, or parents whose example has been less than stellar that justifies such behavior.

these are excuses, not reasons

I am talking specifically about people who come to my classes, who apply to us for jobs in our business, who I have to deal with in stores and other business, who I work with through the university and so forth. Quite frankly I have never seen any of the young people who exhibit these behaviors take the least little bit of responsibility for their actions, or for the bad things in their lives that result from their own actions, choices and behaviors, so on that grounds no I do not agree with your thesis.


#3

Speaking as one of those divorced parents, I have spent more than 19 years teaching children how to groom themselves, decorate themselves and conduct themselves modestly and responsibly and respectfully.

By the time you’re 20, you own your own actions. You don’t get to blame divorce for your own bad choices when you’re 20.

Especially if you ignored the boring dull responsible parent and played the other parent off against them to get your own irresponsible way.

I see that as just another way to shirk responsibility for your own actions. So you can tell that to the young people who want to spend the rest of their lives blaming their parents for their own bad behavior.


#4

Your generation is no different than the thousands that came before you!

We all will stand before Jesus at our death, alone, naked & without any excuses!

i am a West Point Graduate & we were taught from day one “NO EXCUSE SIR!”

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#5

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:184782"]
Does anybody feel that young people today take too much blame for how they act in today's society? I'm 20 years old and can see how many of my friends give off that vibe of being "good for nothing hipsters with tattoos and red hair".

I've been doing a little thinking, and have been wondering how they (or we) got to be this way. The conclusion I've come to is that about 70% of my friends have divorced parents, and on top of that, the parents are never around. No wonder people act the way they do.

Does anybody see this hypocrisy besides me??? The younger generation is who they have been growing up to be! It's not the kids faults, but the parents!
What do you think?

[/quote]

You can blame your parents for your childhood, but you are responsible for your adulthood.


#6

This is very true. There are many other examples for young people than their own parents. That has always been the case. Yes, the epidemic of divorce has caused many serious problems in our society. However, anyone 20 and up who is the least concerned about how she is perceived or how she was raised, is old enough to find out how to change herself and help her friends do the same.


#7

Having grown up without a father in the house I can tell you that it took me longer to figure out some things, but any decisions I made or actions I took along the way were mine. So if there are any young people thinking to blame their parents I would tell them to take ahold of their lives, become responsible and move forward.

God bless


#8

And those divorced parents in turn turned out they way they did because of their genes and environment, and so on back to the beginning. Might as well go and blame the Big Bang for all bad behavior in the world.

I don’t believe people have free will at all, but I still blame those who behave badly. I consider the reasons for why they are the way the are to be irrelevant, whatever the causes, they are a badly behaving person and insofar as they are the most recent cause in a very long chain of causes of some bad outcome, they can be blamed.


#9

Yes, parents should be blamed/praised for their children's actions. In the Old Testament, there are a few verses (maybe Psalms or Wisdom) that actually discuss how specifically raising a child will benefit/curse the parents when the child is grown. Couple this with Freud and observational experience, and it's obvious that a human's upbringing is the single biggest predictor of his life.

On a practical level, society has to have an arbitrary age where a person assumes responsibility. On a moral level, parents should take more than 50% of the blame. This is one of the key problems with today's society. People don't parent anymore.

Just the other day, I was watching one of those court shows where the grandmother wanted to take away her grandchildren from her daughter. Amazing. She didn't raise her original daughter and now she wants a second attempt with her daughter's daughter. Why should anyone expect a different result?

I rarely see this cycle of immoral parenting turnaround. One of the few things that can change people for the better is Christ/God but that is, indeed, rare.

Why do you think the schools do everything in their power to indoctrinate people from early ages all the way through college? It's incredibly effective and long lasting. Of course, most people will simply rationalize their children's actions and compartmentalize them; it's much easier on the mind and the soul that way.


#10

Heh. Can't not agree with individual responsibility and can't not agree with Freud. There's a reason why divorce wasn't an option and there's a reason why people were not supposed to have children out of wedlock and there's a good reason why same-sex couples are still not allowed to adopt.

And there's a reason why people do things, not all of this reason consisting in predetermined conditioning.

Personally, I blame the no-stress upbringing (i.e. no prohibitions, no punishment) for growing up narcissistic pansies.


#11

[quote="Nec5, post:9, topic:184782"]
Couple this with Freud and observational experience, and it's obvious that a human's upbringing is the single biggest predictor of his life.

[/quote]

I don't know if you can say this though, genetics has a lot to do with who people become.

It would be great if it were ethical to separate identical twins at birth, raise them in drastically different environments, and compare outcomes later on.


#12

I actually don’t think “blame” is a very good word in many cases, either for parents or their grown children. I think that definitely, some parents make mistakes, and some don’t ensure a good lifestyle for their children. But blaming them is not really productive. I I think it makes more sense to get pastoral counseling and/or secular therapy if there have been problems with family life and the grown child is suffering b/c of it. It’s possible to say that you wish your parents had raised you differently/better, without assigning blame.

However there are some cases where blame is appropriate. When a parent or both parents physically or sexually abuse a child, or they know about abuse from another person and deny it b/c they are not willing to take a stand, they are blameworthy. No child deserves abuse. I also think parents deserve blame when they create an environment that is chaotic and violent, even if it is not directly abusive. This includes people who get into nasty fights and break things and etc., as well as parents with bad substance-abuse problems who can’t control their temper. Finally, I think parents should be blamed for neglect if that exists. For example there are some parents who don’t take the time or money to feed their children, and they leave even very young children to fend for themselves.

Those are kind of extreme examples though. I would think that most families don’t fit any of the above.

However I do think parenting is much harder than it used to be. I think the influence of this culture is toxic in many ways. For that reason, It’s important to give parents a break. Parenting today means fighting the tide of sex and violence that’s all around us: everything from violent and sexually explicit TV shows to sexually provocative clothing for very young girls. This makes the job of parenting harder than it should be.


#13

aball,

you and me both and everyone we ever met has a tendency to view our failures and esp sin THIS way:

ccc387

Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.


#14

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:184782"]
Does anybody feel that young people today take too much blame for how they act in today's society? I'm 20 years old and can see how many of my friends give off that vibe of being "good for nothing hipsters with tattoos and red hair".

[/quote]

I feel they take too little. I feel that it is a generation of blamelessness and entitlement. Tattoos and red hair are not a problem. Being disrespectful and expecting the world to hand everything to you in a certain way, never taking responsibility and playing the victim too frequently are the real problems.

To give you some perspective, I am 23 and am in the age bracket for this so called "entitled generation." I also teach high school, so my students are of the age that they are part of it too. I cannot tell you how dreadful it is to work with and try to teach people who feel the world owes them and nothing is their fault.

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:184782"]
I've been doing a little thinking, and have been wondering how they (or we) got to be this way. The conclusion I've come to is that about 70% of my friends have divorced parents, and on top of that, the parents are never around. No wonder people act the way they do.

[/quote]

Yes parents and the family is one of the primary agents of socialization, but divorce may be affecting people in a different way than you would guess. On the one hand you get some people who are spoiled by both sides battling for their affection and that could be where this lazy, entitled blamelessness comes from.

On the other hand we see that children of baby boomers (one of the most divorce crazy generations- possibly because they saw so many of their parents stay in unhappy marriages) are more likely to be very cautious and marry later. Divorce has not scared children of divorce off of marriage, only made them very cautious and less willing to divorce.

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:184782"]
Does anybody see this hypocrisy besides me??? The younger generation is who they have been growing up to be! It's not the kids faults, but the parents!
What do you think?

[/quote]

It is not hypocrisy, it is life. This happens each go-round and is not unique to you or I. The blame game is futile.

As a sociology teacher though I'll give you a thumbs up for recognizing the role of family as an agent of sociolization. :thumbsup:


#15

Well, I do think that there has been a trend in parenting to be over-protective. (Sometimes called Helicopter Parenting) Shielding children from blame, consequences, disappointments and responsibility.

I have a theory that it has to do with parental guilt - maybe over a divorce, or working too much. Too much emphasis on making life happy and easy and not wanting to be the bad guy. I also think there is a tendency for parents to see their kids as a direct reflection of themselves, so they need to deflect any criticism of the kids away - “My child would NEVER do that!” even when faced with evidence, because they feel that the accusation is actually against them: “You’re a rotten parent!”. I think bullying is at epidemic levels for this reason as well.

That said – for adult children, it’s time to “Rise above your raising.”


#16

[quote="flyingfish, post:11, topic:184782"]
I don't know if you can say this though, genetics has a lot to do with who people become.

It would be great if it were ethical to separate identical twins at birth, raise them in drastically different environments, and compare outcomes later on.

[/quote]

Ah, but I do not believe in the bad seed theory.

Inclined perhaps. Tendency perhaps. It's the old nature/nurture argument. Genetics have too often become the latest excuse for people's immoral behavior.


#17

I wouldn’t look at it as an excuse. As I said earlier, I don’t think people are able to act in any other way than they act to begin with, but even if their desires, thoughts, and choices are determined by their genes and environment you can still hold them responsible as organisms who engaged in particular actions.


#18

Ah, but how do you come to a judgment that is fair if everything is beyond human control. In the end, who decides and why?


#19

I’m not sure what you mean, I think people will decide what they will decide also because of genetic and environmental factors.


#20

There are two factors that I see as contributing to entitlement, which have not been mentioned.

One is that the rich are getting richer in the USA, and the poor are getting poorer. It is more difficult, sometimes much more, to get a good, well-paying, stable job than it used to be a few decades ago.

The other factor is the very high cost of college/university and the need for many people to take out huge amounts of money in student loans.

I think both those factors can lead to entitlement b/c students know they are expected to perform at high levels and also distinguish themselves in a lot of extracurricular activities. The message is that you won’t make it in life unless you do this. Some students may be rebelling about these pressures by sitting back, not working, and feeling like teachers owe them good grades, instead of the other way around, that they should be working hard to earn their grades.

Student loans can contribute to this b/c college costs so much, and some young people are in debt for so long, that they basically feel like they have paid for their degree, whether they work in class or not. So just showing up, or sometimes not even that, is good enough to get a good grade. I have read that if students who think that way are challenged on it, they get angry and say that they’ve paid for teachers’ services.

I think those ways of coping show entitlement and they are self-destructive. However in discussing entitlement, I also think it’s important to note that students graduating college with very high levels of debt is a fairly new thing.

Students in high school often do not get the feedback that would allow them to make good choices regarding college, such as, going to a community college for a couple of years and then switching to a 4-year school can save a lot of money; the education you get from an Ivy League school may not be worth the debt you have to take on, and it’s important to be realistic about college majors and employment prospects.

Sometimes students don’t get any guidance that is really helpful and then you have 18 or 19 year olds making decisions about majors when they don’t really know enough about their abilities, or employment prospects, to make that decision.

It is very expensive to go to college, and students who take out a lot of money in loans may need to delay buying a home, getting married, or having children, sometimes for years. I would be angry if I were in that situation. I think at least some of the lazy/hostile behavior in school is a form of retaliation about that and also the pressures to perform well and have a “perfect” resume with a lot of impressive extracurricular activities in high school or even grade school.

What I’m saying is that I feel class issues are very important. It’s easy to focus on families and what parents did or did not do in terms of providing emotional support, but in this society I think all too much comes down to money. There are so many disadvantages to not having money, or not having stable employment. Lack of health insurance is one of them. The inability, or difficulty, in buying a home or even renting a place in a nice, safe neighborhood is another.

The very rich will get by and do well, as they always have. The very poor may well find that scholarships and other help is available. The problem is that everyone in between may really be challenged to afford the basics of a good life, such as housing, college, and health care.

It’s not constructive that some young people are reacting this way, but OTOH I think it’s hard to justify the pressures that some parents put on children to be the “best” and the most “well-rounded” or “accomplished” and get into the “best” schools and then pay for much of their own education on top of that. And although I think some parents want “designer children,” many parents apply these pressures b/c that is what they feel their children need to do to have any hope of establishing themselves in a profession and getting a good job as adults.


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