Things and Creatures

A blog about all things involving radical politics & youth work. Literature reviews, stories of working with youth, news involving radical/left youth, radical education, radical parenting, attachment parenting, event postings & so on.

Kids These Days

"Why do we give the least credence to the moment when we’re simultaneously mourning our dying childhoods and racing breathlessly into the abyss of adulthood? When you think about it, that transition is what makes us or breaks us.”

Feeling pretty confused about this article, even after waiting a bit, re-reading, waiting more, re-reading again.  I think Lindy West, mostly, leaves me feeling somewhat confused.  Are junior high students “sociopathic little shits for a couple of years” (caused by the desire to be adults, while also wanting to hold on to childhood), are all “those kids FREAKS”?  Or, are “kids are already soft”?  I am reluctant to think they are freaks, or sociopaths, but I do tend to think they are soft, but some are unable to show it (some do); everyone is different.  I don’t think I really know what junior high students “are”.  They don’t really seem classifiable, you know, like ANY human beings people have decided to group together.  Are they like this because of puberty?  By not being heard?  By American Individualism?  I think it is all of it, but the article doesn’t bring it together; I am not seeing the connections in “Kids These Days”.  But the thing is, all of these problems are connected, and the way schools run has a lot to do with this, because schools have been set up to NOT LISTEN TO KIDS.  To not help them through puberty (just think about the lack of decent sex ed in America).  To sit down and listen and obey and get ready to work.  This is what school is for, not to run and play and learn and grow and kiss and do what humans do.  It seems her second quote, from Glenn and Larsen, touches a bit on this, stressing that kids need their schools to have “an awareness of and sensitivity toward the unique developmental needs of early adolescents; a shared vision; and they capitalize on early adolescents’ obsession with fairness by being a trustworthy and democratic community where every student feels a connection to at least one adult in the building.”  But, her other quote seems kind of connected to this quote, but disconnected from her other thoughts.  I want to see the connections, because they are obviously there.