March 27, 2007

Talkin' 'Bout That Generation

This article is from the Independent, but I'm confident the numbers would weigh in about the same on teen issues over here. English teens surely eat some pretty squirrely stuff (turkey twizzlers, anyone?) but the regional doesn't replace the dreadful.

This generation of kids is running risks their parents didn't. Between smoking, drinking, sex and weight, health concerns today are overtaking previous generations' obstacles like TB and polio.

If you have a kid, you know this isn't surprising. There's a lot of crap out there, and short of barring your precious offspring in their rooms, there isn't much you can do except raise 'em well and cross your fingers.

A couple of weeks back, I was on a show and mentioned that we feed our kids stuff our parents wouldn't have fed us. It's true - my dad had a huge garden, my mom canned and pickled, meat came from a farmer/butcher and mom baked from scratch. They didn't have something called Sunny D - garbage masquerading as juice - or chicken nuggets - processed chicken-like bits. I don't buy either of those things, but all of it has passed my sons' lips at various times. Some woman called the show refuting my premise; her angel never, ever ate anything like that. Turns out the kids was 8 months old. At 8 months, my kids only had one of two things in their mouths too - my boob or their own foot. Call me in five years.

Teenagers have always had sex; it's parents that conveniently forget their own sexual past that makes that seem so shocking. What's changed is the scary diseases - our biggest worry was getting pregnant; now I want to swaddle my boys - when they reach that age - in rubber from head to toe before they head out on a date.

Booze is a growing concern, and this I agree with. We'd sneak my Dad's homemade wine and choke it down - it was lousy. Now, so much is marketed to teenagers (can you say 'Mike's Hard Lemonade?) that kids don't have to grimace as they get wasted. Stuff tastes like candy. I remember when wildberry coolers came out - every girl I knew who didn't drink, started. But who makes and markets this crap? Adults. Anything for money, at any cost. I laughed when someone recently went on a rampage about Popeye cigarettes. I've been eating those forever (still do), and not once did I think I was 'smoking'. I'm thinking these pillars of righteousness should give their heads a shake and take up a real cause.

If the kids are going to hell, it's because we're paving the way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...I'm paving the way with some of hell's fury...nuggets are a staple here for my youngest. Sunny D isn't. But I don't think that is an issue....nor should you make it one.
Sex...a whoel other ball game. My 7 yr old knows the basics already, as does the 3 yr old....believe it or not. I refuse to raise ignorant kids who give in to anything their more ignorant peers suggest.

March 27, 2007 12:31 PM  

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