"We Live In a Decaying Age"

March 12, 2021

Most adults of a certain generation (let’s say north of 50 years) typically shake their collective head in bewilderment over children and the way they conduct themselves.

There’s always an undercurrent of, “What’s the matter with kids these days?”

I’ve been working on a book regarding how to parent challenging children and in my poking around to read more about the subject, I came  upon these quotes that brought a dose of reality to this perspective.

We live in a decaying age.  Young people no longer respect their parents.  They are rude and impatient.  They frequently inhabit places they shouldn’t and have no self-control.” (An inscription found in a 6,000 year old Ancient Egyptian tomb.)

“When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.” (Hesiod, 8th Century BCE)

Our youth now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents; chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”  (Socrates, 469 BCE).

“The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.” (From a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274)

“Children are natural mimics – they act like their parents in spite of every attempt to teach them good manners.”  (Mad Magazine)

Or as the Talking Heads said in their classic song, “Once in a Lifetime,” “Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was.”

Trust me.  When I hear story after story of how kids conduct their lives, I find myself shaking my head (hopefully, not too visibly).

But the quotes above help to ground me.

“Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was.”


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All comments (6)
  • Stanley Sterenberg
    March 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Spot on!!! My sense of this "enmity" we feel as parents reflects our (absolutely understandable) "jealousy" of the energy and youth of our children -- […] Read MoreSpot on!!! My sense of this "enmity" we feel as parents reflects our (absolutely understandable) "jealousy" of the energy and youth of our children -- something lost forever to us, but evident in spades in them. "Harnessing" that youthful energy in a positive way at least asks us to summon the one advantage we do possess -- the supposed "wisdom" that comes with age. So we basically need to "outsmart" them! Read Less

    Reply
    • Thanks, Sir Stanley: That means a lot to me ...glad you like it. It's hard for me not to shake my head over the endless […] Read MoreThanks, Sir Stanley: That means a lot to me ...glad you like it. It's hard for me not to shake my head over the endless hours that they play video games freely admitting they are "addicted" to them. But maybe it's not all that different from the endless hours of digesting the Rolling Stones in my basement. Hope you are well. Thanks, again. Read Less

      Reply
  • Joanna
    March 13, 2021 at 2:24 am

    Great quotes!!

    Reply
  • Lloyd Stone
    March 18, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Disciplining as a young parent is more challenging and limited now than it ever was. 100% physical restraint is mandatory and enforceable. Creative punishments are […] Read MoreDisciplining as a young parent is more challenging and limited now than it ever was. 100% physical restraint is mandatory and enforceable. Creative punishments are more valuable than ever. I believe that exposure to hundreds of options for television programming, websites and communication devices and the evolution of mothers and fathers both working are factors that contribute to the new generation of less respect from children of all ages. Are you willing to share your common sense Solution Dr. Selznick? Read Less

    Reply

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