Do you think teens have it harder now than we did growing up?

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Posted 11/5/2013 by Luvnlifelady in NSBR Board
 

Luvnlifelady
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:22:02 AM
I took my 16 yo DD in for counseling yesterday and was surprised at how many teens were there.

It's good to see that it's more widely accepted to seek help though.

In some ways I think teens have it harder since it's harder to get into a good colleges and there are more split households among other things. There also doesn't seem to be a lot of down time for most teens that I know between school/extra curriculars and jobs.

Of course, there's also the two-sided coin of social media that either enhances their lives or make it more difficult.

Do you think they have it harder now than we did?



PeasfulHeart
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:28:38 AM
I think it's SO much harder being a teen now than in the past, and 90% of it IMO is because of social media.


Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own. -Adam Lindsay Gordon

melanell
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:31:23 AM
I think it's really tough.

High school is harder now. Getting into and prepping for college is harder now.

I hear parents with teens talking about what their kids are doing to prep for college and my jaw drops because it is so much more than when I was in high school. I had a few AP classes and I took a SAT prep course and that made me a kid who was going above & beyond!


Plus, they deal with so much more crap. Yes, there were drugs and sex and drinking when I was a kid, but there was less pressure on the school end of things and more time when my friends were not influencing my life. Now with social media, cell phones, and texting, I feel that there is constantly the pressure of friends and "enemies" in their lives. That has to be hard.

When I left school each day, I left behind any crappy parts, now they're there being hashed out in internet "public" all darn day. That sucks. I wouldn't want to deal with that now, never mind when I was 14, 15, 16 years old.



Sparehead3
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:35:57 AM
Yes.

When I was a teen if someone was picking on me I got to go home. Now it would be all over the internet 24 hours a day.






busypea
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:36:03 AM
I think it's just different.

In some ways, it's harder. In some ways, it's not.

Just like with every generation.


Maryland
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:36:32 AM
I don't think it's harder, just different. I tease my kids that they have it so easy with computers. When I typed a paper for school and made an error (like forgot a sentence) I had to re-type the whole paper!

I have three girls (10, 14 and 16) and though they are messy and have always been energetic, they are great kids and very easy! I love the baby/toddler days, but with my daughters they make the teen years so much fun! They are always happy! And even though the oldest ones are in all honors and AP classes in High School, they have much less homework than my husband and I did! That surprised us, we thought it would be a lot like we had.

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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:38:05 AM

I took my 16 yo DD in for counseling yesterday and was surprised at how many teens were there.


I think that's more of a reflection that parents this generation and beyond have been educated as to the importance of mental health in addition to physical health.

I agree with the posters who said it's just a different type of difficulty; it's all relative to each generation.



BethAnneM
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:39:39 AM
I think kids have it harder because of social media. Teens are so stupid and they put their lives out there for the whole world to see and criticize. Drama is at an all time high with most teens.

On the other hand, I think we also have a generation of self entitled little brats that grew up in the "everybody is a winner and everyone gets a trophy" world we as parents created for them. What happened to working your ass off and reaping the rewards? In addition, we have too many parents that think they should be their kid's friend instead of their parent.

So maybe they have it harder or maybe we just created the problems.



backtoscrap
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:40:25 AM
I was a teen in the 70's, I think it's harder now. Life was simpler in the 70's.

ilovebuble
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:43:09 AM
I think it is a lot harder. The future isn't bright and sunny, full of careers and opportunity for the average teen. It is tough out there and after all of the "supposed to's" like AP classes, college and internships you could still end up working at a coffee shop or as a waiter in immense debt.

It isn't just about social media, for me. There's so much more that plagues teens and other young adults.

Rainy_Day_Woman
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:44:34 AM
I think it is way harder to be a teen now. School is much more demanding, The teens I know are so stretched between school work and the one million extra-curriculars they do, they barely have time to ever just hang out and have fun.

I was just commenting to my husband the other day actually, that I can't remember the last time that I saw a teen working. Even our fast food places are all adults and college students. Most of the kids I know didn't get their first job until they were 18-19, and it's just different than how I grew up. I had my first job when I was 14 at a bakery baking bread, LOL. Most of my friends had jobs by the time we were 15 or 16. I don't know if people just aren't hiring them when there is a surplus of adult workers, or if they just don't have time (which is most of the kids I know.) I find it a little sad though- I loved working when I was a teen, I liked having my own money and it gave me many skills and experience that I still use today.

And social media. I can't even tell you how glad I was that the internet wasn't so prevalent when I was a teen! (My friends were pretty geeky, so a lot of them were into computers and such, but social media was still pretty restricted in use to those who were more technically savvy. Not like today!)





Nantini
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:50:02 AM
It's much harder.

Just a few examples from some coworkers.
1. Some people grew up in fear of us being bombed by Russia.
2. Some people worried they'd be broken up with at school.
3. A few worried they'd get in a fight after school.

Our younger crowd had a different opinion.
1. They'd more than likely would run into violence. (guns, drugs)
2. Worry about financial collapse and no safety net to find a job.
3. Social media and peer pressure.

I guess that's different along generations. Although if you look at it, we could be bombed, divorced, and it be all over Facebook now.

BethAnneM
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:50:58 AM

I was just commenting to my husband the other day actually, that I can't remember the last time that I saw a teen working. Even our fast food places are all adults and college students. Most of the kids I know didn't get their first job until they were 18-19, and it's just different than how I grew up.


There are a few reasons for this. One being the downturn of the economy has forced many adults to seek out jobs that were once traditionally held by teens. But this isn't the only reason. Many companies just won't hire kids under the age of 18. We discovered how wide spread this is when my DD was a 16 year old teen looking for a part time job. Poor kid was told about a bazillion times that if she had been 18, they would have hired her in a heartbeat. Where we live, you just won't find a job at the age of 14 or even 15 unless you babysit.



sunny 5
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:58:51 AM
I think it is harder: the jobs aren't available...and more competition even when you are 18,

and in college, I could choose between a broad selection of classes to complete my general ed requirements (like choose 30 credits from this list of 100 classes). now, it is prescribed in detail every class you have to take...and so if you are a wizard engineer, you still have to pass 5 english classes, 2 classes on ethnic diversity, and so on...not a broad stroke of education but a narrow and constricting one.

you could be a brilliant artist or musician, but will have to pass precalculus in college to get that degree.

hop2
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Posted: 11/5/2013 12:08:57 PM

There are a few reasons for this. One being the downturn of the economy has forced many adults to seek out jobs that were once traditionally held by teens. But this isn't the only reason. Many companies just won't hire kids under the age of 18. We discovered how wide spread this is when my DD was a 16 year old teen looking for a part time job. Poor kid was told about a bazillion times that if she had been 18, they would have hired her in a heartbeat. Where we live, you just won't find a job at the age of 14 or even 15 unless you babysit.
I dont know what changed but yes, My DD and the Girls in my scout troop have been told repeatedly to come back after they are 17 or 18. I KNOW we could get a job at 15 when I was a kid Many of us did so.

As for things being harder today, yes some things are. I was just discussing class ranking with my DD and how I never knew I was even ranked until they called me into the guidance office to tell me I was top 10 my senior year. Today these kids are so competitive about it and check their ranks daily or weekly. It's crazy.

College is harder to pay for. The college I went to costs my entire years tuition for one single 3 credit class now. (yes I have the bills from then to check ) Tuition has gone up well over and above the rate of inflation. It's really insane.

Add into that the social media factor and life can be harder to manage than it was when i went to high school.

As far as teens in therapy. I just think that we (as parents and as a society ) are more aware of therapy and it benefits, and more aware of mental health issues and it has less of s sigma to do something about it. So in that way I think it is easier to be a teen now. I would have had to be arrested or something for my parents to know I might have needed therapy.It just wasn't on anyones radar to think about therapy when I was a teen. So to me the amount of teens seeing a therapist is one of the things they have easier than when I was a kid.

Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 11/5/2013 12:49:08 PM

I think it's harder. I was a teen in the 70s and the biggest concerns were drugs and teen pregnancy. Today in addition to those concerns there's social media, weapons in schools, and bullying has spiraled out of control.

I'm glad that gettng help/counseling doesn't have the negative stigma that it once did, but I can't imagine the pressures that will be placed upon the next generation.



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peasful1
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Posted: 11/5/2013 2:08:33 PM
I think it is harder to be a "successful" teen.


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x2mom
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Posted: 11/5/2013 2:35:07 PM
Yes. So many social, academic and financial pressures. You don't really notice it until you have kids that are in that age group. It gets worse as they get into those college years IMO.

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Posted: 11/5/2013 2:43:53 PM
I agree with busy pea that it's just different. I'd actually lean toward easier- at least for my three girls.


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ramblin72
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:16:47 PM
I think they have a lot more resources to achieve
but anxiety levels are through the roof
i would not be a teen for anything in this era

*Leanne*
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:30:31 PM
I agree that it is just different ...

Dd #1, age 14, is a lot like me ... depression issues but an honour roll student ... but she is also extremely beautiful and pretty popular - which I wasn't ... all of these things cause her anxiety and put pressure on her ... I think things were easier for me ...

Social media is definitely something to consider ... she has been bullied by friends of her ex-boyfriend ... things could be worse though so I'm thankful so far ...

I'm glad that dd felt comfortable enough to tell us about her depression issues (she was cutting) ... it made it a lot easier for us to get her help fast ... now she is doing so much better ... when I was a teen, I kept everything inside and didn't tell my mum about my problems (I was sexually abused by my father) until I was in my twenties ...

So my answer is that it is just different!

Leanne



Peabay
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:36:04 PM
I think it's much harder. In the 70s, early 80s you either went to college (not that super hard to get into) or you didn't. There were careers you could have without a college degree. I think that avenue to success has closed. And getting into college has become so much more competitive and difficult.

Then you have the pressures of social media. Back then you could do something stupid and people would forget a week later. Now there's photographic evidence you can never live down.

And I also think there's this weird paradox nowadays of "love yourself/embrace who you are!" and being skinny is the only way to be.

What's nice is the one thing that it's easier to be now is gay. At least in our high school, kids can be openly gay with no fear of bullying.



NativeNewYorker
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:48:47 PM

I think it's SO much harder being a teen now than in the past, and 90% of it IMO is because of social media.


I agree 100%.


Staci
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SweetieBsMom
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:51:15 PM

I think it's SO much harder being a teen now than in the past, and 90% of it IMO is because of social media


This.

But I think it's all media not just social.

momstime
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:53:17 PM
I grew up in the 70's and 80's.

Today:

School- MUCH MUCH MUCH easier!!! I had a minimum of 3 hours of studying every single night. I typed my papers on a typewriter and started over if I made a mistake. I had to go to the library and actually read entire books to site in my research. Papers were due the day they were due or zero credit. Homework not ready = zero credit. (note: I went to an all girls college preparatory school while my kids attend public school) They almost never have homework, and when they do they can finish a research paper in less than one night with help from their good friend Google. Due dates are relative.

Social- MUCH MUCH MUCH harder!!! Social media...I'm so glad that when I was a teen making all my mistakes there was no internet to capture the moments forever.

Future- MUCH MUCH MUCH harder!!! These kids will be lucky to make half of what their parents make. I just heard of a kid who graduated college who is thrilled that he got a job making $13.00 an hour. My son has not even been to college yet and makes $10.00 an hour. That college debt is going to be the next big collapse in our economy. Trust me.






WorkingClassDog
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Posted: 11/5/2013 3:59:53 PM
I think it is much harder (but differently)... in some ways easier, but all in all harder.

I look at the classes my dd takes in high school. I have NO idea how I would have made it by looking at her books/computer. And she is already taking college classes to 'get ahead of the game'. College is much harder to get into and much more expensive.

Social media is a whole ballgame we never had to deal with, but on the other hand I see good stuff posted as well(on FB for example)...but on the other hand it is hard to be under the radar if you wanted to be.

For example, my dd was telling me this story. DD has a boyfriend. They have been friends for years and recently started dating. She has another friend who has crush on same boy and texts him all the time. Boyfriend shows DD the texts and then everyone knows right then and there who is crushing on who. When I was in school, it was notes on paper and as far as I am concerned the boys didn't show the notes around. I don't know maybe they did, but with texting, FB, Twitter, you can't crush on a guy and then everyone knows it in a matter of days. Dumb example but ya know what I mean.



Mewcat
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Posted: 11/5/2013 10:43:36 PM
Plus, they deal with so much more crap. Yes, there were drugs and sex and drinking when I was a kid, but there was less pressure on the school end of things and more time when my friends were not influencing my life. Now with social media, cell phones, and texting, I feel that there is constantly the pressure of friends and "enemies" in their lives. That has to be hard.

When I left school each day, I left behind any crappy parts, now they're there being hashed out in internet "public" all darn day. That sucks. I wouldn't want to deal with that now, never mind when I was 14, 15, 16 years old.



I completely agree. Social media wasn't very important when I was a teen. I could leave the crap at home as melanell said. Now it can follow you..

I didn't have a cell phone until my junior year in high school. The phone that I had as an undergrad was basic as well, compared to what I have now.

My students now have cell phones at the junior high level.
They are usually talking about Facebook, or about the latest news from Youtube, and, celebrity gossip etc.

One thing that has drastically changed is the college requirements. The classes that I had to take compared to what they have to take are very different, as are the A-G requirements.


~*Melissa*~

ktNryansmom
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:01:14 PM
Harder. Teens I teach have no idea how to communicate beyond texting. No conflict resolution skills either.
Sad really.


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ktNryansmom
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Posted: 11/5/2013 11:04:06 PM
I also wanted to comment to those saying writing papers etc. is easier for kids.

Honestly it's not.
It's so much harder because schools are only focusing on filling in the bubble.

This means kids get to me in high school and cannot form a paragraph, let alone a full paper.


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merrick
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Posted: 11/6/2013 8:02:54 AM
my DD has an LD. not sure she would have gotten the same support 30 yrs ago. she may have just been considered a bit slower and not streamed thru the system for certain options. my girl wants to be a teacher and i keep telling her that her struggles will make her a BETTER teacher.

my parents never had the conversations with me that i have with my kids. and my parents were great parents. kids see so much more thru social media and the internet than i ever would have been exposed to (got to explain to my 8 year old what crack cocaine was last night - i live in toronto).

they also have access to information - every question i asked my parents was answered with "look it up in the encylopedia". we love being able to research "things that make you go hmmmm" and i think it makes my kids even more curious about things.

on the other hand, there is a lot of pressure on kids today. to be honest, social media alone makes me grateful i am not a teen right now.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 11/6/2013 8:15:57 AM
School is much more demanding than it was when I was growing up. And students are the victims of every new educational fad to come down the pike. It seems there is little time for them to be kids/teens any more. The pressure is on not just to get into college, but to get into an elite college. For many in our district the pressure starts young, with competition for the "good" middle and high schools.

Social media can make it harder, I think, but not always. In some ways it can help a lonely kid feel less isolated and more connected with the world. You might be the only teenage fanfiction-writing Star Trek geek in your high school, but it doesn't take much of a search online to realize that you're not the only one in the world or even in your area. That can be very reassuring for a kid who is wondering if he'll ever fit in.

On the other hand, I think responsibility outside of school is less for many teens than it was for my generation. Many teens do not have jobs outside of school, for a variety of reasons ranging from lack of jobs available to a parental attitude that school should be your only job. Ha. Virtually no one thought that way where I grew up - everyone got a job somewhere as soon as they turned 16. Many kids are also choosing not to get their drivers' license at 16 because they don't want to deal with the hassle. It's easier just to ride mom's taxi service. That was different for my generation, too - mom often had the expectation that when the oldest child turned 16, she was done running the taxi service. That was now your job.

There was also way less acceptance of differences among teens in the 80s. There was no way someone would have come out as gay in my high school in 1989. Now it's commonplace. Kids are also more accepting of racial and ethnic differences. That's another area where I think social media has helped - you may go to a school where everyone looks like you, but online your community may include people from very different backgrounds. That's not to say that kids who are different from their peers don't experience difficulty, but it's my perception that they're finding increasing support and acceptance, too.


Mewcat
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Posted: 11/6/2013 8:37:22 AM
I also wanted to comment to those saying writing papers etc. is easier for kids.

Honestly it's not.
It's so much harder because schools are only focusing on filling in the bubble.

This means kids get to me in high school and cannot form a paragraph, let alone a full paper.



This happens at the college level too.. I scratch my head sometimes and wonder what happened to cause this. I know there are a myriad of things, and it's just sad.


~*Melissa*~

sharonmnc
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Posted: 11/6/2013 7:09:32 PM
It was way easier for me. College admissions standards are way higher now. Kids are meaner. The world is a more violent place.

I just went back to my nigh school reunion. We had our groups of friends back then but we weren't mean to each other. There's much more drama now and my daughter has 10 times as much homework as I did. Let's not even start on social media.


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