My Inspiration

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Generation of Subpar Kids

That is what we are raising today and it frustrates me. Totally, completely frustrates me. I have one who is working at becoming one and I know lots of other children who are totally entrenched in that lifestyle. Not having been one, I cannot fathom where it comes from and why they have chosen to be this way. But I know that society has played a big part in this mentality. defines subpar as “Not measuring up to traditional standards of performance, value, or production.”

Although I know my child is not alone in this attitude or mindset the fact that she is even trying to be there causes me great anxiety. I don’t expect her to be like me 100% but I do expect her to have some of the same characteristics that I have and am proud of. I want her to have a good work ethic; to take pride in what she does and how she does it and to give her best in everything she attempts to do.

My daughter is smart. Very smart, but very lazy or unmotivated. She will settle for a B or C instead of doing what she needs to for the A just because she can. She will do just enough to get by unless I push and challenge her to do her best. Why? I don’t know. I’ve asked her a million times and she can’t give me an answer. I get a shrug of the shoulders, some nonsense verbiage but no concrete answer. She says why should she when she knows that she can get by on doing less; besides everyone does it like that.

The teachers are letting them know what they have to do to get a certain grade on papers, projects and tests which to me sets them up to do subpar work. They tell you to get a D you must do this, if you want a C do this and this, a B add this and this and for an A we want thus and so. Wow, with that kind of breakdown you can pretty much choose your grade through school.

I understand that things were different 30 years ago when I was in high school but not so different that you don’t give it your best. We never had that. We were given the assignment and did it. Doing our best and hoping for the best possible result. I remember being bored at school because it wasn’t challenging enough for me. It was truly a waste for me. We didn’t have the advanced curriculums that the kids have today nor did we have the vast array of technology. Typewriters were the hottest thing going when I was in school. Granted I was voted “least likely to be paying attention” and I wasn’t paying attention when they announced my award but I did measure up, even excel at the traditional standards of performance, value and production. And still do, even today.

So where did we get off track? When did we start accommodating for our kids shortcomings and weaknesses to the point that they don’t have to put forth any effort to get by? I have ADHD but it has not stopped me. I didn’t take medication, I didn’t have an IEP, and I didn’t even know I had it until I was an adult. What did I miss out on, sleep. That I existed on 3 - 5 hours a night of sleep for most of my life was my biggest drawback. My drive is what caused me to excel in life. I took what some call a weakness and made it my strength. If I couldn’t do it the traditional way I learned it another way but I didn’t give up or settle. I didn’t let the system dictate where I should be or what my level of ability was. I have always pushed the envelope and wanted more for myself.

But today’s kids don’t want to do more; they want to be given more. They don’t want to work for it; they want a hand out and we are steadily giving it to them. It’s not so much us keeping up with the Joneses as it is about our kids keeping up with their peers. I’ve had enough. No more. I won’t do it and I won’t let my child stay in the world of subpar. Not when I know she can do better. While she is at home with me I will push her, I will work with her showing her that there is more out there than “settling” just because she can.

I don’t want my child to be the one lumped into the subpar category or like the movie “Failure to Launch.” I’ve seen too many do that and at 25, 28, even 32 still living at home because they can – settling for the subpar life because society has deemed it acceptable.

It’s time to take back our children and not let society (school, peers, Hollywood) dictate who they will be or not be just because.

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