Flutterby™! : Teenagers

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2006-02-18 16:29:50.6875+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

An SFGate article about out of control teenagers seems like a perfect place to hang a little rant: We were at a showing of a couple of short works at the local high school, one of which Zack[Wiki] figured prominently in (a short film adaptation of a Stephen King[Wiki] story). At intermission we were talking to various folks, and a parent said "so, is that everything you were in?" And I watched as a young man tried to tell his mother that, yes, that may have been everything that he appeared in, but he'd been involved in the creation of all of these pieces, that these were his friends, and, in the subtext, couldn't his mother spend the additional 45 minutes for the second half to keep in touch with his interests?

I was blessed by parents who took an intense interest in my life, so my baseline is pretty high, but when I watch exchanges like that I have zero sympathy for the parents who come home early to discover hundred plus person parties.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Movies ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-18 17:20:38.173436+00 by: mvandewettering

It is quite fashionable for those of us who are aging (which, of course is everyone) to look at those younger than us and to cluck with superiority at the imagined failings of the youth. This sometimes takes the form of "those kids today do nothing but play video games" or "when I was a kid, we had to...". It's absurd. If kids (meaning again, anyone younger than yourself) have any failings, you can rest assured that the failings were present in your generation as well.

As for the example you gave above, if you were the kid, the appropriate response would have been "well, how many films have YOU been in lately?"

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-18 17:58:13.464408+00 by: ebradway

Mark: I don't think the comment about the films was derogatory - I think it was the parent trying to figure out if she put in her requisite "quality time".

The article is actually very interesting. I got to spend about 6 months of my high-school life living in a very affluent suburb of Austin, TX, complete with country club and parents going on two-week trips to Europe, leaving the kids behind with fully stocked bars. I was amazed at what a "party" consisted of among these kids versus the strident blue-collar neighborhoods I was used to. In the blue-collar neighborhoods, a dozen or so of us would get together in a playground and share a couple six-packs of cheap beer and maybe a joint. These were kids who worked at McDonalds in order to buy an old beater car that they worked on every weekend. In the affluent neighborhoods, the parties included dozens to hundreds of people, cases of liquor, kegs of beer, lines of coke, and a large upscale house. These were kids who were given BMWs on their 16th birthday.

While I've never seen a party really get out of hand, I remember at least one affluent-kid party get busted by cops - mostly because kids were having to walk 1/2 mile to the house in order to find a yard to park in. Neighbors don't really care for that... And that was all through word-of-mouth in the pre-cell-phone 80s (or, at least, before they became common teenage items). I can only imagine how fast party information could travel nowadays - especially if there is a keg of beer involved.

I'm beginning to think it would be financially advantageous to look into making cell-phone jammers that can be installed into a house...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-18 22:49:47.480037+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, it wasn't a dig on the film, it was a "okay, I've spent my obligatory interest in your activities, can I go now?" thing.

But as Mark also pointed out, yeah, "kids these days" are doing lots of cool stuff, parties that the parents didn't know about getting shut down by the cops are nothing new (there was one particularly notable one at one of our neighbors places when I was in high school where the host kids realized it was getting out of hand and called the cops themselves), spoiled kids are nothing new...

I just am of the opinion that any parent who has the temerity to be surprised at such doings is probably skipping out of school plays early.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-19 02:02:29.304523+00 by: ebradway

Agreed. I think my greatest fears as a parent stem not from the things that I know about but the things I don't. My worst transgressions as a teenager went undiscovered. I just hope I imbue my kids with enough common sense to be able to handle whatever they get themselves into. And I think the best way is to keep them occupied with some constructive preoccupation - like making films!