It really bugs me when I hear people say things like “kids today” and follow it on with some terribly insulting comment about how badly behaved, irresponsible or disrespectful young people are these days.

It especially bugs me when it’s someone who believes everything they see on the news and hasn’t spoken to a kid in at least 20 years.

It is fairly common for every generation to think the generation after them is in some way worse than they were.

There’s even a quote from Socrates (or maybe it wasn’t Socrates, it seems the jury is still out as to who actually said this, but apparently it was featured in a newspaper back in the 1920’s so we know it’s at least that old) that demonstrates just how ridiculous this phenomenon is:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

The reason I’m talking about this today is because I think this quote above and those people who say bad things about “the youth of today” are terribly misguided.

I’ve thought this for a while but haven’t had any real data to back it up until recently…

The Victorian government released a report last year (read it here if you are interested) indicating that the rates of young people (under the age of 25) who engage in offending behaviour has dropped by 37.4% in the last 10 years.

Similar results have also been observed in New South Wales, the USA and the UK!

I’m so happy to see these results and I hope we continue to see a downward trend in the number of young people engaging in anti-social behaviours.

On that note though, if you are a parent who is concerned about the risky behaviours your child may be exposed to heading into their teen years, take a look at our strategies on Teen Risk Taking Behaviour to find out how you can help reduce the risks to your child.

Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the “youth of today”?

Do you think they are spoilt brats that show little respect?
Do you think, on the whole, the youth of today are polite, trustworthy, respectful young citizens?

Let us know your thoughts and experiences!