As I work with teenagers on an every day basis I often ask myself if kids today are different from when we were growing up? At times I catch myself scratching my head at some of the things they say today or even do. Or things they will not do.

Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s sure it was different, but just how different?

Choosing Up Sides

I do know that we played a lot of ball.  Much more than they play today, that’s for sure.  Maybe it’s because kids today have many more things to do than we did.  I see schoolyards and baseball fields empty.

On Saturday mornings we spent time playing hardball in the lot.  Or, we would be in the boys schoolyard playing basketball on a Saturday morning from nine until it got dark. Or until a priest threw us.

When we left the house in the morning and not come home for hours!

We spent a lot of time together too.  Hanging out on the corner, sitting on a stoop and even riding the trains together in the winter just to stay warm.

Respect for elders? Fighting authority? Asking and not receiving?

Is the work ethic there with today’s kids?  Most of us were working when we were fifteen, sixteen, and even seventeen. Some had paper routes, some delivered groceries and some worked behind the deli counter.  My daughter, who is fourteen just started a baby-sitting job.

We shovelled snow when it was ankle-deep. We would go door-to-door walking up and down ninth avenue asking store owners if we could shovel their sidewalk. We waited outside Bohack for shoppers with bags of groceries; we pushed the cart to their car in the parking lot and loaded bags into their trunk.  We rang door bells asking the elderly if they needed anything from the store? (There was an old lady on Fuller Place, we used to race each other after school to see if she needed anything from the store; she tipped well)

As far as courting the opposite sex; it’s not called ‘dating’, or, ‘going out with someone’ anymore.  They don’t use those terms. They call it ‘talking to someone’. They don’t talk on the phone like we did either. They text or even tweet to each other.

As far as television goes, we had six stations to choose from. What do they have now with cable and all? Hundreds… Reality shows, music video stations, ten different ESPN stations, video games, i-pads, cell phones, text-messages, instant messages, DVD players, DVD players built-in the cars now so kids don’t have to talk to their parents or with each other on long road trips, laptops, Facebook and Twitter…wow!

So many choices, so little time.  Who needs to be out in the schoolyard or on the streets playing ball, they can stay inside!

You know what though? Growing up on ninth avenue back in the day, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

I don’t know if kids are different today, but I do know the things around them are different.




This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to WOULD YOU GO OUT WITH ME?

  1. jimmyvac says:

    I wonder if we would have been out quite as much if I had the internet and all the stations we have today. I think we would have been out a lot because we had a love for the game(s). The best way to teach work ethic ts by example. We had our kids close in age (11 Months) so I delivered newspapers before going to the bank and taught drivers education one day a week. My wife stayed home and babysat and worked for a reunion company until they were about 13. Both of them are working for good companies,and in this economy, that is saying something. When they were younger, the expression was ” hooking up” which does not sound nearly as classy as “going out”.

  2. Glenn Thomas says:

    I recently read an article where kids today are running around with too much stress for they have “sensory overload” with cellphones, laptops, ipads, etc. They already have enough stress just being a kid, Their schedule at such an early age as playdates, music lessons, sports games and practices have become too much for them to handle for their daily agendas are so full that there is no time just to be a “kid”. We had 6 TV stations growing up. Growing up when the Knicks or Rangers played a game that was televised from Madison Square Garden on free TV such as a Christmas Day game or playoff game I was mesmerized to see that stuff. Now as you wrote there are hundreds of channels on TV and everyhthing seems to be over exposed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s