Why don’t our kids want to get their license?
Something is wrong, something has changed. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to get my license and get the freedom to come and go places without having got my parents to take me. Somewhere along the way since the 70s things have changed. At first, as I had kids of my own and there were things I didn’t understand why my kids did things the way they do I blamed it on the MTV generation. This was the “I want it now and as fast as possible” generations, but that doesn’t really explain what is happening now, It’s not impatience, its indifference. Something disturbing is happening and after reading an online article about smartphones (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/) I am really concerned. Not just with the lack of interest in not wanting to drive but not wanting to date, not getting together with friends, not getting a job and wanting to depend upon their parents as long as possible. This also causes getting less sleep, increased obesity and sky rocketing depression.
Where is this all coming from? There seems to be a real correlation with the introduction of the Smartphones and tablets and how our kids socialize now. Today there is no reason to go out, to get together with friends to catch up. Everyone knows everything all the time. They post messages and take pictures of every second of their lives. Why go out, why party with my friends? I know all there is to know. Today’s parents don’t help either. There is a change in attitude there too. Most parents want their kids to stay home longer and are willing to be at their kid’s beck and call. It’s when this reaches a critical issue that the parents start telling their kids to get their license. You know, I’ve got too many stops to make or I need help with your younger sibling. Maybe you’re getting close to retirement but then you’ve really waited too long. Whatever the reason, the parents have got to get their kids up and out of their room and in touch with reality. Mom and dad will not be able to take care of them forever.
When I was 16 I had a job went out almost every chance I could to be with my friends. 2 or 3 days a week we either meet outside or someone’s house. I would tell my parents will be home late and as long as I told them where I was going and when I would be home they were ok with that. There was no way they could call me as there were no cell phones (unless they could track down the home phone of the friend I was at and if we were still hanging out there). I got my senior license at 17 and it gave me the chance to go so many different places without having to take public transportation or ask my parents to drive me (puts a damper on a date). I even drove to Florida with my friends when I turned 18, it was great. Todays 16, 17 and 18 year olds do 3 things. School, eat and smartphone. Watch what is going on. Movies are becoming a thing of the past. Only the big blockbusters pull anyone in. Everyone checks rotten tomatoes before going to judge for themselves. They want to have someone lead them and if not they stay home. They need something at the store they wait till their parents take them.
Check out some data (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/)that has been compiled on how our teenager’s attitude in life has changed over the last few years. This is a very fast change and is kind of scary how fast and where we are headed.
What are our choices today? How do we get out kids motivated now that we see a potential disaster? What disaster is that? Our kids will not want to socialize; they will become increasing depressed and obese. They will not get jobs as teenagers and will not understand the work environment when it comes time to having a career. They will become so dependent on their parents they might never leave. Kids are living with their parents now even more into their 30s. Yes cost of living is one reason but why leave is another. No motivation to get out and be independent. Everything is online. We order our clothes, games, food and even our friends online. Once they allow us to take K through 12 classes online no one will ever leave the house.
Where are we heading? If the research is any indication it will be a solitary, lonely world, with no human interaction at all. Our cars will drive themselves so we won’t have to lean to drive; our vacations will all be virtual; our parties will be online and our family life will be living with our parents well later in life.
Get up, get out, learn to drive and get the freedom to be with your peers. See the world in reality not online. Good luck!!!! We’re all going to need it.