Just as our parents’ generation experienced quite a different childhood and adolescence, our children will also be a part of something completely different than what we knew as kids. I don’t think it’s hard to imagine how much this will suck for our poor little babes. I mean, look at the generation before us–they peaked during the ’70s and essentially spent a decade high as balls on any number of drugs that I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole even now. College was the exception, not the rule, so although they may have missed out on some of those experiences, at least they didn’t feel the pressure of the elusive
3.0 4.0 GPA. They also didn’t graduate under a mountain of debt, or when the country had the shittiest job market in decades. But don’t get me wrong, we certainly experienced some glory years–and yes, I’m including the snot-nosed years we spent on the playgrounds. I constantly see pictures of bastard children all over my social media, which led me to thinking about what our kids will not be a part of.
RIP neighborhoods. Thanks to all the perverts out there, it’s no longer all that safe to boot your children out the back door and not allow them back in until dusk. As a kid, I was the youngest in my neighborhood, so I spent less time hanging out on my neighborhood’s streets than the older kids I lived near. Since we lived within walking distance of the high school, we had access to all the space we’d need for any kinds of games. Some kids just knew when to go home, others had a bell, and my brothers and I had the “dad whistle,” which was him yelling, “Get in the house immediately or have fun standing nose against the wall for a half hour.” But think about it–if parents today just let their kids roam around a neighborhood, no matter how “safe” and “small town USA” it may be, it still just sounds sketchy and negligent. There are unfortunately too many sociopaths out there trying to snatch babies. We might be doomed to actually have to watch our own kids, at all hours of the day. You’ll arrange playdates via email and a pleasant ding will remind you to dump your kid on someone else for the day while you drink G&Ts at home no pants on.
I think this is tied very closely with the former, as most of us have witnessed or been a part of a good beat down at one point or another. Even the good, old-fashioned sibling-on-sibling abuse will die down–it’s apparently a “bad look” to send your kid to school with a broken tooth and a black eye. You’ll get blamed, and saying, “It wasn’t me, it was his brother,” probably won’t fly with the principal. Who knows, maybe this is a good thing, but I often feel I’m as strong and confident as I am because I had the crap beat out of me by my brothers for the majority of my childhood. You learn a lot when you try to recreate the WWE finale with a ring of twin mattresses in the living room.
I saw this coming the second Bloomberg tried to ban sodas in New York City. I’m not even going to touch the ethics and fundamentals of this move, because PGP is certainly not the forum for that. I could just tell this stand was saying something about the future of food in both New York AND the country. No longer will kids bring Lunchables to school, since the food and packaging are made from the same ingredients. No longer will they get to have McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s for dinner with a giant Dairy Queen blizzard to follow it up. Since we know better, can we justify letting this happen more frequently than almost never? Even I’m torn about this. I didn’t gain a pound until I went through puberty, and even then I could eat what I wanted and I was still fine. With the studies out now, which expose the shitstorm that 90 percent of the ingredients in easily accessible food cause on our brains and bodies, it’s hard to imagine a “good” parent who lets his or her kid build Cheez-It towers every day as an afternoon “snack.” Pour one out for pizza rolls.
Obviously this will come (hopefully) later on in their lives, but honestly, these kids will definitely miss out on this. There’s no better coming of age rebellion than putting on too much Axe or eyeliner and climbing out the bedroom window in the middle of the night to hang out with some person who, not coincidentally, still lives in his parents’ basement now. Since normal adults actually lock their doors and install alarm systems these days, there’s a fat chance of the casual sneak out. I literally dare my kids to try and pull that “I’m sleeping over at a friend’s” shit on me. But alas, they won’t even be able to, since by the time someone accidentally knocks me up, the government will probably implant tracking devices into newborn babies. Perhaps the saddest part about our kids missing out on this is yet another learning opportunity lost. There are few better opportunities to hone your problem solving skills than when you find yourself in a pickle after having snuck out in the middle of the night. I watched a girl get hit directly in the eye with a Frisbee one night. We had to concoct some ridiculous excuse once we snuck back in, which hid our excursion well enough. Critical thinking, folks.