I concur with jb and Frank. And yes, while we may come across as Old Cranks snarling, “Well! When I was a boy/girl, we didn’t…(fill in the blank)” Regardless, many of these rantings certainly have a ring of truth to them.
While blaming the media is certainly acceptable, we must also look to the parents (or parent, as the case may be). The Buck Always Stops There. Sometimes, and because so many parents have to work outside the home these days, it’s very hard to monitor TV and video game participation. But, it’s NOT hard to correct the bad behavior that stems from these influences. (And, last time I looked, there was no law in place mandating that every child in America must own their own cell phone or Blackberry.)
I have a friend who complained that when her grandkids visited (and I use the term loosely), they were either texting, yakking on their cell phones, playing a video game, or glued to the TV, and rarely interacted with her and Grandpa. I suggested she institute a “Grandparent Rule” along the lines of no electronics in their household – leave them home - plus no TV watching without prior approval. It was a bit of a struggle (whining at its finest), and even the kids’ parents objected! But in the end, it worked, and the last time I heard from her, the whole gang had just returned from a picnic and hike along a nearby river. (The 9 year old commented, "Boy, there's sure a lot of neat STUFF out here!!")
Yes – we were lucky. The TV programming was “kinder and gentler,” most of us had one stay-at-home parent (usually Mom), and our neighborhoods were there for exploration, fun and HUMAN contacts. I sure wouldn’t want to be a kid today!.