I’m worried about how teenagers treat kids especially younger children. My kids, Hanna and William, are still little but they are realizing that they are big kids who are not nice. Some are apathetic or disinterested in younger kids like Hanna and William’s age. They only interact if the little kids are getting in the way and are least interested in playing together. They also get mean if they see the little kids as a nuisance to them. My kids were playing with the big kids i.e. teenagers in the playground. My kids had the impression that big kids are nice because the teen volunteers that they are paired with at FC practice kindness, empathy, compassion, and patience with them. The teens from FC are awesome and let Hanna and William have fun, be themselves, and play nicely together. Unfortunately, outside of FC, I will not have them play with the big kids or teenagers.
Most teens come across as self-centered. William and Hanna said they were not being nice to them. The big kids’ idea of having fun with them was to make fun of them for their amusement. I find this really disturbing if that is how big kids interact with little kids. This shows a lack of caring and compassion. Little kids are special in their own way and are precious to their parents. Their innocence, sweetness, charm, and emerging personalities make them who they are. Big kids seem more callous, shallow, and mean. I worry about the future about big kids who just want to push little kids aside or try to make fun of them.
I wonder if this is the nature of big kids to be egotistical and self-centered. I know there are some teens in the FC program who want to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to volunteer their time to create a special bond and quality experience for both sides instead of interacting at the expense or at the other’s disadvantage.
I think the focus for teens to succeed and to block out anybody who in their view won’t help them in their “goals” is creating a society which doesn’t teach the value of the whole human experience in terms of nurturing relationships with one another and appreciating each other’s differences. It is not right to disregard other people because they don’t serve a benefit to you and treat others like they have not feelings no matter how small or insignificant you perceive them to be. After all, how we treat others say a lot about ourselves, who you are and what you stand for. Your behavior is a reflection of you and also the kind of environment/tone that you create for others.
I want to create a positive world for my children. I want them to be caring and compassionate individuals who not only know what is the difference between wrong and right but can see things how they truly are. If they feel passionate about a cause or ideal for the benefit of humanity, I would want them to be able to pursue it. I also want them to be aware of all the different kinds of people in this world and those with different values. Diversity and respect are values they should also learn from.
I don’t want to say that all teenagers are disrespectful, egotistical, and self-centered. I am worried that this is what I gleaned from talking with my kids. It is unfortunate that I may have to limit their time with bigger kids that weren’t “trained” or taught to be caring, compassionate, or kind to little ones or tolerant of other types of “differences” as related to age or otherwise. I realize as much as I want to protect my kids from that kind of negative behavior, they may encounter a few bad apples as they grow up, mature, and live their lives. Not everyone will be nice, but at this age, it is best to stay away from them. My kids don’t need to be disrespected for being little kids and acting their age or having fun during their playtime at the playground or anywhere.