Nothing could match the exhilaration of roaring away from school with a girl riding shotgun. So why don’t today’s teens want to drive?
Lockdowns killed leaving. Why leave when there's nowhere to go?
Now we have a generation trained to stay at home, to wait until given permission to smile, to interact, to even show their face -
one false move, and a horde of angry online demons descends to publicly shame the uncompliant.
These are the fruits of oppression; to rage against the machine only when the machine allows it, and to go only where one is told to go...
who will teach them to fight back, and break free?
The constant “you’re killing the planet” moniker doesn’t help either. And with an Administration bent on making the US drive electric cars it will get worse. They are more expensive, the environmental cost to produce them is astronomical. Why would an Administration push to electrify a nation with less dense energy, requiring raw materials that rape the Congo. All in contrast to the facts and worse, common sense. Why must we change over to vehicles powered by batteries? I live in a cold environment where a battery will not perform when it is cold outside and in ten years will still not perform. The answer is simple; Government doesn’t want citizens mobile anymore.
We already have lived through the best the US could provide. We are watching the slow demise.
This breaks my heart. As a teenager in the late 90's my list of "can't wait" to dos was endless. I was at the DMV on my 15th birthday applying for my learner's permit, and again in my 16th birthday taking my driving test. I wasted no time to enjoy every right of passage we traditionally associate with teenage life. Fast forward to today: my 15-year-old son is perfectly content to spend a weekend in solitude. I had to beg him for weeks to study for his learner's permit, and since getting said permit 6+weeks ago, I've convinced him to go out for one driving lesson, which he begrudgingly agreed to provided it lasted no more than 10 minutes. I keep telling myself it's a "phase" but more and more I think it's a generational disease.
It takes failure and then overcoming that failure to develop self-esteem. Kids fear failure and parents no longer encourage it… that those same children then lack self-esteem is no surprise, the surprise is that we continue to promote the same “safety” at the expense of human development
FREEDOM.The feeling of freedom is what driving has always meant to me and millions of others. The freedom to get in your car and just... DRIVE. I am sure I am not alone in remembering times of sadness where I just took off for an hour or two. Alone in my car. To regroup. To think. And to listin to a device that is now attack: AM stations playing great music. Today freedom is not in vogue . The truth is that real freedom scares many of those under 25. Perhaps because they have never really felt it. Very sad. I cannot wait for my next road trip. As an older guy the main difference is that I need "health stops" much more frequently than in days gone by! Kids, get out there and "See the USA in your Chevrolet."
Could it be that the previous generations of overly protective, safety focused, helicoptering parents have created this risk-averse, cocooned new generation? My generation (Baby Boomer) were parent-averse, avoiding parental oversight as much as possible, and parents were too busy to care for the most part. We learned to fend for ourselves, get into and out of trouble, and fight our own fights. I remember my Dad finding me in a fight with another kid and telling me to hurry up and finish it because dinner was waiting. My friends and I played contact sports only occasionally with adult supervision and with only the barest of protective equipment (football helmets were, at best, plastic concussion devices), and we proudly displayed our scars to our girlfriends (but not our mothers). Male toughness was an expected if not honored trait among my peers. It may not have been the best of times nor the best of male development, but it produced men willing to take risks. It seems to me that women are now the risk takers, showing the mental and physical toughness once the domain of men.
Happy to report that my daughter is a throw-back exception. She got her license last month on the first day it was legally possible, worked three jobs to help buy her first car, and I have barely seen her since. She and her boyfriend of nearly a year are talking about taking a road trip this summer.
Her younger brother is twelve. I can feel the magnet of society trying to pull him and his peers inexorably away from work, independence, relationship and adventure, and toward passivity, in the form of a big bean bag, head set and game console.
This is the result of a combination of factors -- including the growth of social media, social services, helicopter parents, along with a society that puts little emphasis on responsibility.
When I received my driver's license at age 16 (way back in the 1970's) , one of the main benefits was that I was able to substantially increase my work hours. 90% of the money I earned at work was put aside to pay for college.
Many of today's high school students expect their parents to pay for college. Or - even better - they can simply take out loans with the expectation that the government will eventually waive their debt.
I was on a similar path of today's teens, at 12 I was a chubby asthmatic boy who mostly stayed home. Then one of my friends, excited about Greg LeMond in the Tour de France, dragged me out and we rode our bikes 15 miles from home and turned around. The distances grew, and by 16, we were regularly doing 100-150 mile rides. We both had multiple near fatal crashes and mechanical issues 50+ miles from home, but the strength, both physical and mental, we gained from pushing ourselves so hard payed off. Teens havent changed. Some are always going to be meek, but parents need to let them go out with that one friend with crazy ideas. Today's helicopter parents and overly protective society would never let their teen or preteen jump on a bike and just disappear with no cell phone. They may even be charged with child endangerment. I was 15 and riding 20 miles each way to work from Newburgh to New Paltz every day to a bike shop because they sponsored me in races. That was seen as commitment then, most likely criminal now.
I am a 68 years old widow. Just got back from a nearly 2000 mile car trip through our beautiful Southeastern region. At the Tennessee Welcome Center on the Tennessee river, south of Chattanooga, I had one of those near tears gasps of "how lucky I am to live in this country where we can drive from one place to another with being carded and see things like this." I get the same feeling when I drive to Maine or Ohio. It is a wonderful feeling to be traveling in a car listening to Elvis and loving our America.
My youngest son doesn't drive.
That's the only one of the generalizations in this article that fits him. He works two jobs (and enjoys both), has plenty of friends, goes on trips, and generally seems to be living his life in an adventuresome but responsible fashion. 😀
I'm not sure who developed the equation "cars = FREEDOM," but it's an excellent example of supplier-induced demand.
Cars...FFS, encourage getting places by BICYCLE. Bikes are a machine for liberation. Yeah, sure, lots of people think 'many deaths by bike' but the stats show otherwise. I'm 61 years old, been riding my bike most days for 50 years - in the northeast, the first 25 in NYC and Boston, since then, in rural New England. My kids, i 'forced' them to ride their bikes growing up, and now in their 20s, they're strong as f*ck, used to weather, can take care of themselves....being on a bicycle was a big piece of their foundation. Less cars, more bikes; less 'new technology'; more human technology.
Maybe the trends will move back in a different direction. We can be helpful for our young people. But the adults in the room need to step up.
I'm increasingly interested in the concept of a masculine presence infusing the joy of risk into the hormonal atmosphere. I just realized that it was my father who taught me how to swim, tie my shoes, ride a bicycle, do math (well not really, but he tried) jump off the high diving board, fly kites, not cry in the backseat of a plane he was flying, make bank deposits and write checks, roller skate, ice skate and, of course, supplement my high school driving course. And last but not least, it was my father who showed me how to buy a car and make the monthly payments.
But time and time again, when I hear of a kid failing to launch, they live at home with their MOM. They grew up with a single mother.
And in this matriarchal society, the following statement regarding "more permissive" sexual norms does not ring true:
"Alongside the decline in teen driving and employment, study after study shows that young people are having less sex, even as sexual norms have grown more permissive. The decline has been particularly pronounced among men, with almost 30 percent of those under thirty reportedly not having sex even once in the past year, a figure that tripled between 2008 and 2018."
It's the matriarchy that's driving the transgender craze of slicing off kids' genitals. It's the matriarchy that has kids talking about themselves through a therapeutic lens. It's the matriarchy that renders them anxious and insecure, because their mothers are. This is not a more sexually permissive society -- certainly NOT! When kids feel "traumatized" by a "sexual assault" that wasn't more than, say, a forced kiss that their predecessors would have laughed off!
The only thing about gender as a social construct is the idea of gender as a social construct. Men bring the T into the house, and it's the T that encourages kids to feel safe enough to take risks. It's hilarious to think that the feminists blamed men for "keeping women in the home" when women dominating discourse is now keeping EVERYONE in the home!
Long post, but hear me out.
I live in NJ and have four sons ages: 21, 20, 18, and 16. Nobody is on meds. Nobody goes to a shrink. Average students. My 21 year old decided to skip college and works in sales in Florida. My 20 year old also didn't go to college and is in sales in Oregon. My 18 year old is a busser at a local restaurant and has worked since he was 15. He will be going to work with his brother for the summer in Oregon and then community college. My 16 year old has been working since he was 14 as a busser and also in fast food. He has 8k saved up for a car. You need to be 17 to drive in NJ. He said he wants his own car so we can't tell him what to do and when he can and can't use the car. Do I see the kids that are described in the article? Not in their friend groups, but I know they exist. I have nothing against ride share or public transportation, but at a certain point you need a car.
They still go to parties, hang in the park and drink, and push the boundaries like when I was a kid.
Sex? I'm the mom, so I don't want to ask. ewwww...... But I've seen hickies on their necks and condoms hidden in their room. I don't see as many relationships as I remember in high school. It seems to be a bit more of a hookup culture.
My kids are all independent. Nature? Nurture? Who knows. Not that they're older they will tell me that we're much less restrictive than their friends' parents. I DO notice that my youngest is the most independent and the most rebellious. He gets in trouble in school a LOT and it's the things that would have been a slap on the wrist when I was in high school.
The trend is disturbing, but I grateful that we have average, normal and well-adjusted boys. Knock wood.
This piece is, in my opinion, very accurate. Safety-ism is rampant, and it is not preparing our youth to take the risks that eventually result in success. Instead, nestled within their parental-protection cocoons and absorbed in screen time, they makes their parents safe from allegations of child endangerment, and their friends reinforce the need to protect themselves from all those predators in the news, and all those murderous racist misogynist paternalistic homophobic psychopaths can be held at bay.
In my life, the greatest gains came from the greatest chances I took. I partially failed once, but recovered to make a lot of money from that partial failure, just in a different way than I originally expected. I too was grossly eager to get my first car. It meant freedom and an enormous new world of adventure to me. I remember the moment exactly - I literally jumped for joy. And that effort and risk made my life, at times absolutely exhilarating. I wouldn’t trade that excitement for anything else.