People have been complaining about children today for as long as there have been children.
I think children should be given more freedom to explore, and play, and fail, and that largely the fault for them being denied that is a) media hyping up violent from for 25 years, driving up people’s fear of it even while the violent crime rate was going down, b) parents buying into the fear and controlling their children.
What I don’t believe is that we have any evidence today’s children and teens and college students are uniquely ill-equipped to function. My students are a lot more educated about mental health than I was about their age. They know a lot more about boundaries than I did. I see kids in high schools across the country fighting for gun control and challenging sexist dress code rules with agency, wisdom, and courage. I encounter strong-willed, smart, considerate young adults on a regular basis who know their limits, and who are invested in their education and are willing to fight for it, all the time.
Don’t let the media or a few of your friends/neighbor’s kids worst moments trick you into demonizing this generation. They’re amazing.