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The problem with kids: Adults changed the rules

Montague Boys and Girls club proposed new location.
Montague Boys and Girls club proposed new location.

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It’s not you, it’s me.

That’s right kids haven’t changed, they all want the same things they did 50 years ago  -  we have. We the adults, the grown-ups and the old farts  -  the problem with kids, is that we changed the rules and it’s having an effect on children.

That’s a scary premise because it means in order to fix the problem with kids we first have to change ourselves and no one wants to take on that responsibility. Easier to blame the young punks.

But it wasn’t the kids who stopped believing it takes a village. It was the grown-up who called their lawyer when their window got broken by the kid playing baseball in the street instead of making him clean up the mess and pay off the damages in chores.

The days of it takes a village and the idea of community support and events are increasingly difficult to find and I’m from a small, rural and community focussed place. This is P.E.I. not Toronto.

Only a few days ago in one of our quaint and friendly rural towns, Montague Prince Edward Island, city councillors voted against a Boys and Girls Club in a semi-residential (R3) neighbourhood. The voice of a few was deemed more important than the many. Worries from two neighbours of decreased property values, increased traffic and noisy children were enough to sway the councillors to vote against an organization moving in to promote child and family health and well being.

They were instead instructed to find commercial space in the town where prices are higher, access is more limited and green space impossible to come by. Because children don’t belong in residential neighbourhoods…

Could somebody please explain to me when kids became something society had to endure instead of celebrate?

When did the sound of children playing ball hockey, tag or building a fort become noise pollution which threatened your property value?

In residential areas I personally find the sound of lawn mowers a hell of a lot more offensive than the giggles and laughter of happy engaged children.

Kids are no longer permitted to be seen or heard.

Do you think this escapes their knowledge?

That they are a burden to society, a bother to old people too detached themselves from their own community to recognize something beneficial when it moves in next door.

“Environment builds behaviour. ~ Bill Strickland.”

My favourite quote. What types of behaviour does knowing you are not wanted by your community build in children?

Now it’s the parents fault (you should teach your child better, kids these days have no respect). And they’re right, kids have no respect for a community which deems them a burden  -  no ownership over a town or it’s people who deem it unseemly to have children playing and laughing in a backyard. Heaven forbid they have a safe space near their school to do their homework and have a healthy snack while mom or dad finish their shift at work.

Respect is earned and it is a two way street, especially for youth.

I have about as much sympathy for these people (can you tell?) as I do for people who move to the country for peace and quiet and conveniently forget those pretty cows, pigs, horses in the field also poop and have sex in the open and it neither smells as serene or looks as idyllic as it did in the pictures.

Residential neighbourhoods are meant to be lived in.

Children are meant to play outside and engage in healthy activities.

Sign up and volunteer with the boys and girls club, work with kids and the community instead of against them to create an organization which not only represents the youth but the community.

Don’t get in the way of people who are trying to make the community better by affecting change in the lives of youth.

Kids aren’t any different. But adults are and we make the rules.

Kids today are amazing and when they are engaged they are the first ones with their hands up to help the community. Maybe it’s time you followed their lead.

R. Ellen Jones is owner of the Hughes-Jones Centre on the Cornwall Road which teaches western horse care and riding.

It’s not you, it’s me.

That’s right kids haven’t changed, they all want the same things they did 50 years ago  -  we have. We the adults, the grown-ups and the old farts  -  the problem with kids, is that we changed the rules and it’s having an effect on children.

That’s a scary premise because it means in order to fix the problem with kids we first have to change ourselves and no one wants to take on that responsibility. Easier to blame the young punks.

But it wasn’t the kids who stopped believing it takes a village. It was the grown-up who called their lawyer when their window got broken by the kid playing baseball in the street instead of making him clean up the mess and pay off the damages in chores.

The days of it takes a village and the idea of community support and events are increasingly difficult to find and I’m from a small, rural and community focussed place. This is P.E.I. not Toronto.

Only a few days ago in one of our quaint and friendly rural towns, Montague Prince Edward Island, city councillors voted against a Boys and Girls Club in a semi-residential (R3) neighbourhood. The voice of a few was deemed more important than the many. Worries from two neighbours of decreased property values, increased traffic and noisy children were enough to sway the councillors to vote against an organization moving in to promote child and family health and well being.

They were instead instructed to find commercial space in the town where prices are higher, access is more limited and green space impossible to come by. Because children don’t belong in residential neighbourhoods…

Could somebody please explain to me when kids became something society had to endure instead of celebrate?

When did the sound of children playing ball hockey, tag or building a fort become noise pollution which threatened your property value?

In residential areas I personally find the sound of lawn mowers a hell of a lot more offensive than the giggles and laughter of happy engaged children.

Kids are no longer permitted to be seen or heard.

Do you think this escapes their knowledge?

That they are a burden to society, a bother to old people too detached themselves from their own community to recognize something beneficial when it moves in next door.

“Environment builds behaviour. ~ Bill Strickland.”

My favourite quote. What types of behaviour does knowing you are not wanted by your community build in children?

Now it’s the parents fault (you should teach your child better, kids these days have no respect). And they’re right, kids have no respect for a community which deems them a burden  -  no ownership over a town or it’s people who deem it unseemly to have children playing and laughing in a backyard. Heaven forbid they have a safe space near their school to do their homework and have a healthy snack while mom or dad finish their shift at work.

Respect is earned and it is a two way street, especially for youth.

I have about as much sympathy for these people (can you tell?) as I do for people who move to the country for peace and quiet and conveniently forget those pretty cows, pigs, horses in the field also poop and have sex in the open and it neither smells as serene or looks as idyllic as it did in the pictures.

Residential neighbourhoods are meant to be lived in.

Children are meant to play outside and engage in healthy activities.

Sign up and volunteer with the boys and girls club, work with kids and the community instead of against them to create an organization which not only represents the youth but the community.

Don’t get in the way of people who are trying to make the community better by affecting change in the lives of youth.

Kids aren’t any different. But adults are and we make the rules.

Kids today are amazing and when they are engaged they are the first ones with their hands up to help the community. Maybe it’s time you followed their lead.

R. Ellen Jones is owner of the Hughes-Jones Centre on the Cornwall Road which teaches western horse care and riding.

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