Everyone is encouraged to have a voice these days. Feel it = say it. In today’s society, the number of individuals demanding recognition soars past the number of poor souls expected to give it. Life isn’t fair. No it’s not. Go read Dave Pelzer’s “A Child Called It” if you had any doubts.
Revealing past hurts, having the courage to speak up and also having the desire to heal are some of the benefits this generation has experienced. We’ve gone from a “don’t tell” society to a social media frenzy. Nearly everything and anything can be spread in seconds. There are help groups, help forums, and help books. Who screwed you and who deserves your wrath. Wait, is that always the answer? Is self-reflection just that difficult?
One of the less popular ideas seen in this generation, is the notion that loving someone is a two-way street. Successful relationships require sacrifice on both sides. Nobody is going to be perfect all the time. Love requires that we all are willing to occasionally forgive, so that we might also be forgiven. This generation seems more concerned about their side only. Sacrifice is a plague they run from. Commitment is a dirty word. Entitlement stench is ripe and today’s youth become so very disappointed when their demands aren’t met.
Not too long ago, kids were on their own much sooner. They got married earlier, they got out on their own and they started their adult lives at a younger age. Nowadays, we can keep our kids insured until they turn 26. Because of the cost of living, many of the “kids” live at home and require funding from their parents for cars, college, weddings, and rent. And once these children finally start pretending to be grown ups, what’s the thanks they have for those who contributed to their very long and expensive childhoods?
For today’s disgruntled children of divorce, their fathers are owed very little. Marching alongside young adults who have actually suffered severe hardships, these over-indulged whiners have no safety on their hair triggers. Their feelings are just as important as anyone else’s and they should be treated as permanent victims.
What matters to them are perceptions, often fed for years by their divorced mothers. Facts aren’t nearly as convenient nor rewarding. Our culture encourages young adults to stew on their feelings, act out and protest those they don’t agree with and walk away from relationships they find to be “toxic”. They are incapable of having discussions, often relying on their passive aggressive skills to send messages. This method also deters the chance that they might have to listen. Having reciprocal conversations might make them uncomfortable and take the wind out of their sails. Their feelings of superiority may be quelled if their perceptions of their fathers were met with truth.
Just what is the common sin some of these abandoned fathers have committed? Worked too many hours, got remarried, or even worse… had more children.
Sure, divorce is tough. Losing an intact family can be very difficult for children. Sadly, it has become an all too common occurrence which many of us have been through. However, once stepchildren become adults, is it all that unrealistic to expect them to crawl out of their mother’s opinions of their father and to learn some objectivity? Is it just so difficult to love fathers who might not be perfect? Aren’t the expectations from these grown children more than they could ever rise to themselves? Yeah yeah, I know, when these grown children have kids, they’ll never get divorced and they will have all the answers.
Today’s youth is suffering from some severe narcissistic tendencies. They expect others to give to them, to appreciate and acknowledge them, to “like” their pictures on Facebook, to reward them for even the most trivial responsibilities they assume (“look at me! I just got my oil changed for the first time!” at 25, yay) and to come running when they need help.
What happens when their fathers could use some help? Is he deserving? After suffering two decades of punishment from an ex-wife, having his children brainwashed that he is useless for anything except money, and after sacrificing to be the best dad he could be in less than perfect circumstances? For today’s youth, their fathers might just be too old to be relevant any longer. Today’s grown babies might feel their fathers are deserving of silence. Their father remarried, so why should they be there for him?
There are far too many old men sitting in retirement homes all alone, with children who have written them off (until the will gets read). Having children today is a potential lifelong burden for men, particularly if they wind up divorced from very bitter women who use their children as pawns.
For stepmothers who have watched their husbands be punished for years, and who have also been on the receiving end of stepchildren’s wrath, it never gets easier. Being actively punished is one thing. Having to watch your husband be tossed away like yesterday’s trash after experiencing a potential life-changing or life-ending event is the final step in watching him suffer at the hands of his victim children.
So for today’s youth, go ahead and walk. You have proven that you will not listen. People and relationships are disposable and it seems the only way you’re going to think twice about your conclusion is when you are on the other end of someone else’s. Run to your Instagram page, drown your sorrows in your Frappuccinos, and take out all your frustrations on your credit card. Indulge yourself silly and pout from the highest mountain. Ride that wave of arrogance while convincing yourself who is worthy of your scorn. Convince yourself that your father is not deserving of your presence, but somehow still deserves to receive your calls for cash.
When life tosses you a curveball, that will likely be the time when you realize how important relationships are. And by then, it might just be too late.