“The Kids These Days!” or “The Parents Just Don’t Get It!”

Elders have been complaining about the kids forever. This time, the kids also have their say.

kid dressed in early 20th-century clothes sits on a travel suitcase

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—The following is from “The Younger Set,” Editorial, September 4, 1920

No longer is it true that the young are seen but not heard. Not only do they make themselves heard but they shout down their elders in a daily mounting chorus of derision and scorn. Art, literature, education, and economics — all these are being dominated by the reckless, half-formed judgments of youth.

Editorial clipping
The original editorial from September 4, 1920. (Click to view the entire article)

Progress would die if old men always had their way. But it is no sign of settled brain paths to be aware of the rampage on which youth has of late been engaged. The meaningless smudge and blur that makes up so much of modern art; the strange, tortured language which so many of the younger, newer writers use in place of English; and the rediscovered and previously discarded utopias which a host of youthful reformers are so joyfully recommending — are these not signs that youth has been given — or has taken — its head with a vengeance?

 

—The following is from “Parents Will Never Amount to Much!” December 19, 1964

My sister and I don’t know what is becoming of parents this generation. We love our own parents very much, but sometimes we are afraid they will never amount to much.

We know that whatever their little faults, they mean well. But we still don’t understand them. Parents today seem to be living in their own private little world.

Even though they know they should, they never go to bed early. They watch too much television at night. And when they go out with their friends, they stay out to all hours.

Parents have too much freedom these days. They are always thinking of ways to get away from us. When our mother goes on a business trip with our father, why do they always take their bathing suits?

We don’t know where our parents picked up all their bad habits. Certainly not from us. It’s probably their friends. We don’t approve of their friends. They wear too much makeup and they drink.

Sometimes we’re afraid we spoil parents by letting them have their way.

—“Parents Will Never Amount to Much” by Jamie and Suzy Kitman, December 19, 1964

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Read “Parents Will Never Amount to Much” by Jamie and Suzie Kitman from the December 19, 1964, issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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