In the Philippine social media today, kid shaming is the order of the day. There is a raging battle between people who believe that kids today are getting weaker due to lack of discipline from the teachers in school and a camp that says “Shut up, you know nothing Boomer”.
The first camp fondly recall their school days and share extreme punishment from their teachers and sharing that despite these punishments. they weren’t traumatized at all.
Memes abound poking fun of the kids and branding them as “mahina” or weak.
When these discussions started, I, of course, fell down on the second camp. I was annoyed, disgusted, and even sort of looked down at the naivety of some of my friends. But perhaps it is a discussion whose time has come.
The issue blew up with a grandmother bringing her grandsons’ case to the Tulfo Show. Accordingly, this grandson was shamed and made to go out of his classroom because of some misdemeanor. I will not be explaining that in detail as that is not my focus for today. (Besides, I haven’t watched it and will not be watching it in the future).
Now, Tulfo is a TV personality famous for his acerbic tongue and equally acerbic personality. I never liked the guy and I have never watched his show. The Tulfo Show -(may not be the correct title -just Google it if you want to take a peek) is a show of questionable quality but nonetheless is popular in the C slice of the Philippine class system. These are the people who (may) have lost belief in the Philippine justice system and are moblike in their need to see someone burn. Tulfo is quick to dispense justice that is both satisfying to the victims and brutal to the offenders. They are usually a drama of epic proportions and of full entertainment value.
So Tufo, in the eagerness to satisfy the blood lust of grandma and family, called the teacher in question and harangued and harassed her to resign from her post or be brought to court.
Normally, that would result in praises for his brand of justice. Unfortunately, the fickle public opinion swung the other way. Probably because Tulfo was so high with moral indignation and super feisty that day, he forgot one essential element -that teachers -especially public school teachers are especially respected around these parts.
And there the battle ensued with the ax falling ironically, not on the grandma’s family but against the kids of today. it became a full-court social judgment with everyone getting on the kangaroo. I would have felt bad if I’m a teenager on social media today. People you respect suddenly posting memes calling you weak, full of drama, “emotero”, etc. Posts like I suffered this and that but came out fine anyway. Some even said I am stronger today because of my teachers who hit me.
I’m not a kid and I feel bad. Well, I’m a mom so maybe that’s why I’m so incensed. I’m even more affected than when my DDS friends posts a bunch of lame-ass justifications for another of the president’s mishaps o social media.
I actually went and posted my own two cents which some people thought to be an opinion against the teachers. (Remind me to write that piece about how linear people can be.) In case you are misled, let me clear that up right away. No this is not a teacher against kid thing. How people can misunderstand that is just embarrassing.
As a parent, I understand where teachers are coming from. They may feel a loss of control -as I do feel a lot of times as a parent. Because this problem stems from that very fact -that we need to find new ways to interact with kids, to teach them not only their lessons but basic forms of respect and understanding. I imagine the feeling of loss of control magnified with the teachers -10 x nay, sometimes in public schools maybe 50X more. I homeschooled my first child and I can’t count how many times we had a meltdown -both him and me.
Our generation is different. I am bunching together the boomers, the Gen Xers, and even the half of the Millenials here. (I know, so wrong). But I would hazard to say without research that we grew up as followers and fanatics and the only choices for us are just either black or white. That was our generation. We didn’t know how to argue because to argue is bad. Authorities -teachers, priests, doctors, lawyers, and yes, parents are the holders of magical truth. We hate those who stand out -rebels and we feel threatened when people speak out. It’s a generalization and there are excellent examples of outliers but our historical truth proves this.
This new generation is different. We are trying to grow a more caring generation -kids who know what is right and wrong. Or not. We have already lost control. The kids are claiming their own truth. Now, there are all sorts of places where kids can get information. And usually the right one, at their fingertips. The oldies don’t control the truth anymore. Google is your friend.
I won’t disagree that there are all sorts of drama these days. Teens are acting out. Parents are blaming social media. I have two kids (one a teen and one A wise woman once said, correlation is not causation and I may have rose-colored glasses. The kids are behaving strangely and we might not have enough experience in understanding them. But let’s try. Lets make them brighter, kinder, more inspired, happier, more accepting of other people and beliefs, and more emotionally intelligent than the past generation.
Those kids, the seeds are in them. They know right and wrong and they know how to stand up for themselves. Inadvertently or not, we taught them to stand up for themselves because we realize that we got the wrong side of the stick from boomers so to speak. We are not raising a weak generation. We are raising a more loving and more aware people who know what is right and what is wrong and who can stand up for themselves. And that’s not weakness. That’s power.