Bullying has now become generational. Those kids who received a trophy for losing at soccer and a ribbon for peeing in the pot have now come of age, and boy are some of them pissed off.
Like all age groups, 95% of the generation Xers and millenials are amazing and brilliant and will hopefully fix the world that boomers have broken with greed and materialism. It's the other 5% of the younger generation that are cropping up as both anonymous and angry.
They are the young cyberbullies, and I have to say they worry me a little. Based upon comments made online, I'm afraid they're sitting in a room filled with all of their childhood trophies, discarded cans of Red Bull and very little access to sunlight.
Recently, I wrote an article about watching my children graduate and how awful graduation ceremonies can be, and instantly received snarky comments about being a helicopter parent. I do understand the phenomena of helicopter parents and know, from experience, that it is real. However, I didn't think just showing up to my daughter's graduation made me one.
As I read more comments throughout Huffington Post and AOL, I realized that this small percentage of respondents are commenting on anything written by their parent's generation. And they don't really like us all that much.
The 5% are alive . . . . they're a-l-i-v-e!! And, yes, their behavior is a little monstrous.
I knew things weren't going to go well in the future when I witnessed a toddler's birthday party and the five year-old came out in a glittery gown with a tiara and make-up and received a white Escalade as a present. This actually didn't happen to me, but I saw it once on television.
Or the year I worked as a teacher and had multiple parents with horribly behaved kids tell me that their child was a genius and was bored in class and that's why he was acting like a jackass. I wanted to tell them that I knew a couple of true geniuses, and their kid was no genius, but I wasn't allowed.
In another instance, one student was emptying another girl's purse while I stood outside the classroom disciplining the kid who had just pulled his pants down in class.
The parents of the thief responded that I should teach ethics and morality in class.
Soccer came next, and I've never seen so many potential Hamms or Beckhams in one school. Particularly with so little talent. I wanted to tell the parents that their child was probably not going to become a superstar, especially since the word "ham" was not part of their last name. But they didn't listen to the soccer coach, so why should they listen to me?
Every single game, the coach proved heroic as he weathered parents screaming:
Why aren't you playing Amy? She showed up to practice twice in a row!
I don't care if my daughter has never played goalie. That's where we've decided she'll get her scholarship, so put her in the goal!
Perhaps our obsession with having the most talented kid in the world caused too much stress.
Apparently we didn't realize that our child could not grow up to be a neurosurgeon who performed modern dance in the operating room while playing a clarinet and bending it like Beckham.
Being the best was required by most baby boomer parents. When my kids were little, trophies were handed out like placebos, given to every kid who tried. While this sounds kind, it creates creatures who believe they are naturally talented at everything. Therefore, they don't work at anything.
If you don't believe me, just listen to people who try out for American Idol as their boomer parents say, The boy can sing -- it's a gift, and we mortgaged our home and sold our mother to get him here today! Then he sings and makes Tiny Tim sound like Placido Domingo.
The majority of our kids grew up in spite of us, and have become wonderful adults. But that 5% is, apparently, sitting at their computer with a lot of pent-up anger. According to their comments we are taking their jobs and they want us out of the way.
Of course this comes from keyboard warrior Tommy who is unemployed and still has his breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cable television, cell phone and car paid for by those same loser parents.
I would recommend to baby boomer parents that if your adult child comes up from the basement long enough to ask about how much insurance you have and if he/she is the recipient and if they can start taking shooting lessons, you should kick them out and get new locks on the doors as quickly as possible.
Have a few helicopter parents created their own Frankenstein? Perhaps.
As keyboard warriors continue to type hateful things under monikers like "blastboomers" or "lizzywasright," I would have to offer a warning to boomer parents. Our monsters might be turning on us. Maybe we can blame it on the teachers.
Trying to find out the root cause behind a defiant teen's rebellion is a great step in a positive direction. Your teen may be having problems with a friend, a girlfriend/boyfriend or a teacher and misdirecting their emotions at you. Try talking with them about what could be causing the behavior.
Teenagers who are involved in activities tend to have a more positive outlook and stay out of trouble at a larger rate than those who aren't.
It's easy for parents to get caught up in issues relating to work, finances and the day-to-day hassles of managing a family. It's important, however, to remember to spend quality time with your child a have meaningful conversations. Teens often act out when they feel they're being ignored.
As a parent, it's not uncommon to be at odds with your child. But it's important to make distinctions between those battles that are worth fighting and those that could be best described as vehicles for general contention. Ask yourself, is this argument necessary or can it be put aside?
Despite what your teen may say, they do not prefer dealing with their issues alone. Making a consistent effort to talk to your teen and listen to what they have to say -- offering advice only when appropriate -- can go a long way toward showing them that you're teammates and not opponents
Follow Donna Highfill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DonnaHighfill