Cale Sears

Curator, TEDxCoMo

This conversation is closed.

Why aren't kids (+ young adults) given more credit?

Young people are full of ideas, plain and simple. I feel like many times someone with a great idea is cast aside because of their age, they just get pushed into this category of "child" with the stereotype that they're unknowledgeable and naive. Sometimes we need a little of that childlike belief that our problems CAN be solved. At the very least it makes the world seem a bit brighter.

So what can a young person do to have their ideas or solutions to problems taken more seriously?

What are some ways they could get creative?

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    Dec 22 2011: There are two things in life which seem to be a dilemma: when we are young we rail against the wisdom of the generation ahead of us and when we are that generation we rail against the idea of embracing the dreams of those who follow in our footsteps. Were we able to embrace the qualities in each, think how much we might achieve. The wisdom of age the passion of youth.
    • Dec 23 2011: I think your comment also touches upon the idea of how we should be educating our young; right now, they are taught from the earliest moments to copy us in order to learn. We teach them how to speak, to read, to do math, to do everything seemingly, by modelling it for them. That's a great start, but it limits their behaviour to merely being a mirror of ours. Therefore, they don't get to move out of that modelling paradigm for a long time, if ever.
      What we SHOULD be doing is teaching children critical thinking skills from the earliest possible moment they can effectively implement them, so that we ARE benefitting from their passion and their lack of entrenchedness in the "ways things must be done". In that way, we ARE seeing new perspectives and ways of combining 'data', ways that will drive us forward.
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      Dec 23 2011: Lee is absolutely correct we have the best of both fighting each other. It seems ego on both parts hinders this process.
  • Dec 19 2011: There is nothing more powerful than an idea that is pursued to the end by determined individuals. In order words, execution is important, very important. MLK had a dream and he was shot for it, Beatles had a dream and played themselves to the toppermost of the poppermost, Zuckerberg borrowed a few ideas and built an empire and made himself Caesar, so did Jobs and Gates and so on... Whoever whines about getting credit is not taking sufficient action. That is the reason why adults frown to kids, it is easier to say why don't we go to Mars! than actually doing it...
  • Dec 16 2011: Often i think it has alot to do with how kids explain things. They often will explain things from a very basic view, concentrating on core principles of a subject.

    Unfortunately, when people explain things in this way, we tend to disregard said person's opinion, assuming this person doesnt have enough knowledge in a subject to take all variables into account and make an informed decision. Same goes for age - for obvious reasons.

    The thing about it is, it must be true much more often that not, otherwise we wouldn't think that way. I don't think it can be reversed. Though, I think if people were taught the following things, and/or given the opportunity to learn the following statement for themselves, we would become aware of our stereotypes and become more receptive to others.

    1. People should come to a very clear understanding that, the more people you have in a collective pool to give input on a subject, being the average education level is random, the more likely you are to finding a good idea.

    2. We should do studies, or perhaps someone can do a TED Talk, demonstrating how knowledge can very destructive to common sense. Or how common sense is sometimes a more efficient way to look at things as opposed to a scientific one - see 3.

    3. Demonstrate that when you look at the simple core principles of things, you can build larger models in your head, and view thier associations with eachother. Looking at the bigger picture of things..

    4. Children should have mentors helping them conceptualize things they are thinking into words. Also, how about providing some kind of public service, helping kids explain their ideas fully. Perhaps even extending off of their ideas before presenting their ideas to the scientific community. We could teach them how to do professional presentaions for their own TED talks.
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    Dec 19 2011: For me, as I have gotten older and believe from a position of insecurity that I need to have amassed a supply of knowledge, it is hard for me to treat young people as equal and not feel inadequate. One of the most difficult (and yet rewarding parts of being a manager) is to act as team. If we would act as team with youth and indeed children we would be able to combine winsome and vision and change the world I am sure, however while older people operate from a place of fear we will always have a tendency to push aside our young. I have just discovered street art and while a complete novice I can see the vision and passion in the work of young people and it inspires me to no end.
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    Dec 18 2011: Could it be that young people's ideas are relatively free from the influences and restrictions of history, and are therefore more creative?

    We say that adults are older and wiser, presumably because wise ideas are strengthened by experience - but again, experience is rooted in history.

    If ideas are to have credence, they are nearly always based on the wisdom of evidence brought about by theoretical knowledge and adult experience - which we regard as necessary to arrive at 'certainty'.

    My argument is that such certainty has a tendency to stagnate and restrict ideas, allowing little freedom to move about within pioneering and creative territory.

    I think there is less tendency for young people to allow themselves to be influenced by such restrictions, and very often what appears to wise adults as 'naivety' is actually an unrestricted, creative mind at work. What comes out of that thought process may often be wrong or even odd, but it is well worth going through several wrongs to arrive at a 'genius' right.

    Young people are good at this. They should be listened to a lot more.
    • Dec 18 2011: I completely agree with your first point Allan. For example, if you look at talent shows on television such as "America's Got Talent", there are so many kids who are able to go up on stage with no nerves and give it all they have. This is due to the lack of influences, restrictions, worries, stresses, experiences of rejection, etc. Kids are able to share any idea they have because they have not built up the horrible filter of fear that most people do when they grow old. People tend to reject ideas before even analyzing them fully because they label it to be "impossible", "silly", "naive", "crazy", etc. Those tend to be the best ideas!
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    Dec 18 2011: I think that young people with something substantial they want to bring to the table need to find the right person to bring it to. In my experience, I've seen age discrimination happen against younger people based on the misconception that they're more naive, and have had fewer "life" experiences to learn from, and thus, gain wisdom from. It's important to find someone to bring your ideas to, whether it's a teacher, mentor, web forum, etc. I've always been lucky enough to be able to hunt down someone to help me achieve my goals or work through something on any and all of those mediums.

    Young people should get creative by realizing that anything is possible. Whether it happens exactly as they invision it is one thing, but if they truly believe in something, set their mind to doing it, and create a strong foundation for it, then they'll be setting themselves up pretty well I think. I think it's important also to never stop learning, absorbing, communicating, sharing, experiencing...don't ever let themselves become stagnant, or burned out by what is thrown at them.
  • Dec 17 2011: After looking at the comments, I realized a few things that we havnt touched on.

    As a culture, we tend to give credit to those that work towards a specific position. People that go to school and graduate are given jobs over those whom havnt - regardless if the graduate is more capable of the job. It is viewed as though the graduate deserves it more. A person that has been at a company longer than someone else, deserves the promotion over the person with less exp within the company - regardless if they can do the job better. These kind of examples can be found throughout society.

    The thing about it is, kids pick up on these type of things as they opperate within the society and they start thinking in these terms, yet most of the time, I would bet that they cant make logical sense of it. Is it logical? I think its more humanitarian to run things this way, but not the best way to opperate a society thats focused on results. Is this good for their creativity? How can we make kids and adults truly feel that they are capable of coming up with great ideas when our society opperates within this model of thinking? Perhaps, in order to make kids more creative, the adults are the ones that need to change. Just some food for thought.
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    Dec 17 2011: This is a question I often ask myself. I think it is because most of us don't understand or don't practice the truth that is, "maturity and age are not the same things."

    We also have a hard time practicing the truth that, "not all experience is good experience so sometimes experience doesn't matter the way we think it does."
  • Dec 16 2011: As a 16 years old teenager, i strongly agree with this statement.
    People never took me seriously until last summer, when we had the big protest movement begining. I started attending hyde parks, debates and conversations. The Israeli mentality towards kids and teenagers changed a lot since last summer, i hope a similar thing is going on from the OWS movement.

    My moto about teenagers is: "enough old to understand and enough young to change".
  • Dec 29 2011: As a gifted "young adult" in my day, I always felt like I was ignored simply because of the adage "do as I say, not as I do", or some form of it. I remember several years worth of elementary school teachers asking me "Why must you question everything?" In fact, in a conversation over dinner only a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine asked "Who are YOU to question?" I value his friendship, else my response would have been "Who are YOU to not BE questioned?"

    Granted, there are times when an idea or a request or a response should not be questioned. In war, for example, with bullets flying around and bombs going off, it is vital that everyone trust and follow their commander (to a point, even in the most extreme example!).

    I have always felt, and probably always will, that when anyone takes issue with a question, it only exposes insecurity with the person. When I am asked a question that I do not know the answer to, I either will find the answer out for myself, or I will shrug it off with an "I don't know. Why don't you find out and explain it to me?"

    As for what can a young person do to be taken more seriously? Rather than try to convince someone that you know what you are talking about, show it, through an action.

    Actions speak louder than words, to tout another axiom.
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    Dec 29 2011: So what can a young person do to have their ideas or solutions to problems taken more seriously?

    They can make their ideas reality, taking action on their ideas providing tangible results. Unfortunately, its soceital human nature effect, we need to see and/or hear an idea produce in order to respect and accept it. In addition, surrounding ones self in a community of an open mind culture.
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    Dec 18 2011: I'll try to be a bit of an honest rabble rouser here... Why aren't kids given more credit? They haven't done anything to earn any credit yet. It's going to be at least a decade, before you do anything even remotely interesting... and, despite that, in fact, I would argue that kids get more credit for their ideas than anyone else does. When's the last time you heard an adult, go out of their way to complement another adult on anything? Adults complement children all the time.

    When you get older what you realize is that ideas don't matter... Actions matter.... Do something... Fix a problem and people will start listening to you. No one is going to help you. If you have an idea that will solve a problem, write a petition, and start working your town square. When you're the kid who got a mayor elected, people will give you some credit.

    I only mention this because I think that I happen to be at a good age for understanding (29). For most of my life,I wondered why I couldn't get people to listen to me... Then I reallized, that no one, listens to anyone. It's not that kids are mistreated, or seen as naive, it's just that when you get older, you've heard a million ideas that would all save the world, or the company, or the country, and you've never seen anyone actually follow one of those ideas to fruition. No one has protested anything in 40 years... Basically, our parents generation, the baby boomers, never grew up, they are still children, and they run the country now. They never reallized that talk, and ideas are cheap, actions are expensive.

    We are the first generation of children to grow up without a generation of adults, and so the last thing we can worry about, is what they think, or whether or not they like our ideas. We just have to work hard, and let them die off. If your ideas are good, you don't need an "adult" to encourage you. You need to to become a workhorse, and do it all on your own. Our generation, doesn't have "an adult in the room
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      Dec 18 2011: I think ideas do matter though, that's why TED exists...as a vehicle for change through the spread of ideas..
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        Dec 19 2011: See, I think that's the mistake, all young people make... I certainly did. The people on TED aren't amazing because of their ideas, they are amazing because they are turning those ideas into actions... That's why we all respect them. Just having the idea is nothing...

        Spreading the idea, encourages young people, to help the speakers put their ideas into action. If TED is just making you think, and not making you volunteer, it's not doing it's job. The goal of spreading ideas is to encourage mass action.

        If TED is merely an outlet that makes us feel like people are listening to us... then it is actually doing us a dis service, it is making us feel like our ideas are out their impacting the world, while in fact we just sit in front of the computer...

        Finally, I think you missed my most important point... What world do you live in, where kids are given less credit for their ideas than adults? I have experienced nothing but the opposite, my entire life. Adults are always complementing and encouraging children to "follow their dreams", they're always telling children "that was a brilliant idea" even when it's not... So I would argue that it's actually an over emphasis on creativity, and ideas in the extremely young (5-11 ish), that creates the illusion as you rise into teenage adulthood that "people aren't listening to me anymore".

        What you ignore is that "adults" don't listen to people who haven't done anything yet. There are maybe 500-1000 real adults left in this entire world, that are actually putting their ideas to good use... and those are the people "adults" listen to. They listen to inventors, and business owners, and scientists, that are actually putting their ideas to work... Why would anyone want adults to listen to people who aren't?
        • Dec 22 2011: I have to say I respectfully disagree with most of what you're saying. Before actions can even occur, an idea must be born. In that respect, the idea is the most important part. The next important part I would agree with you is the action and the following. But it's in the idea that can spark the following. If you had an idea that was mediocre at best but you were able to have a following, it would be a mediocre event. If you had a brilliant idea and were able to invoke the same response, it would be an incredible event. Not everyone is a leader, and not everyone is an idea-maker. To have both is remarkable. Sometimes those who come up with a fantastic idea can use the leader to put it into action.
          You said if TED is just making us think, it's not doing its job. But what is philosophy? By thinking we are developing our minds to better understand and transform ideas into something more. Not all ideas require action. And sometimes action is a personal kind- a reflective transformation.
          I think that the encouragement towards children that you speak of is somewhat hollow. If A co-worker were to come up with a creative idea and be supported it would be different than an 8 year old coming to his father with a creative idea and be supported. Since children of that age aren't taken too seriously on their ideas, it is more of a hollow support in order to nurture their creativity. It's immensely important to their growing that they know they can be creative if they choose to. I think it is the child-like adults that are the most successful in that they have the creativity and vivaciousness of a young mind in a body that has aged, rather than those who give into the age-old perception that "adults" can't be kids.. which is false. What separates children from adults? Age? Age only reflects experience. Maturity? I have known 16 year olds that are much more mature than 50 year olds. It all lies within.
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        Dec 22 2011: @ Matt Wolfe I think that the problem with your philosophy, is that it is based in the idea that people haven't already come up with all of the brilliant ideas to solve our problem. They have. The ideas are out there, the world just isn't controlled by intelligent, or caring people anymore, so they don't recieve investment capitol, and they don't recieve support.

        I would argue that, yes, the encouragement I describe towards children is often hollow... but so is the praise of a boss for a line worker. In the real world, you are less likely to recieve support as a manual laborer who feeds or clothes children, then you are to recieve support as a child.

        I would also argue that the world you describe wanting is the world we have. Adults that act like kids. Adults who have absolutely no self respect, or dignity left... Our children were turned into debt slaves, our bill of rights was erased, and we became a nation of people who is accepting of torture... No one did anything... We're all children now... We're all waiting for the adult in the room to do something, and it's killing us.
    • Dec 20 2011: I completely disagree David, not everyone is going to need 15, 20, or 30 years "before you do anything even remotely interesting". For example, there is a 12 year old boy who has written 5 full length symphonies already, something that most composers MIGHT accomplish in a lifetime, I find that quite interesting. Now yes, he has obviously taken his ideas and worked them out into action, I agree with that point, but I am sure that he has had help and support along the way (ex. his parents bought him a bass when he was very young).

      However, that is exactly what is wrong with our world, no one listens. I believe the purpose of this conversation is not whether children and young adults are heard and given praise for good ideas. That happens all the time, even too much, like you said when kids are over praised for mediocre work/ideas. It is the fact that when they have an incredible idea that could change the way we live, no one gives the idea real merit because of the person's age. No one truly believes and is willing to get involved or even discuss the idea because the idea is automatically discounted due to age.

      Another example, like I said before, is rules and terms of competitions that rule out entrants that are below a certain age. Of course, I understand that for certain laws people need to be over 18 or 21, but over than that I believe this is unnecessary in most situations.
      • Dec 21 2011: I've always wondered what other people think about the relationship between a great idea that changes the world if actualized, and the creation of a tremendous symphony, which certainly might make a small group of people feel better, but which, in my opinion, does exceptionally little to make any difference whatsoever in the lives of people in real need. I have to imagine that a very high percentage of ted's members and fans, are significantly interested in taking steps that work against what seems to be perpetual oppression. By that i mean the fact that a considerable percentage of the people in our world, never have any practical chance whatsoever of realizing their dreams, unless they're truly supermen or superwoman who'd flush nietzsche's cheeks. I have long fought for the idea that ART alone is far from sufficient to achieve anything approaching a state of free and equal peace for the human family who together inhabit this magical but staggering planet. I know it seems ignorant to many people, but when comparisons are made between a pianist and a brilliant researcher who gives their life to save millions of lives from some hideous disease, i get more than a little bit uncomfortable. The application of our creative abilities to various and unique pursuits, while entirely within our rights, can vary in what i would consider to be their objective value. Kids seem to choose their dreams in a great proportion of cases, largely as the result of having only been directly exposed to a highly limited set of options. A child inventor, no matter how great, is largely left exposed to a capitalist industry with a voracious appetite for whatever can generate more extra revenue, and from what i can see, unable to share his or her idea with any kind of great international philanthropic organization. In fact, the entire means we possess for generating and protecting the rights of inventors, as i'm sure is discussed otherwhere in TED, is ridiculous if we seek enlightened society
  • Dec 18 2011: Wow-- great question, Cale. I think the best way for a young person to start putting a big idea into motion is to take it to the internet. The internet doesn't judge you on your age, it judges you on your content. There are hundreds of young people now with remarkable ideas for non-profits and businesses, and they are creating their own websites, blogs, and social media communities around their causes. It is so important for young people to become internet-literate so they can have the opportunity to take action and do something, regardless of their age.

    To answer your question with a "physical world" answer, I would say that the best way for a young person to gain momentum is by first getting a strong mentor. Having a mentor that supports you, and is willing to back you up with their own credentials and reputation, is usually enough validation to get an idea moving forward. It worked for me :)

    What do you think?
  • Dec 17 2011: This has constantly frustrated me as a young adult (now 19), as I matured quicker than most kids my age when growing up. It has been hard to gain respect form some people much older than me, at times taking more work than it should to prove myself.

    I completely agree with Joe that we need to have more mentors for young adults with great ideas and talents. I think this would have quite an impact on how adults view the younger generation, once the protégées succeed.

    One point that really gets on my nerves is regarding art submissions and certain organizations that will only take proposals from "professional artists" and will not allow undergraduate students to apply. I understand reasons for this, but I believe that the art community is missing out on a lot of great work and ideas by restricting young people like this. This is just one example I have experienced in my life.

    It is incredible to hear children and young adults talking on TED, and I know there are more that would flourish if given more credit (where it is due).
    • Dec 18 2011: I feel the same way about not being heard and maturing quicker than my peers.I'm still going through this(I'm 13).
      • Dec 18 2011: Unfortunately, for me it lasted up until high school and still affects me today. I would suggest getting a job (if possible), it allows you to be around people much older than you, which I found helped. College and university are also a lot better than high school because of the wide range of ages attending.

        Regarding not being heard, speak up and never stop. In fact. yell if you feel you have an idea worth sharing. :)
  • Dec 17 2011: I don't think people expect kids to be worthy of any credit. The standard that kids are held at is way lower than it should be and I think if we raised the standard people would be surprised how much kids can actually do. I know there are many kids that exceed the standards, but only the ones that speak up are the ones that are heard (get credit). What's an idea if you're not sharing it?
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    Dec 30 2011: I suspect you'll find when you are older that there are people who don't like things to be disrupted, regardless of the age of the person doing the disrupting. In other words, they'll still be responding the same way, just using a new excuse to dismiss what you are saying.

    The problem may be that you don't have access to the right people - the ones who will listen - possibly because you are younger (maybe not) and they are not in your current sphere. Theoretically, as you age, you select your community to more closely match your own interests.

    Age may be a secondary factor, not the primary.

    There are and always have been young people who know the right people to help them open the doors to put the ideas into motion. I've often wondered how much of that was just an accident of birth/geography.
  • Dec 30 2011: Children lack the cognitive ability of formal operational thinking and abstract reasoning since evolution and culture have somewhat delayed the pressure for maturity. Life experiences also help one have a more concrete perspective and age is how one collects experiences. Alternatively, youth are able to identify when adults are being hypocritical, immature, and selfish since their minds are less cluttered with responsibilities related to basic survival - food, clothing, shelter.

    Ways in which youth can be taken seriously would be through achievement as well as finding the ability to present their ideas in a context where adults are able to listen and understand, such as in this conversation.
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    Dec 30 2011: Because primal instinct tells us that age = experience, even though logic tells us otherwise. This stems from a time when you would have been more than lucky to live to the age of 40, and those who were elderly truly had to be clever to be alive.

    While these conditions are long gone and the cultural perceptions are fading fast with baby boomers (in 1965 you'd never associate grey hair with a criminal. Now it's easy) it is still more than strong enough to warp our viewing age.
  • Dec 29 2011: I think in most cases, adults'--especially the elders' EXPECTATIONS decide what's credible or not. Intentionally or not, they expect that young people--especially children and teens have to measure up to them.Sometimes their willingness to make the youngs follow their orders or way of thinking is so strong that it's possible that they kill the youngs' creativity and confidence. No offence, but I dare say the elders also need to have humility when they treat young people.I know that in most cases, the elders have many experiences and they are wiser than young people, but that could also mean that they have specific ways of seeing the world. In other words, their wisdoms and experiences reflect their specific perspectives. So, it's quite understandable that elders can easily look down on young people's ideas which is quite naive and simple compared to the elders'. Nevertheless, adults--the elders should be careful when they are getting strict to the young especially when the elders force young people to be obedient. Otherwise, they not only kill young people's creativity, but also they can hurt young people's feelings. And I believe if the elders fail to listen and understand young people's ideas, the relationship between them would be getting worse, which means the way to get a solution for this QUESTION would also be getting difficult!Think about mother who let her child draw what he wants and just smile to him even if the picture he drew looks ugly.I think that attitude is just the proper example of giving credit to kids and that is the way to encourage young people to be creative. Although when young people are getting rude or when they seems to be clearly wrong, the elders wisdom and strict attitudes are needed, the basis of the elders' attitude needs to be receptive to the youngs.
    • Dec 29 2011: I would agree, but it is because parents are viewed as the most responsible for the child's actions regardless if it is for the child's failure or success.
      • Dec 30 2011: I know what you mean, but responsible attitude and stubborn attitude are different.And responsible attitude requires flexibility--in this case receptive attitude.
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    Dec 24 2011: It's interesting we talk about young people as though we were never young ourselves, as though we grow apart from our youth. Instead of being so aloof maybe we should see youth as an investment for the future and give young people credit where credit is due. As young people we have an inexhaustible desire to learn and to dream and to give life a go. What we lack is the experience to make all of this come to fruition. As older people we loose the willingness to dream and explore (not always but for most) but what many of us gain is the experience to understand how things work, surely if we combine our learning with the respect that the young deserve we might get great results. The thing we need to remember is that we were once that young person who did not get respect or credit. It's up to us to take the lead and change the future.
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    Dec 23 2011: To be honest, the children should do something really serious during daily to show that they have the ability to solve the problems reasonably.
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    Dec 23 2011: It's mostly because they are not articulate when expressing themselves, lack humility when making a point and don't usually have the power of judgement or the experience in life to reach an informed conclusion when it comes to a balance of probabilities. Not to say that all adults are qualified, most people are not inclined to be logical, analytical and clear but someone with thes qualities and with life experience CAN DO IT BETTER!
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    Dec 23 2011: The concept that the young bull is challenging the old bull for control of the herd. A bright young mind is scary to the old guard. However, I am sure that they are listening but as you say the credit will not be accurately given. A quick story. The Univ of Washington had been working to isolate a cancer gene with no success. They developed a game with the string available and critieria established and placed it on the web. The problem that had eluded the schools minds and resources for years was solved by a 14 year old in four days. His name was never disclosed and the school may well make millions on the information in cancer prevention and/or cure. If a concept is documented then credit will follow. I would recommed that young people use the resources available and submit papers, copyright, find a sponsor and enter a agreement. There are new concept conferences all over. Do some research and take a protype for display and let the world know you have arrived. Perhaps a corporation will hire/sponsor your ideas.
  • Dec 21 2011: @ David
    I agree with you. We are seeing a very dramatic gap in not only wealth, but intellect.

    But this isn't due to some corruption or anything of the sort of our economy. It has to do with the fact that the USA is undergoing a process of mechanization not seen in over a century. Our manufacturing is currently expanding quite remarkably, and yet its not hiring. Why? Because machines can do the work.
    Go to a home depot or a Ralphs and you'll see cashiers replaced by machines. Everything is now done by machines

    This means that the only people who will be able to succeed in the future, are those who can do jobs that machines can't. These are lawyers, doctors, businessmen. These people will and have seen their incomes expand quite tremendously.

    The reason for the divide is simple. One half of the US is getting college degrees, the other isn't. One half will make it in the future, and the other half will decay as their unemployment gets ever higher. Unemployment for those with college degrees is under 4%. For those without, over 15%.

    And I wouldn't say the quality of education is declining. Quite the contrary. Students are getting better and so are colleges.

    @Johan

    Of course, I know more than anything that grades do not translate to skill or ability. Not even close. This is why the Ivy league no longer uses this as the main deciding factor. Because they know that good scores does not translate into a good/skilled person. Its why quite often you'll see a 2300 student getting rejected from Stanford, while a 2000 SAT who started their own business, get in.

    The older generation had to do nothing of what my generation has to. They did not have to start businesses or non-profit organizations in order to get into a good college. No, all they had to do was score moderately well on the SAT.

    Even my Mom and Dad admit that they just screwed off in high school.

    Now if you want to go to college, you sure as hell can't screw off.
  • Dec 21 2011: It is true that kids/young adults arent always given credit, but this has to do with so much more than just having great ideas. How many kids have ideas but never implement them, they never do anything constructive, they simply blow smoke into the eyes of adults. This makes it hard for any adult to take them seriously. It all comes down to generalizing kids/young adults from what is normally seen by their actions. We do the same with anything else and until each and every one of us, personally proves they deserve credit, it will not be given to them open handed. Respect is earned not given just because one says something or thinks something, it must come from a body of work. Fortunately the world works like this or else we'd have every idiot on the block thinking he or she is the next great big thing.
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    Dec 20 2011: Children and young adults DO have some simple, yet great ideas!
    As long as I'm concerned they are not ideas which we should disregard in any way for no reason!
    BUT:
    1. Children and young adults think they do but really don't have experience.
    2. They don't know how to promote their ideas successfully among other age groups.
    3. They are usually not financially independent which is very important if you wish to spread ideas widely.

    What to do?
    Do volunteer work.
    Get involved in extracurricular activities.
    Get a summer job (preferably at the seaside).
    Invest the money wisely in practical appliances and facilities to help you in your projects.

    Ways to be creative:
    Make a blog ... make it popular.
    Try out new things: sports, hobbies, etc.
    Travel as much as possible - that opens new worlds.

    AND MOST IMPORTANTLY : THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!
    DO THINGS AS IF IT'S THE LAST TIME YOU'LL DO THEM.
  • Dec 20 2011: We deserve respect because,
    1. we have to defend our ideas every day from scrutiny
    2. "Jonah Oakes" what about the 1.1 out of the 10,we shouldn't be ignored
    3. Classes have gotten harder, were were you at my age; alg.1 or geometry (hahaha)
    4. we are working to what? the generations before us have screwed up the economy, government, and other issue's ( not only in the U.S ) that make it harder for us to succeed in life!
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      Dec 20 2011: 1. EVERYONE has to defend their idea from scrutiny. Its called a competitive market!
      2. "Jaboc Ferragamo" The one in ten children (young adults) should have the responsibility to promote and capture interest in their own. We should not have to plead with young adults to give us credit.
      3. Im still in high school...and I am in AP Calculus. So good try on the joke, but sorry.
      4. Yes, let us pull an Obama on this. GEORGE BUSH screwed us up! How about we rise above that? The Great Generation rose above Hoover's Great Depression. They had it hard too, but they still pulled out and made their lives better. I hate people that whine. Take action!

      Plus, if you are going to be objective, please, be smart about it and edit your post.
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      Dec 20 2011: I agree with Johan, but I would like to add a post script... Actually, if you live in America... Your standards have been lowered over the last 40 years. We have been trying to make things "more fair", and so now, people graduate high school functionally illiterate. Any attempt to delude yourself into thinking you learned more in high school than your parents, is naive.

      Your parents studied harder subjects, and were expected to display greater mastery in said subjects than you are. The standards for graduating High School used to be much higher, that's why everyone who shows up, graduates now. School is no where near as competitive and results oriented as it used to be, and that's why, in my opinion, we've raised a generation of "adults" that can't think for themselves, or put their ideas into action. They got old, they graduated, but they didn't learn anything.
      • Dec 20 2011: David you are right on the parenting concept over this generation but, if anything, standardizing testing is a lot harder compared to the past. For a student trying to get accepted to college is a lot more competitive then in the past. To focus on the initial topic, parents usually both get the credit and the blame over the actions of the child because they are in charge of raising them. This does not mean that is right, but it is just a general reason for it. David, the problem is the parenting style of this generation and the general attitude of the generation, not their education.
      • Dec 20 2011: Hi David,
        You have some good points but I highly disagree with your presumption that our parents worked harder.
        I'm a senior in high school, and I can say that I have to work my butt off every day. I do at least 10 all nighters a year (last year, I did a 50 breadth of no sleep for testing). You know what I did on my birthday this year? I took a 3 and half hour AP test.


        Even my parents say school was easier back then. For my parents, only the smartest kids took calculus and physics. At my public school, only the stupid kids don't take calculus or physics.

        Colleges are far more competitive, and far harder than they've ever been. More kids go to college now then ever before, and as a result, colleges are getting incredibly competitive. The number of kids attending college has grown enormously (at my public school over 80% attend a college of some sort) but the number of colleges has not (as much).

        Colleges are less "results based" because everyone gets perfect results now. Not because the system is easier, but because the students are better. I'm in the 99th percentile for ACT scores, and yet I'm only in the middle 50% for those applying to the Ivy league.

        Even my friends from China, Korea, and India say that school here is very very hard if you want it to be.

        You see American education is different from most nations. If you don't try, you won't learn. Simple as that. Our education is even based on the principle of choice. You wanna learn, and you'll learn. You dont' want to, and you won't.

        But if you do try, the sky really is the limit. Sure, our averages may be sub-par for a first world nation, but we pump out better top students than other nations.

        And after all, its the few, not the many, that push society forward. Newton was one man, but his impact is greater than the impact of the entire nation of Yemen.
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          Dec 20 2011: I will concede that intelligent and hard working children that have chosen to learn, do work harder than their parents... but I would also argue that at best, that's 5% of the population. The other 95% had it much harder in the past, if they wanted to graduate high school.

          The gap between smart and stupid is increasing, as smart people have access to information they would not have in the past. There are more special programs for gifted children now. AP classes and college credit, are relatively common, among young intellectuals and that's a great thing...

          We have traded those things for lower standards for general graduation, however. Stupid people, are getting dumber, and they're being called graduates, despite being functionally illiterate, not just in high school, but all the way up through college... People who can't write in complete sentences, are graduating, and so, the value of the degree you're working hard to get, is being degraded by these people. If you don't get into an Ivy league school now, your degree is practically worthless, unless you're an engineer.

          Also, if you really believe this statement "Colleges are less "results based" because everyone gets perfect results now", you live in a white, rich, private school, bubble that is completely deluding you to reallity... Have you met some of the people who graduate from CSU's? Have you ever met regular people? Because, I have to tell you, I was in the 99th percentile in ACT's and SAT's, and because of this... I know... Most of the people graduating today, are idiots.

          Increased enrollment and graduation means lower standards, not higher ones. Yes 50k a semester schools are a bit different, but the amount of people that go to them, is virtually negligible, and even they have lowered their standards for rich doners... So even their degrees are a bit suspect now. I mean, our most famous businessmen left universities because they weren't challenging enough... The system doesn't work.
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          Dec 21 2011: Scott, I am saying this as a AP high school senior as well:

          The main difference between our generation and theirs is action. It is the impulse to act and the knowledge to turn facts into results. The thing is, perfect ACT's do not translate into success, even now, Ivy League does not translate into guaranteed job (just ask OWS). Their generation might have had few learning materials and programs, but they utilized a lot of what they knew because of their experience as WORKING men and women. The problem now is that perfect students now have no idea what is is like to be hired. Thus a lot, not all, go to college with out work experience. Consider Steve Jobs ("or the guy that you pick on because he walks a different route to regular English everyday"), the man did not have a perfect ACT, nor did he have a perfect moral record. He was also probably the kid that "forgot their homework on the desk." Yet, don't we all have to pay some respect to the Man. Steve Jobs knew the relationship between knowledge and action. Our kids today do not. This is why college graduates often have to be told what to do.

          (My AP English teacher would kill this essay. It is so off-track.)
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    Dec 19 2011: I'm glad you brought this issue.
    Adults "cut children's legs" because they´re disapointed and frustrated with life that the only thing they can say is : "That is impossible" and "You´re a dreamer". Martin Luther King was a dreamer, Mahatma Gandhi was a dreamer, Einstein was a dreamer, Picasso was a dreamer, Nelson Mandela was a dreamer. What´s wrong of being a dreamer? Those people fought for what they believe, they´ve pushed theirselves to reach their golds, and to be true the world as reached this far thanks to this people that didn´t resignated and dreamed to go further.
    Is there anything wrong in dreaming high and pursue our dreams?

    I think this stereotype will not change untill some child make a real difference with strong impact.
    Or maibe untill most of children (teenagers specially) start to living in reality and getting maturity that in their ages it was supposed to have.
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    Dec 19 2011: 1. 1 in 10 children have somewhat of a decent idea. Others have already been tried or are just plain ignorant. (Not saying children are dumb, they just have no experience).
    2. Children have not done anything to deserve respect. They are still in the experiment stage. They must realize the trials and effort needed to propose idea into action.
    3. What adult would like to give credit to a child? "Hey, my little twelve year old told me that I should stop taxing my constituents!" Im pretty sure the board will not favor to that too well.
  • Dec 19 2011: How do you give kids more credit?
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    Dec 19 2011: Kids + young adults often hit too close to home - we're honest. Some people might label a child's point of view as being naive or even stupid, but I think it's the closest thing to truth that's often presented in any given situation. In order for younger generations to be taken more seriously, people need to be more receptive and willing to hear the truth, even if it leads to a negative perception of themselves or the situation at hand. And no, kids aren't necessarily out solving world hunger or curing terrible diseases yet, but they need to be taken seriously so they can learn and grow and become the next generation of problem solvers. You can't instantly change the world or even create a huge impact on a massive group of people when you're underage, but if you can help your mom or a sibling or a friend overcome something, you develop important skills that can be applied to bigger and better ideas in the future.

    Bottom line, kids need to remain honest. It's the adult world that needs to be more receptive and develop a higher tolerance for honest voices.
  • Dec 19 2011: Thanks for the advice!
  • Dec 18 2011: I agree that children and young adults do not get the credit or power they deserve. Society misses out by wasting this valuable resource and trying to brainwash them rather than appreciate them for the valuable input they can make into the growth of our knowledge and improvement of our society. Adults misuse children. When adults were young children, the adults in their lives may have denigrated them or brainwashed them. There seems to be a process of insecure people trying to make others feel lower about themselves thinking it will make them feel higher. It does not work. I remember feeling a certain mental peak when I was between the ages of 10 to 13. I remember an adult aunt of mine turning to me for an opinion in a conversation she was having with my mother when I was about 10 years old. I was shocked. I do think that children who have not been brainwashed by their elders are valuable resources our society should engage and respect. I think we would all be more creative, if creativity were not inhibited by the power-and-control freaks, i.e., elders, "authorities," dead people, who insist(ed) on limiting our freedoms of thought, speech and creation by trying to make us believe they are/were righter than we are.
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    Dec 17 2011: Not only are they full of ideas and more creative, but their thoughts are clouded with cynicism. Plenty of adults have ideas that are immediately and subconsciously dismissed by their own cynical bias.
    • Dec 19 2011: Paul, I think you meant to say "their thoughts are NOT clouded with cynicism."
  • Dec 17 2011: Hi Cale, kids do not get credit because, grown humans forget, how it was to be a kid. It is a lost human, feeling. :(
    Good and excellent question!
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    Dec 16 2011: The problem is, our parents' generation is in the mindset that they must control and instigate everything. There is a serious lack of independence when it comes to childhood and "helicopter parents" plus this notion that kids spend too much time in trivial (or less educational) activities hinders older members of our society to see the potential we have. I think the best course of action is what Dean is doing; show others that you are devoted to something and be passionate about it. A lot of my friends are taking part in Occupy Wall Street and it's because of actions like that, which allow others to see who we are and what we're capable of, that generations earn respect.