Generation Slob

Are we raising a generation of slobs? I’m asking this question after I had a somewhat depressing discussion with my teenage daughter. Her high school had to suspend “North Time” which is an hour in their daily class schedule where students can eat lunch, get help with school work, and have club meetings.

The reason the beloved North Time was suspended is because some of the kids were being gross. Apparently, trash was being haphazardly strewn throughout the school. You know it’s bad when the principal has to send an email to all the parents informing them that a part of their child’s school schedule is being adjusted because there’s an outbreak of lazy with side of disgusting.

I was so repulsed by the thought of almost adults being such slackers that they couldn’t even throw away their lunch trash that I called the principal. He made me feel better and then worse by informing me that this rampage of slobdom is not confined to just my child’s school. It’s happening everywhere.

Selfishly, I was glad that my daughter’s school wasn’t ground zero for the epidemic and that the principal was mounting a defense, but that moment of relief was replaced by a surge of mom anger that our kids are acting like feral hogs wallowing in their own filth.

The more I thought about it the more I became uncomfortable because I began pondering the very real possibility that I’ve failed my children. This hit me when I asked my daughter if she was picking up trash around the school. (I’m assuming she is throwing away her own lunch trash because quite frankly I can’t function in a world where my 17-year-old is that big of an idiot.) She responded by wrinkling up her nose, shuddering and then saying, “Eww no.”

“What do you mean eww no? Why wouldn’t you pitch in?”

“Duh, because it’s disgusting and it’s not my trash.”

I totally went off and began listing all the things I pick up, clean off, launder, wipe down, put away, scrub, and mop that aren’t “mine.”

She was unimpressed and although she was smart enough not to say it I knew she was thinking, “Well, you’re a mom and that’s what moms do.”

And she’s, of course, right, and here is where I’ve failed because at some point I should have handed off more of these responsibilities that my children apparently feel are “mom tasks.”

To compound the problem, I’ve also fallen into what I call the “busy child trap”. This is where you tell yourself that your kid with a heavy academic load and a demanding extracurricular activity is too busy to even clean their own room. Yep, not always, but more times than I care to fess up to I’ve cleaned my daughter’s room.

I’m outing myself and welcome the public shaming. I deserve it. It’s probably a good thing that my mother (the Goddess of Clean, who taught me to polish silver at age five and at age eight the joys of ironing pillowcases while watching the soap Another World with the esteemed Susan Sullivan as the lovely and complex Lenore Curtin.) isn’t around to witness my failure in passing the chore baton onto my children.

Because you see the issue is greater than raising kids that don’t help around the house. We’re creating soon to be adults who don’t value cleanliness and that’s a bigger problem.

Cleanliness is a sign of order, discipline and respect. Three things you need to be a success in life and three things that must be taught at home. If our kids are slobs we can’t blame the schools instead we need to look in a mirror.

10 thoughts on “Generation Slob

  1. irreverendt says:

    This is a problem as old as Adam reminding Eve to pick up the apple core and throw it in the trash bin. Unfortunately there are large percentages of the population(of all ages) who appear to have little or no awareness of what i consider a critical character flaw. Some like my son went from being a teenage slob to a complete neat freak as an adult. Unfortunately there are those who never get it.

  2. Sandy C. says:

    Yes, you are! I say you because the problem for me is my grandchildren, one of whom lives wuth me and pays rent. She is the sweetest person in the world but her room is an absolute pit! Way beyond what my own 5 kids did in their day. And several of my other grandkids are just as bad. I suggested to my granddaughter the other day that she imagine she had a baby who would be crawling on her floor and clean it accordingly! In your generation’s defense, I did not see my daughters raising their kids to be slobs. Is it something inborn about this generation? Maybe their children will react by becoming neat freaks. One can only hope! In the meantime my granddaughter’s room has a “No food or drink inside” sign placed on her door by me. Sigh.

  3. Love/HateBVBubble says:

    “Cleanliness is a sign of order, discipline and respect.”

    I know several JoCo bubble kids that lack at least one, if not all three, of these traits. This is the result of helicopter parenting and social engineering. Congrats parents, we’re raising a generation of filthy a**holes. I realize there are a lot of great kids in the community but it sure seems like they’re getting more difficult to find.

  4. momsgirls says:

    I have two girls 11 and 8 and I feel like I’m scrutinized by many for having them do some work around the house! Hence the word “some”. We cloroxed the garage floor every weekend after cleaning out the fridge and taking the stove apart for a good chore girl scrubbin’. Kids are lazy these days, mine included. Shame on us.:]

  5. fforhire says:

    Although it is easier said than done, if is the parents respobsibilty to teach their children of the sense of responsibility at a young age. They need to be responsible and independent if they are to live their adult lives a little easier…

  6. eastcoastgal says:

    My husband is a huge slob slob. Before we met, my house was clean if somewhat cluttered and I cleaned the counters after cooking or making a sandwich. Dishes were washed daily. Now, not so much. I can get all the dishes caught up and 2 hours later the counter is full of dirty pots and pans. I sweep and mop the floors and by the end of the day there’s mud everywhere. I’ve been asking for a mudroom for ages, but nope. I try to clean up his side of the dining room table and I find dirty flatware under used paper towels. I try to keep up with it but I am fighting a losing battle. In no way does our house look anything like one of those on hoarders but I still rarely invite anyone over to the house. I know his mother didn’t raise him to be that way but I love him so I put up with it.

  7. Kim says:

    Am I the only one bothered that the principal’s reaction to the negligence of a few is to punish the entire student population? In this day and age of cameras everywhere why not punish the few who are not picking up after themselves?
    I agree with your comments (and am guilty) about doing too much around the house and not ensuring that my two pitch in and help on a consistent basis.

  8. texashomeschooler says:

    I can’t throw stones! I too have a high achieving senior (3rd in her class of 550) and she is a piggie! I too excuse it because she truly is busy and truly is a great kid, but I too feel that I may have done a disservice 😳

  9. JanetB says:

    I am heartened only to learn that I’m not alone. I also have a high achieving senior and a junior that are both so busy I give them a pass waaaaay too often. It’s shameful what their rooms look like on a regular basis. And then I also will go in there and clean and clean. Spend all my day working on their rooms and get no reprieve because the next day there is a dishwasher full of dishes in their rooms. I ask and ask and tell them how I had to clean the house every Saturday growing up, and my sister and I had long lists of chores, but just get eye rolls. It’s embarrassing and I do feel I’ve failed them too.

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