I decided to write this blog post to shed light on an issue that I feel is getting worse constantly...
In recent years, I noticed a change in attitude towards children. When I was a kid, and throughout history, children have always been considered "annoying". Most children are difficult in some way. They're forgetting instructions and rules, asking dumb questions, and so on. It's also to be expected that children can't speak or write properly, and things they create (like videos, drawings) will not be perfect. Children are not fully developed, physically or mentally. They will act in stupid ways. They will say and do stupid things. This is natural and it's part of their development. This has always been more or less understood and accepted by humanity...
Nowadays, I notice kids are being bullied more and more simply for acting their age. Called retarded when they are just speaking in a way that people that age do. Or their work being ridiculed because it's "poorly made". I'm just sitting there like a question mark thinking "Isn't he a child?". If someone who is 20 acts, says and does the same things as an 11 year old, then fine. I can see the point. But kids are kids. Even myself, I recently saw a video of myself as a 10 year old singing about deodorant while doing a chicken dance. It made me cringe, I asked my mom if I was a normal kid or if I was retarded somehow. My mom said "You were a child! This is what children do." And she's right. I had allowed myself to get influenced by the modern judgemental attitude towards children.
I blame the Internet for this one. So many of the "stupid" comments you see on YouTube, or in social media in general, are often written by children I think. Or very young teenagers. People who are not mature enough to understand. People who are still in development. Then older people actually argue with them! Back when I was a kid, adults would just smile and say "Oh really? I see." They would never argue with a child, that was considered extremely stupid. People would ask "Why are you lowering yourself to a child's level? Are you joking?". It was unheard of. Because everybody understood that children are not capable of having these discussions on a mature level.
I've also seen cases of kids making videos on YouTube, and people putting them down or straight up insulting them. "This video is shit" and so on. "Learn to speak properly!". This amazes me. When you can clearly see that it's a child in the video, why the hell would you expect perfection? This drawing for example http://cdn.skim.gs/images/xsfshktsma1f1qyimxhg/childs-drawings-and-their-meanings I'm sure today people would laugh at this and call it "retarded". Maybe even bully the kid who made it. But this is a perfectly normal drawing for a child...
The worst problem is that when children are being bullied and put down by older people, simply for acting their age, can you even begin to imagine how insecure they will become? Their self esteem will be messed up, they will start to question themselves. Needlessly! People older than them are supposed to encourage and guide them.
So please, whenever a troll appears, check his or her age. If the person is infact a child, then show that you are no longer one yourself by being understanding. Act as a mature adult (or strive to be one if you're not yet an adult but in your upper teens). Don't let yourself be dragged down to an 11 year old's level and start teasing and bullying like a kid. That if anything makes me cringe. Kids are kids, that's fine, their irritating traits are to be expected. But people who are/are nearly adults, what is their excuse?
Obviously some kids are truly obnoxious and ill mannered, in ways that are not acceptable for children either. But the solution is not to pick on them. The solution is to either be silent and ignore them, or to actually sit down and try to figure out what's wrong. Maybe their parents are getting a divorce and the child isn't old enough to cope, so he/she turns their frustrations into obnoxious behaviour? Who knows. But as a mature adult, your role is to try to help and guide the child, not to bully it. If you're unable/unwilling to do this, then you should at least be silent and ignore the kid, rather than teasing him/her. I think that anyone who is 16 or above, should strive to be an adult, not strive to be a child. It's time to grow up and take responsibility.
Thanks for reading ;)