Scientists Prove What’s the Matter with Kids Today

Posted on December 16, 2013


In a study sponsored by your parents, scientists have revealed kids today can’t run as fast or as far as their parents. I didn’t need a study to tell me that. My children’s tear-streaked, dust-covered faces way back there in the distance tell all.

As far as I understand, this study considers my generation to be the speedsters and my children to be the slowpokes. But if the study is suggesting my parents are faster than I am, well, if Dad is so confident in his speed he’d prove it one-on-one at the track and wouldn’t hide behind some study. And my skepticism only grows when one considers my mom recently had a knee replaced, so Dad would have to beat me by a significant distance to make up for her dragging down their cumulative parental average.

Adults using science to compete with their children is a popular trend—a trend I expect to continue for the foreseeable future because there are very few children scientists. I don’t have the exact figures on the number of children working in scientific fields but I assume the number is low because my kids introduce me to Little League baseball players all the time, but not a single kid biologist. And I can’t remember ever having this conversation:

“Your twins look so much alike. How do you tell them apart?”
“Well, I just always try and remember Caelan is the theoretical physicist and Callan is the experimental physicist.”

I’ve read recent studies asserting that in comparison to their parents, kids today aren’t as smart, are less informed, have shorter attention spans, and are more entitled. Anecdotal evidence also suggests children aren’t near as good as their parents at commissioning studies to make their children look inferior. (And before you begin your nitpicking and point out that today’s children don’t have children, remember I did say the evidence was anecdotal.) I suspect scientists are currently working on studies proving that a generation ago hills were steeper, work was more character building, the dark was much darker, and the monsters under the bed were twice as large.

Maybe we parents do have longer attention spans and are indeed better educated, but I’m not sure how much value it holds since all that attention and intelligence is solely focused on proving how much better we are than our children.


The always hilarious She’s a Maineiac is featuring The Good Greatsby as her blogger of the month. Please check out the interview and leave lots of comments: Firsts and Lasts with The Good Greatsby


Also, some of my past work for Time Out Shanghai magazine can now be found online. Click here to find links to my Inside Job column in which someone teaches me to do his job for a day. Past jobs include subway driver, tattoo artist, sidewalk barber, and assembly line worker.

Posted in: Columns