More often than not, older folks speak woefully about the next generation. "Kids these days..." say many older folks who fail to realize how much they curse the younger generations. The older generation has no clue how to change the trajectory of children today. But there is a way to change both young and old alike. First, we must identify the problem.
Most people, young and old, believe that children are a drain on society, somehow forgetting that we were all children once. "Don't you know what causes that?" People ask us after they finish counting our children. Right in front of our children, these folks curse our children by suggesting their existence is a mistake. Other folks will look at all our children and exclaim, "Better you than me!" To which my Dad (who was the faithful father of twelve children) would often reply, "Better me than you!" Again, without much thought, these folks told my Dad that children are unwanted.
College kids are vicious toward children in the womb: "Parasites!" They call them. "I eat dead babies," said one pro-abortion sign held by a college student I recently encountered. But at the same time, college kids have deep compassion for children. Many want their future children to feel loved, which is why they say "unwanted children should be aborted" because "nobody should be raised without love." And in this mentality, the cycle of abuse of the generations is perpetuated. "I don't have love to give a child," says the college student, "therefore, I shouldn't have children, and if I am 'forced' to give birth when I get pregnant, I will resent that child for the rest of my days." Thus a new generation (those who did not get murdered) is born without feeling loved or wanted.
The problem with "kids these days" is that they feel unloved and have no love to give. They didn't feel loved because the older generations didn't feel loved and failed to love their children. Christians call this problem: Sin. You and I are sinners. We have failed to love, and everyone has failed to love us with unfailing love. The solution for parents and children alike is the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Parents often consider what children take from them: a career, money, peace, stability, freedom, etc. But God the Father thinks about what He can give to His children and gives His entire self. Love begins with the self-sacrifice of Jesus. Only when parents acknowledge their failures and need for God's love, mercy, and grace can they turn around and show love, mercy, and grace to the next generations. Love begins at the cross. Feeling wanted, protected, cared for, heard, seen, valued, and accepted begins at the cross.
"Love consists of this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his son to be the sacrifice that would atone for our sins." 1 John 4:10