The Newsweek article below is written by a former Valley kid from the Class of '82, the same year I graduated from high school. Initally, I was simply going link to it. But after reading some of the article's comments, I thought I'd say more.
My parents didn't officially get divorced until I was about seventeen, but I did know a lot of kids who grew up in split homes. My parents were much younger than this writer's parents who were of the WWII generation. And I didn't move to the Valley until '85. But I can still relate a bit. We grew up with the same social changes that were occuring during the '70s and '80s.
Many of the articles commentors refer to the writer and our generation as being navel-gazers, whiners and only thinking about "me, me, me". Yet, in my opinion, we as a group (kids born in the '60s) are rarely heard to comment on our growing up in that era. Sure, we hear from the Boomers (former Flower Children) all the time. And, yeah, I blather about my childhood beause I write and that's part of my life. Childhoods are significant to people; that's when people become cognizant of the world, form first impressions. So why is it wrong for my group to talk about how they responded to growing up in an era of turbulent social changes? I think it's sociologically significant to hear how former-children responded to divorce, being raised by single parents, being latchkey kids and other side-effects of the times. If you ask me, my group doesn't get heard from enough about how we have turned-out, or about what we thought of our experiences.
Most kids I grew up with, and still keep in touch with, have definite opinions about those unique years. But, if we do look back, it usually involves lots of laughing about how we dealt with certain things. One friend has the driest wit, she makes my stomach hurt. My sister, too, always has me howling about everything from the progressive schools she went to, where she could rollerskate in class, to the adults' farout lingo and groovy parties we used to spy on. Far from whining, my friends are people who, maybe because of their pasts, put extra time and effort into their families and relationships. I guess after growing up watching some of the goofy stuff the adults were doing around us, it was natural to have formed a great sense of humor.
With that said, this article isn't funny. But I can relate to it... just a bit.
The Divorce Generation Grows Up
Grant High School's class of '82 were raised on 'The Brady Bunch'—while their own families were falling apart. These are their stories—in their words.
(Below are excerpts)
...Such are the scars of growing up too fast—something many of my classmates were doing in the '70s. As newly single mothers went to work to support their families, children were being left to fend for themselves. "We were latchkey kids," says Elyse Oliver, whose mom took a job at Hanna-Barbera studios, painting animated characters for shows like "The Flintstones" to provide for Elyse and her sister. "We had the little necklace with the key on it and we'd walk home from school, let ourselves in and take care of ourselves until she came home about 6 or 7...
...In many ways, the urge to stay married is stronger in my classmates' generation than the urge to get divorced was in my parents'. Perhaps this was a backlash to divorce...