Monday, June 17, 2013


Too often today, teenagers get some really bad press. They are slammed for their eye rolling attitudes; pants hanging low enough to display underwear logos;constantly plugged in and tuned out; tongue and nose piercings; lazy about anything that doesn't require thumb control; lack of respect for EVERYTHING and pretty much self absorbed. These are the things that seem to stand out and are recorded. 

While some of that is true and many fit the above description, I feel way many more do not but sadly fall under the same umbrella of criticism. What we don't hear about enough are the really neat kids, the Zacks and JTs in this world that receive no press.  The story of these two fine young men came to my attention via my brother. 

Brother Jim and his wife had recently bought a new home which meant, lots of modifying to make it exactly what they wanted. The yard had some bare spots so they ordered a pile of top soil delivered to fill in the blank  spots and to plant seed. 

Now Jim is three years older than I am and Shirley is my age. Neither spring chickens but they are both actually in MUCH better shape than I am. They are avid bicyclists covering almost 1000 miles per year. I tire even typing that sentence. 

Still good shape does not make an ugly job pleasant, just doable. When they looked at the large mound of dirt that needed moved, neither was really enthused. Then along came Zack and J.T. The two 13 year old friends were walking home from school as Jim and Shirley were starting to  tackle the large pile. 

The boys greeted them, then asked if they needed help. Jim was a bit startled but said if the boys wanted to fill the wheel barrow, he could handle the rest. Instead, the boys not only filled the wheelbarrow many times, but they spread the dirt also.  All Jim had to do was haul the loads. 

After working about an hour, the boys finished up.  Jim gratefully tried to hand the boys some money.  Zack said, "Gee, you don't have to pay us Mister. We were happy to help." 

 "And you didn't have to stop and help. That was really nice of you. Thank you so much." Jim insisted.  So they accepted the money then continued on their way home.  

The teens that get all the press would have snickered to themselves as they passed the two seniors working ---if they had noticed them at all.  Obviously those two youngsters not only enjoyed some great parenting but also carried the thoughtful gene. 

I am sending out kudos to Zack and J.T. for restoring my faith in our replacement players coming up in this game of life.  There are lots of kids like this out there but sadly they too often go unnoticed. Let's see they get the press they deserve. 

I am convinced there are many more like these  great kids than the ones that make the news.  I've just done my part shining a small spotlight on two neat boys.  

Are there special teens in your life that deserve a nod? 


  1. What a great story and I totally agree with you. We so often just hear all the negative stories. I'd like to believe that both my own teenage children would also give a helping hand to anyone that needed it. Very often I've seen my 18 year old daughter help people with their wheelchairs etc.

    There are a lot of great teenage kids out there!

  2. Thanks for a great story to start my day. It's too easy to take the cheap shot and lump all teenagers together with a few snarky generalizations.

  3. What a wonderful story!! Its so sad that more kids like these don't get the recognition they deserve. The world will be OK, with young folks like these!!

  4. That is a wonderful story, Patti. I know teens like that, and I too would like to acknowledge that they are out there, people who do a good turn for others without being asked. :-)

  5. This story needs to be shouted far and wide, and I hope more kids like that show up on our radars.

    I know some good kids, but none who would do that labor with no thought of money.

  6. I love stories like this. I always look to the parents and the upbringing of the kids. That is why I am against single parent families. One parent rarely has time to teach a kid the good family values that 2 parents can give.

  7. That is impressive. I am not sure I know any teens that would work that hard. That is a lot of work. I do know very nice kids with good manners but those two were amazing.

  8. It is always good to have the reminder that no group is all bad. Good on these two and good on you for singing their praises.

  9. It is nice to hear something good about today's youth. Kudos to those two young men.

  10. What a heartwarming story. Yes, I have personally been getting so much help from my 10 yr. old Grandson. He has pitched in with all the housekeeping jobs I usually do plus some gardening...and on his own without being asked. I'm recouping from major back surgery and here he comes to the rescue. It made life so much easier for my husband who had field work to do. Just knowing Sy was in the house with me made him relax. Yes, there are great kids out there. My 18 yr. old granddaughter is another, doing volunteer work between 2 jobs. Kids do get a bad rap but at least those that are honorable are working for a brighter world...loved this entry.

  11. Good post. I totally agree. Unfortunately the media highlights the bad until it feels like all teens are bad. What a shame.

  12. Oh Ms. Patti, you brought tears to my eyes with your gratitude post about "good kids". I believe there are lots of them out there but I also believe they are like precious gems, not commonly found. I am of course prejudiced but I know that GK and Ry know how to be good citizens because I see them rush to help folks with doors, carts, get things off the shelves, and help in our neighborhood even without being asked. I also know that some of GK's friends think she is a freak of nature. As we have expressed in the past....normal is a setting on a dryer only....and my grands are non dryers. But they both have friends who also are helpers, know appropriate behavior and want to help when they can.
    And then there are the others that we all see all the time on the news or on the street corner causing stuff.
    We need to keep our eyes focused on the good....and thank you for praising it and sharing it with us. Oma Linda

  13. I wish more kids were like these two! I know there are good kids out there, but as you say, they don't get the publicity that the ornery ones do.

    Too bad there isn't more good news stories of this nature that spotlights the good people, young and old, do rather than the focus on bad news.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story!

  14. LLCool Joe,
    Thanks Joey. From what you have written about your girls, you should be proud. A lot of what they are is from great parenting.

    Thanks and you are so right Marty. Sadly people often tend to do that with all groups that aren't them.

    Thank you. I think if they did, it would give those coming of age behind them a better mark to shoot for.

    That is a good point. It was the not being asked that set them above the crowd.

    I so agree. When being good becomes "cool" then we can rest easy about our replacements.

    That and both parents working also makes it hard to have the patience needed. Still I have seen single parents do amazing jobs and two couple families drop the ball.

    I know several that would have done the work but only with the salary determined in the beginning. These were special kids.

    Thanks. When Jim told me I knew it was just too nice a story not to share.

    I know it is happening all over, just wish it got more attention. It might give those on the cusp of teenage better role models.

    Well you seem to have a delightful pair of selfless grands all ready in house. Feel proud, you raised their parent. Sure hope you are up and about soon. Take care lady.

    Sadly, the media thinks bad news sells better. I think the media should take a hint from Disney. Wholesomeness sells quite well thank you.

    Linda Wildenstein,
    You have real keepers in GK and Ry. You have told many tales about the neat and unselfish things those kids have done. Be proud lady. It is your genes and parenting style in that mix.

    I totally agree. I would love to read about the good people do instead of always reading about the nasty things that people are capable of.

  15. What a great story! It is so good to hear about young people who have Humanity. Indeed, it has to be, Good Parenting! I have no teenagers in my life, my dear....So, no GOOD tales to share on that basis.

  16. Wow...what a great story. I'd sure love to read more about good kids in the paper or on the net. Maybe, just would read it too and good things could come of it.

  17. I met hundreds of them in my classrooms over the years. The bad press is way overrated...:)

  18. I think there are lots of outstanding kids. These two are a great example of who we want as tomorrow's leaders. Great story, Patti!

  19. How wonderful ...I think it depends on area and parenting as to whether the child/teenager is helpful and polite but it is so true that bad things gets press.
    When I worked in retail we were always told that if we were nice to the customer no-one would be told unless it was well beyond expectations...but ...if the customer was unhappy over the tinyest thing, at least 10 people would know about it by the end of the day....such are people.xx

  20. How sad but true sweet Patti that the good stories rarely get heard. Yes, I do know some teenagers that do a lot of good things but they do not live near me nor do many people know about all the good they do. I wish the media would concentrate on more positive stories than negative ones but I would be surprised if that ever happens. Thank you for putting out this great story. I really enjoyed reading it. Hugs

  21. You're right. The good kids are out there.

  22. Great post Patti but of course you never fail my expectations when I am lucky enough to drop by for a visit.
    Your right young teenagers like these are never in the news but should be. So glad your brother had the pleasure of meeting these two. I know they were a big help.
    My nephews are like these two young men and I credit a lot of it to their parents raising them in a good Christian home.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Hope your well. I think of you every day wondering how you are getting along.
    My sweet cat Billie Sue is suppose to come home tomorrow. I know it will be hard on me seeing her after her surgery but I must be brave and do the best I can for her. Tinkerbell is the one I am afraid is going to be upset for a long while. She likes to be the only child. haha
    I laughed about your comment about Mighty. I too would have to consider that option if something went wrong with Tinkerbell. haha

  23. 1000 miles a year on a bike.., my mind, as I peer through my window at the wild, wintery world outside, is still boggling! :). Lovely to hear good things about those young people.

  24. Naomi,
    Me neither. Most of the kids in my family are either under 10 or over thirty.

    That is my hope. Sadly the examples they see are the smart mouthed versions on TV sitcoms.

    That is what I think also-- good to have someone who has been there many times set the record straight. The bad kids are something akin to the "squeaking wheel" syndrome.

    I agree. They make me feel a lot more comfortable.

    Thanks, I thought it too good not to pass on.

    Now that is sadly all too true. The good too often goes unnoticed.

    Maggie's corner,
    Thanks and wouldn't that be nice? Not only for them but for us to hear good news for a change.

    Linda Myers,
    So many more than get the credit.

    Ha, maybe we could share a corner.
    The two cats will hiss and spit for a while but they should adjust and just might enjoy the company. Lets hope so.

    Thanks and I too am impressed with their miles. They are both in their mid seventies. That would be a good goal for a much younger person.
    Take care friend and feel much better soon--that is an order.

  25. I love this story. It's very inspirational!! I know a lot of inspirational teens at the college that I work at. The future is brighter that people realize.

  26. Dear Arkansas Patti, thank you for this testament of faith in the younger generation. I can attest to the thoughtfulness and responsibility of many younger than I, especially Jake who mows my law. I met him four years ago--five summers--when he was 16. He's been so helpful to me. Besides the mowing he's cleaned my garage and painted the wings of the ceiling fans, and planted a shrub garden for me. He's been a blessing in my life. Peace.

  27. Patti, I saw your comment at Naomi's, in regard to The Sopranos. You owe it to yourself to rent the first season on DVD. It is a spectacular series; even with the violence (which I usually won't watch) and the sex....LOL (which I will.)

  28. Thanks for sharing! The boys parents must be proud of them.. Grandparents too.

  29. Keith,
    Like you, I am optimistic. I think they way out number the bad.

    How nice you have found such a keeper in Jake. I have had several kids work for me over the years and have never been disappointed.

    Thanks, didn't think of that. I'm sure Netflix has it. Got a giggle out of the last part.

    Miss Dazey,
    That is true for good parents got that way from their parents.

  30. Thanks for that reminder of the goodness in most of us. I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to introduce myself. I hit the big 7-0 in February while RV camping in Mazatlan, Mexico. I spent four and a half months traveling with my Standard Poodle and two cats solo and had a ball. Check me out at: I'll certainly be checking out yours.
    I love positive stories - there are more fantastic teenagers than not.