Teenagers always get a bad name - but one veteran teacher says they are more confident and polite today than when he started teaching 60 years ago.
Brian Murphy, 84, started teaching science at Mt Albert Grammar School in 1960 and still works at the school three days a week as its archivist. The school has just unveiled a plaque in his honour.
He said students at the school, which was an all-boys school until girls were admitted 19 years ago, were "more rambunctious" in the past.
"Kids here seem more confident than back in the past, and they are more polite," he said.
"They are very impressive in how they deport themselves and the confident way they speak and interact.
"I think that in some ways the kids of today are better than the kids of times gone by, and people who talk about how wonderful the good old days were, that's just because they were younger.
"There never were halcyon days of the past. The good old days are right now, not back then."
Murphy started as a biology teacher and also taught chemistry and general science from 1960 to 1988, apart from a three-year break in the late 1960s when he taught in Australia and Canada while on leave from the school.
From 1988 until 1999 he was a student counsellor at the school.
"The counsellor's job came up and I applied for that and I won it because of the work I'd done in that field. I had done some courses that were not related to the university work I'd done," he said.
"That was the best job I've ever had. It was a wonderful job because you can see how you can make a difference in a child's life."
He did some research for the school's 75th anniversary in 1997, which led to his appointment as the school's archivist. He's up to number 27 in a project to write about 100 old objects ranging from the old school bell to World War II medals.
He said the changes he saw in teenagers reflected wider social changes since 1960.
"There was a more oppressive society," he said.
"I think a number of things have changed. There's better medical help, there's better nutrition. And you don't hear people saying dreadful things to children like former generations of parents.
"You don't hear modern parents saying, 'Wait till your father gets home,' or, 'If you don't eat your dinner you won't get any pudding.'"
He said that didn't mean today's parents were more "permissive".
"These parents trust their kids to do the right thing. I think there was more suspicion with the way the children behaved back then," he said.
"I think modern parents make demands on their kids just as any loving parent would, but I don't think they are the slightest bit more permissive really. They are less oppressive.
"When you expect people to behave in a decent way, and treat them in a manner that allows them to behave in a decent way, then they do.
"But if you are continually on their back and don't respect them as people, then what you'll get back is, 'You'll have my obedience but you'll never have my love.' And that has pretty much gone now."
Although New Zealand still has a disturbingly high youth suicide rate, Murphy said suicide was a worry even when he was a counsellor in the 1990s. He did not believe stress was worse due to a shift to continuous assessment for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).
"A bigger stress is social media and the bullying stuff that goes on and online gambling and access to pornography," he said.
"All of that has a much bigger stress on young people today than whether it's continuous assessment or an exam at the end of the year. That's the stuff that is very unsettling that young people were never exposed to - it's not a salacious magazine under the blanket, this is much more insidious stuff."