Evidently, kids acting dumb is nothing new, at least if The Accidents of Youth, an 1819 book of short cautionary tales is any indicator.
Erin McCarthy in this Mental Floss post points out that even back then there was a market for stories that encourage kids to behave, “presumably by scaring the crap out of them with tales of the extreme consequences of foolish activities”. The children of yesteryear are offered graphic warnings about the often lethal results of climbing too many trees; throwing stones at their mothers; banging on windows; and getting too close to a fire. Oh! And don’t ever try to pull out the whiskers of a tom-cat or stick a stick in a beehive. Neither is a good idea.