By now most of us are aware of the term “Millennial”, if not the very quickly in a nutshell: A millennial is a term used to describe the adults of today that were born between 1980-2000. This specific generation grew up on electronics, or grew whilst electronics were being introduced within homes and lifestyles. This generation is seen as quite overly confident, and believes in “following your dreams”, as opposed to sticking with traditional norms.
Some in society give Millennials a bad wrap, whilst others find Millennials to be inspiring, and innovative. There are always two sides to a coin, there are pro’s and cons that ultimately will either positively or negatively influence the generation to come.
The internet did not raise me
I am a mom in my early thirties, and I just make the “Millennial” age gap. However, cell phones only became a thing for young people where I live in South Africa, round 2000. So for the most part phones, social media, and technology wasn’t the main focus, or a focus at all growing up. Yet, when entering college it slowly started becoming something of interest. Now, I can’t imagine life without the internet or without a phone for that matter. We can now do basically anything and everything via our phones.
Being a mom, and a teacher, I am starting to see a shift in behavior and in the attitude of kids of today. Children are being spoilt much more, and encouraged from an (unreasonably) early age to play on iPads, tablets, cellphones as a means of entertainment. Millennial parents find themselves frantically trying to navigate work life, side hustle jobs, whilst balancing family life. Therefore, the majority parents will joke and say that in order to feel or remain somewhat sane, they give in to their children wishes, and let do what they what they want – so that they can get on with what they are so busy doing.
The kids of today
Ten years ago when I first started teaching, children were much more respectful of their elders and of their peers. Nowadays, greeting others has become “optional”. Ten years ago children understood consequences of their actions, and worked hard for rewards, nowadays kids expect gold stars, big gifts just for sitting still. Ten years ago parents were willing to help the teacher when it came to educating their child, nowadays parents expect the teachers to do all the work, even the parenting bit! Children, along with their parents in general, have become more entitled.
Times have changed, and are still changing, we as a generation are evolving, in some instances in very good ways, whilst, in others in not so good ways. I do honestly believe, that as Millenials we are more empowered in a lot of ways, and do have the ability and desire to pursue are dreams, and make them work.
Yet, we still need to question what kind of kids, what type of generation are we raising in the process? Are our children able to think for themselves, do they have they manners, do they demand and expect material gifts for smallest of things?
Are we raising children who work hard, collaborate with others, accept and embrace a challenge, create innovative solutions and have basic life skills?
I raise these questions, as I am questioning and challenging myself as a parent, if I am being intentional about raising a healthy emotionally balanced child, who will one day have to think for themselves and raise their children one day!
What do you think of the children of today? Do you think they are entitled and are spoilt way too much?