Having finished listening to a whack of Ted Talk Youtube videos on “The Millennials” and why they are the way that they are, I’m exhausted.
In case you’re not familiar with the term “Millennials”, they are the generation of kids who were born from (some say) 1981 to 2000 or (in other cases) 1980 to the 1990’s. It varies, depending upon where you get your information. However, suffice to say, the “Gen Xer’s” or those born before 1960 and post WWII…are their parents and apparently, to blame for what bashing they have taken over their “ill actions” and “attitudes”.
Here comes the terms that Millennials hate the most, “entitled, lazy, narcissistic and self-centered”. These are the labels that Millennials have been given in a widespread fashion or generality and Millennials hate them.
Only one question here, “who wouldn’t hate them?”
Well, as it turns out, a lot of the Millennials do portray tendencies towards narcissistic behaviours and attitudes. They don’t like working jobs that they feel are “beneath them” as they “went to university and were FORCED to do so”. They have respect but, for a lot of them, they respect themselves more than anyone else on this planet, including the Gen Xers/Baby Boomer parents who raised them, gave them love and care, housed and fed them and may still be doing so as well as sacrificed their own needs in order to send them off to college/universities all over the planet if they wanted to go. We’re also the ones who bought them cars, cell phones and didn’t push them to get jobs flipping hamburgers or scrubbing down toilets to make any money that they could. We did those types of jobs to help out our parents and they sucked. Why make our precious children do that when we can grab another mortgage or work 2 jobs or go way beyond our retirement years to pay back the debt we got ourselves into for them so that they wouldn’t have to do those types of jobs?
Let’s not get too ahead by patting ourselves on the back just yet though.
Gen Xers/Baby Boomers ARE partially at fault for our children’s mental and emotional situations right now. If we have narcissists on our hands who aren’t working and may be still living at home with us, it is our faults in a sense. We raised them. We taught them to be like this. How can they help it? It’s what we taught them to be.
Scratching your head yet? Wondering where I am coming from?
First of all, we were the generation who decided that we weren’t going to be able to live “Leave It To Beaver” lives where June Cleaver stayed at home and cleaned house, cooked and served dinner in dresses, pearls and heels with a tiny, crisp white apron on. We were the generation who had been part of a Women’s Liberation movement in one way or another and damn it….we were going to work too so that our generation could afford more than our parent’s generations could. We were going to give our kids more than what we had and screw it…we were going to give our children a sense of self with esteem coming out their flipping little ears.
We read books on how to raise children. Hell, we could have given birth to our own children if we’d wanted to through classes, books and instructional videos (albeit, VHS versions if we were lucky) on how to give birth. We were determined to be THE best parents the world had ever seen from conception through until we ourselves, needed diapers in our old age. Our children would never have to go without or hurt if we could help it. The “Experts” all told us how to do this, right?
From Lamaze Class, back to work to raising a teenager who we scrimped and saved to send to college or university, we were parents and we did everything we could to make our kids happy and have a sense of self-esteem. Gone were the days when people had to stay in marriages because the woman couldn’t afford to take their children and leave but, most of us stayed in our marriages because…we wanted a unified and balanced home life for our precious Millennial children….the next generation of well-adjusted, self-reliant, well educated, most privileged children we could possibly raise, even if it killed us doing so.
It was the Gen Xers/Baby Boomer generation who decided that giving children trophies, badges or some other reward for simply showing up or putting any effort into what they did was appropriate. It was our generation who decided that “team participation was more important than winning” and gave them rewards for even being on a team of any kind. Every kid made it into something, good, bad or indifferent. Every child who tried, was recognized in a good way. Every child’s self-esteem was boosted so that nothing was ever “wrong”. At worst, it was a “good attempt but, try something else” type of stance.
Laws were changed so that youths were no longer punished as adults and that still stands in a lot of countries. Schools adopted the “no touch or hands-off” approach and teachers were no longer even able to restrain an out of control child as that involved “touching”. Principles called teachers into offices with parents there to crucify the teacher’s admonishment to little “Billy or Sue” because the teacher’s words “hurt their feelings and put them into a grave emotional state”.
“It’s unfair to our children,” we screamed at every turn of a corner and every chance we got to stand up for them while they played cruder versions of video games at home, on the couches (and we wonder why we have overweight issues with children now).
We sacrificed to buy them everything we could possibly afford to give them including cars, electronics, video games, and never pushed them. Hell, we even pushed to have special help at school for them so that they wouldn’t feel left behind in any way. If that wasn’t enough, our generation decided that every child should be pushed ahead a grade no matter what their grades so that they could be socially on par with the rest of their peer group and friends.
In short, it didn’t matter what the Millennials did or didn’t do, Mom and Dad as well as Society, were all behind them. They couldn’t fail or do much “wrong”.
Is it any wonder that there’s an entire generation of kids, running around this world today who feel entitled to being handed everything? Is it of any question that we have kids who feel that The Universe revolves or, should…around them and their wishes, needs and egos? Furthermore, is it any real mystery why this generation had social issues where they’d back-stab one another if needed to get what they wanted?
These kids are now in their late teens/early 20’s through to their 30’s and we’re actually still bowing down to them because they demand it. They’re unwilling to work jobs that are beneath their level of education and they blame us because we “forced them to go to university/college”. They expect White Collar jobs because they trained for that, not blue collar work for the most part. Those who are still able to get Blue Collar jobs are those who went into trades and they expect an extraordinary salary or they won’t work either.
Worse than anything, these kids have egos the size of a city block or bigger. With heads stuck in cell phones and computers, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and every other conceivable social media, they complain about the world and their lives. They have zero respect for the most part for anyone else and boy are they opinionated! They know it all. We can’t tell them a thing. As a matter of fact, the only thing they want us to tell them is that it’s ok to still stay living with us, well into their 30’s or more and what time dinner will be on the table for them so that they can get out with other Millennials who are doing the same things.
I digress though. They are spoiled. That’s the bottom line here. We taught them to respect themselves more than anything or anyone else on this planet, including us. We gave them everything and every benefit of the doubt and now, they feel entitled to everything or they will find something or someone else to blame for their lack of ability to deal with Life. The sad thing is, they are right. We ARE to blame. We created little narcissistic monsters for the most part and it’s not easy to get them out of this state of thinking and being.
They are now adults or, at least, most of them are at this point in time. They are old enough to understand a lot more than what we believe they should comprehend. They are still our children…even if they are adults. We still have the ability to teach them that we and Society aren’t always going to serve them everything on a silver platter or give them a trophy for getting up in the morning. They are going to have to pick themselves up, dust their asses off and get moving in Life. No…it’s not easy. No…it’s not what they have been used to but, damn it…the world has changed and so must they change to suit it, not the other way around.
As a Gen Xer/Baby Boomer parent with an estranged Millennial-Adult-Child who blames everything and everyone, including her father and I for all of the woes in her life no matter what choices she’s made or not made, I have seen the damage that’s been done and I have taken a stance in changing that by no longer tolerating abuse nor in handing everything to her. Her temper tantrums no longer work on us. Her blame no longer works on us. We may not see her or hear from her but, it’s much like taking someone from a cushy sofa and throwing them outside the door, into the world and saying, “someone’s got to teach you that you can’t keep on living this way!” The soft approach hasn’t worked. She’s a much stronger narcissistic, entitled, monster than we thought and it’s partially our fault.
Fix what we created if we can..at least….that’s the way that I’m seeing things from my little corner of life.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Comment! I’m listening.