The Next Generation

A friend posted a link to this article on her Facebook page.

I felt it was very spot on and it talks about some things that I have been thinking about for awhile now.  It addresses the latest ‘Y Generation’ of kids and their sense of entitlement and it goes into how they may have ended up this way.   Kids are coming out of school and expecting to earn top salaries right away without having to work towards it as a goal.  They have been brought up with a mentality that everything they do is great and that the sky is the limit for them.  On the surface, this doesn’t seem all that bad.  We want our kids to believe that they can achieve anything in life that they set their minds to…but we also need to impress upon them the sobering fact that we ourselves have been faced with…’You are going to have to work at it and work for it’.

As a dad, I know that it is a struggle for me sometimes to watch my daughter fail.  I catch myself thinking that I can prepare her somehow for life’s hurdles and that that is my job as a parent.  It strikes me then that frequently the very opposite is true.  In an age where tons of information is available at our fingertips, we sometimes overlook the fact that good, old-fashioned failure is probably the best teacher out there.  Someone who has made a mistake and learned from it is usually wiser than the person who looks up the answer or is pushed down the right tunnel, finding the cheese there…time after time.

I do know that I grin when my daughter does something for the very first time and expects to be really good at it… When I tell her that some things require practice, it is kind of an in one ear and out the other thing.

I was a little bit of a throwback when I was a kid.  I watched my brother and sister (11 and 9 years older than me) do things they knew they shouldn’t, try to hide them, and eventually get busted for them…This never ended well.  So, generally I tried to be a good kid, but if I ever wasn’t I pretty much confessed right away.  It short circuited the bad punishments because generally I had already beaten myself up about it already and my parents recognized that.   The threat of disappointing my parents or the thought that my parents would ever have to spank me for anything was enough of a deterrent for me.   These days, it seems, a lot of kids feel like they are untouchable.  They feel like they can get away with anything because it is never ‘their fault’.  I think it is the ‘political correctness’ of our society, along with the praising of our children no matter what they do (which is mentioned in the article) and the ‘victim’ mentality that seems to be prevalent these days all mixed together.

I think the best thing we can do as parents is to teach our kids manners, respect, morals and values, and the notion of doing the right thing.  Mix in the ability to take responsibility for their own actions and some work ethic and I would say you have a pretty good kid who will grow up and take on the world in their own way.  And really, that is all any of us as a parent can ask for…

All I know is that my daughter has had me wrapped around her little finger since the moment I laid eyes on her the first time and if all they can say about me when I am laid to rest is ‘He was a good father’…I will take it.



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