What’s with kids these days and their music?
Why do they dress like that?
Seriously, why can’t they put their phones down?
Can teenagers even have a real conversation these days?
I swear social media is going to be the end of us…(says the mom (or grandma) to another on a Facebook thread).
Selective memory is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
It wasn’t too long ago the vast majority of people who love to whine and complain about today’s youth, were the youth. And they were so sick of the older generations blaming them for all their problems.
When the car came out, we didn’t stick to riding a horse. When email came out, we didn’t stick with the typewriter. When the oven was invented, we didn’t say, “Forget this I’m going back out in the cold and rain to start a fire.”
Of course not.
It’s become quite trendy and popular to blame, point fingers, and poke fun at today’s youth. What would the 16 year-old version of yourself think of who you are today? We can’t let nostalgia cloud our judgement and negatively affect how our kids are being raised.
Disclaimer: I get it. I teach and coach high school kids. I have a seven-year old who if it were up to him he’d be on an iPad all day. But he’s not in control and doesn’t know the dangers of over-extended time. We’re his parents and we accept responsibility for raising him.
Some of the criticism towards kids is deserved and funny because we can look back and laugh at how naive and awkward we were then.
However, I think there’s a real issue in our society. Too many “adults” don’t want to accept responsibility, but conveniently feel justified in pointing the blame.
Where did the kids get the phones and iPad from anyways? They didn’t go out and buy them on their own. As adults we can’t condemn kids for being on their phones all the time. Look around the next time you’re in a meeting, at a restaurant, or driving.
Adults are on their phones just as much. How can we blame kids for being on them all the time when we give them a device and let it act as the babysitter for us?
I see a lot of videos, memes, blogs, comments, and posts about how this generation lacks communication skills. Adults love to call kids today entitled, spoiled little brats. They don’t know how to interview. They don’t show up for work. They’re not reliable. They don’t have job skills to compete in “today’s tough job market.”
Fine. I understand the point.
Counterpoint. Who raised them? Who trained them? Who mentored them?
Question for the adults/parents…when your child was born, were they born entitled? Were they born thinking they were better than everyone else? Were they born addicted to social media?
Okay, you get the point…but of course they weren’t.
The real root of the issue is we have too many adults who are living a life they’re not happy with. Too many adults are insecure and lack self-awareness. Instead of pouring into children, taking an interest in them, teaching them restraint and accountability, we’re too busy looking for a funny quote card to share on Facebook to impress people we don’t care about (and who don’t care about us.)
Here’s what I know to be true.
Kids want to learn. They want to succeed. They want connection. They are very social.
And…the way things were 20 years ago won’t cut it today. As adults we need to do a better job of reaching them. They’ve grown up in this tech and social world. They didn’t create it, we did. So enough of the finger-pointing and shaming.
It’s time we start to actually train and mentor these people. Not just hire them, throw them to the wolves, and then blame “today’s generation” when they don’t meet expectations.
I recently read Carl Lentz’s book, Own The Moment, and in it he says: “Be in it, but not of it.” What he is referring to is culture. We need to be in it. We need to be involved, know what’s going, who’s cool, and who’s influencing our kids. This doesn’t mean we have to live it out, but we start losing our kids when we’re not in it.
I’m sorry but not sorry. It’s time to stop blaming the kids and start taking a look at who’s raising and influencing them.
Kids are our future. I support them 100%.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Contact Coach Elmendorf for information regarding speaking and consulting services.