“In our day, young people were more industrious…more obedient… more yadda, yadda…” Parents and other elders love to spread rumors and bad reports about young people today. They paint a nostalgic picture of how in their day, they were all hard-working individuals who stayed out of trouble with their noses to the grindstone.
It’s difficult for some older folk to recall the confusion they may have experienced as young people after they’ve made it through. Some don’t recall the indulgent and fantastic dreams they may have had when they were younger. The media presents the youth of today as self-absorbed and short-sighted about their life choices. So naturally, many elders assume that today’s youth are too concerned with becoming famous as a ball player, a TV reality star, a YouTube sensation, or a hip-hop artist to engage in any “real” work. As it turns out, even the best-intentioned elders bend the truth, at least a little out of habit. However, there are outside influences.
Parents and other elders are not solely to blame for their assumptions. There are two main reasons why: popular culture and real changes in the world of work.
There is insurmountable evidence that many young people are hard workers and many have accomplished a great deal. The truth is that a lot of young people are inundated with a myriad of choices that make their paths less clear than the ones followed by their parents. Yet, elders still complain that the youth today have it “so” much better than they did. To be clear, smartphones, social media, and even a booming global economy do not take the place of knowing how to manage your life.
Parents and other elders seem to think that more choices make it easier, but for many, it causes more confusion and frustration. Young people can begin to feel like failures, even as young teens. They have a multitude of choices, but they can only walk one path at a time. Hopefully, they will choose one that best fits what they want out of a good life.
Sometimes the expectations of parents and other elders are unrealistic for youth who have not been taught, supported, and trusted to make good decisions. Just as their parents made mistakes, they will too. Technology, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or even a STEM-based curriculum will not take the place of love, support, and self-knowledge. So, parents and other elders should learn how to become greater assets and consider limiting the complaints and comparisons. In the end, it is their lives, but also it is the world we hope to share with them So, what’s the matter with kids today? Perhaps the better question is, “How may I help?”
Coach Lily has some solutions to help your teens and young adults navigate through all the issues that they are facing. Subscribe to the Perfecting Destiny blog at the right hand side of this screen for more insights. Click the contact form HERE to receive updates on all upcoming workshops and seminars that are relevant and proven effective to assist your young people in attaining success and satisfaction. Or give her a call at 252-560-1952.