The other day I read a post by YS author, Jeff Baxter. He references the article below and just poses the quandary… Is there any hope for the moral future of millenials? (born 1981-2001) Ultimately, his book helps answer that question… that yes, he believes one day this group will wise up and chose to follow Jesus for real instead of the moralistic therapeutic deism many of them practice in church today.
Check out this discription of this generation, written by high school junior Charlie Nathan.
The Millennials have been born into prosperity and leisure. Before now, we have not witnessed a major economic downturn and the closest most of us have been to war is playing a video game. For better or for worse, we are the “coddled generation,” watched by overzealous “helicopter parents” who would do anything to give their child the edge. We grew up being told that we’re “special” by everyone from little league coaches who give trophies to both winners and losers, to the late Mr. Rogers, who reminded us every morning that the world revolves around us.
Having worked with helicopter parents for the last decade. I’m not so sure. I’m convinced that many baby boomer parents have no intention of ever allowing their millenial children to grow up. And their parents will keep redefining morality as a result!
Here’s my question for parents: Why do we lie to our children?
Here are the facts as we know them in the adult world.
– The world does not revolve around your child.
– Your child should not be your God, lifting them up as gods is an abomination to the giver of those children.
– Your child should learn their honest place in society and take responsibility for themselves and their actions.
– Your hovering leads to immaturity.
– Not allowing a child to fail is the cruelest thing you could possibly to in their identity formation. How will they ever know who they should be?
– The prosperity our children think they were raised with was a facade financed by credit cards and homes which are now worth 50% less. What’s your next trick?
– 98% of children are not academically special and/or gifted… they are average. But parents have forced school districts and colleges to lower their standards so that everyone seems special. Really all we’ve done is lied to kids and told them they are brilliant when they aren’t.
Should I go on?
Here’s the shocking reality. Many baby boomers are feeling the pinch as their elderly parents have come to live with them while their coddled twenty-three year old adult children are still living at home. One is a noble thing while the other is not.
Our responsibility as parents is not to indefinitely care for our children.
Our responsibility as parents is not to ensure that our children get everything with no effort.
Our responsibility as parents is not to indefinitely finance education.
Our responsibility as parents is not to finance fashion.
Our responsibilty as parents is not to tell our kids that their failures are not really failures.
Our responsibility as parents is to raise our kids to become responsible adults!
There is hope for the moral future of millenials when we stop treating them like infants. Their poop stinks. Their sins hurt other people. They should be punished when they break the law. They should apologize when they wrong someone. They should experience the ramifications of their moral laxity.
When they gamble their check let them starve. When they graduate college let them pay their own loans back. When they wreck their car don’t buy them a new one. When they lose a soccer game let them cry. When they won’t look for work don’t give them money. On and on. Parents, we must allow our children to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them… teach them to take full responsibility. You are not God. Your benevolence isn’t getting them anywhere.
Why? Because when you let an older adolescent and an adult take responsibility for their lives they realize they have choices to make. And their choices ultimately determine their future. As adults, we know that at the end of the day they have to defend themselves. They have to become independent. They must shoulder the same responsibilities we do.
At some point the mother has to kick their chicks out of the nest… because it is the most loving thing to do. Yes, the world is dangerous. Yes, they may get hurt. Yes, they may not do what you want or succeed the way you want them to. But they will be better on their own than in your basement! The same things that gave you and I character will form the character of their generation!
When does it start? Today! What’s the right age? Now!
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