I’ve been hearing for the past few years that Millennials are lazy, narcissistic, entitled people who are ruining everything the previous generations worked so hard for. Millennials, previously referred to as Generation Y, are the ones who were born in the early 1980’s through about mid-1990’s (some places say early 2000’s as well). I’m not going to get into social media or the increase in depression/anxiety in this age group. But I came to the realization recently about the bad-rap we get.
First off, here are the names of the current generations*:
- Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 and later
- Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995
- Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
- Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
- Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
*There are some discrepancies on specific start/end years but for the most part it’s fairly accurate.
This all started when my husband and I were having a discussion about parenting for Baby Boy (BB) and previous generations and their parenting styles.
First I’ll start out saying every generation wants things better for their children than it was for them. Think back to your childhood. I’m sure there are things you liked about how you were raised that you want to continue for your children and things you didn’t like that you’d like to stop. For example, spanking. The Silent Generation used to spank their kids often as a form of punishment. Some Baby Boomers (my parents included) did not like that from their own childhood so they decided not to continue that parenting style for their children. Now most Millennials (me), wouldn’t even fathom spanking our kids. (Yes there are some people who still parent like that; please see “Share if you (insert childhood trauma/danger here) and lived” section of the internet. This is my personal feelings and viewpoint).
So this Silent Generation either came home from the war or the younger of the generation who didn’t have a war enlisted, served and came back to have their children. These Baby Boomers were raised under a strict, male-dominated household. It was a lot of “wait until your father gets home”. When the Baby Boomers became parents they created more of an equal household. (I know this in’t how all households where run but mine definitely was). Some may have kept the strictness some may have not but the all raised their kids differently. These are the Millennials. These are the ones who were told they were special. These are the ones who got trophies for participation.
I keep hearing over and over (usually from the youngest of the Silent Generation) how this is ridiculous-how people my age aren’t willing to work for things and that their parent’s always come to their rescue. To be quite honest, I’m getting pretty sick of hearing this (hence the reason for this blog post).
Did anyone ever stop and think that maybe the reason we were raised that way was because the Baby Boomers wanted that from their parents? That they were made to feel unimportant. That they wanted more support from their parents.
I’m not blaming any generation for their parenting flaws; each generation wants to do better than the previous, including me. I want my kids to know they are special. I want them to be able to come to me when they need me-when they’re scared, or upset, or excited. I want them to work at things in their life and make themselves proud of what they’ve accomplished. But at the same time I wont hesitate to help them when they need it. I want them to play outside like I did as a kid. I want them to not be addicted to screens like it seems a lot of kids are these days.
It’s a different world than the Baby Boomers were raised in and completely different from the Silent Generation and I feel like I’m going to do a pretty darn good job. Parents criticize parents, just look at any comment section. We should just try to believe that every parent is just trying to do what is best for their kids, based on their experiences. And our kids…they’re going to conquer the world.