The current year I see so many criticisms of this generation of up and coming youth, The Snowflake Generation has become such an overused term by anyone not currently in high school it has almost lost any intrinsic meaning.
It is a criticism with merit though.
It also cannot be blamed wholly on those who are so relentlessly berated as snowflakes.
These fragile hypersensitive little children did not become like this overnight. It was a process of conditioning that was either encouraged or allowed by the very people who failed to take stewardship of what should have been one of the greatests gifts bestowed upon us. The next generation.
I'm talking to you mom and dad...
●You can blame the president, the schools, the coach, the neighbors, or anything you like, but they are still your children.
I have written about the subject of child razing and raising before, because I feel it is an important subject. See link below for more on this.
A trend I have seen over the past few decades is the fact that children in general are corralled into believing that they are helpless outside of some restrictive institution, or constant supervision. They are scarcely allowed any action outside these parameters.
I remember growing up not that long ago (Gen-Xer here) where I was taken out into the desert of Northern Nevada by my father and taught to drive a stick shift when I was nine years old, I remember being allowed to jump on my bike and ride until dark going God only knows where. I was allowed to earn money mowing lawns for a pocket knife that I carried as a cool little tool for whittling. Gasp! I took my recurve bow and arrows out unsupervised for target practice across the street in a field near our house.
Most of these things in today's America would get you a visit from child protective services easily.
As a father myself, I tried not to put my children into dangerous situations, but I also tried not to relegate them to caged pet status either! These are creative, powerful, living beings with immeasurable potential were talking about.
It was extremely important for me not to emphasize what my daughters couldn't do.
I first took my youngest daughter out to the work site with me at 14. I needed help and she showed some interest in making a few extra dollars.
Ahh the beauty of being self employed and homeschooling your children.
Our first day on the job together I handed her a shovel to clear out mud from a ditch that had caved in, we were installing underground electrical lines. She grabbed the shovel and just went for it. Actually really impressed me for someone who weighed 90lb and was not accustomed to this type of labor.
It never occurred to me to tell her what a delicate little flower she was, how she shouldn't rough up her hands, and maybe get hurt etc. "oh honey you're not certitified yet, leave that to the big people" She later went on to hooking up wiring in panels, operating forklifts, bending conduit, and all sorts of other things related to the electrical field. With some guidance and the allowance of freedom she was allowed to flourish and quite honestly got many compliments on how she out worked many so called grown men.
My older daughter had different interests and talents. She was regularly submitting short stories on wattpad that were receiving thousands of views, and managing a couple of blogs by the time she was 11-12 years old. It also never occurred to me to stifle this and type of behavior, and let her know how hard it is to write stories. Ya better get that masters in literature before you try and produce anything. Nah, write away and see what happens!
●I'm not knocking formal training
●I'm knocking the fact that we have been conditioned to keep our children as helpless as possible for as long as possible.
If you are not allowed to try with the possibility of failure how do you develop strength and proficiency?
If you are constantly told "you aren't ready" when do you become ready?
Where risk of failure, and hard knocks have seemingly been wiped away, they in reality have only been pushed back on the calendar by a few years, or decades even.
Freedoms, experiences, and life choice that in the past would have taken place in in one's youth are now just being experienced in the early years of "adulthood" by many.
I've seriously met 19 year olds who literally cannot do a load of laundry or prepare a simple meal for themselves. This is seriously basic stuff.
What I currently see are many broken individuals in this up and coming generation. I don't just mean broken in the sense that damage has been done. I mean broken in the sense that how you break an animal to the point that it has nearly lost its own will. For the purpose of being corralled and driven by the will of another, easily scared and controlled.
●With freedom comes responsibility, with the shortcomings come lessons, with lessons come wisdom.
Let's attempt fix what we can, and try not to break the next thing we build.