Monday, January 2, 2017

Help I am Dealing With Millennials the Generation Me Era!

 "I have morals” is what my eighteen year old son had said to me recently. As a parent this was one of the proudest moments of parenting. I know others would probably have greater aspirations for their children like to be a doctor, lawyer, professional sports star and many others, but for me if my children have morals that is the greatest compliment. Both of my children are considered Millennials also known as Generation X, Generation Me and Echo Boomers.

It’s a tough generation for a parent because of the sense of entitlement and narcissistic behaviour. At first, I thought it was just my kids that had this sense of entitlement behaviour, but the more I chatted with others of my generation many parents were saying the same thing. Its like we owe them something. I can not even imagine thinking that way when I was young, but that was an era where we were taught to respect our elders. At times, we even feared our elders as corporal punishment was still accepted back then. Fear is never a good thing, neither is corporal punishment so thankfully society decide to abolish this method of discipline. However, with that there is consequences the millennials have zero fear and lack respect for the older generation with this self entitlement behaviour.

Not only do we have to adapt to new behaviours we also must be tech savvy to social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and You-Tube to name a few. Its difficult to have a conversation with your kids as their heads are buried in their devices. If you have an important message for your kids its best to text them nowadays at least then you know they are listening. I have even caught myself disciplining by way of text using emoji to get my point across not to mention all of the text acronyms.

What scares me the most as a parent is all of the damaging content that is on the net. There was one video my son showed me a couple of years ago, that was so incredibly disturbing. I was troubled for days afterwards one because of the video and two because it was even on the net. As parents, we must be smarter and wiser with technology. A child generally looks to up to their parents so it is up to us to master the art of technology showing them that we are not ignorant to their environment. I could live without social media, but even I find it entertaining sometimes. Most importantly it is an outlet to see what my kids are up too. I think they even respect my knack for technology, but honestly, I don’t have a choice as this is the world we live in and I want to be sure that my children are making the right choices on social media. Educating them on what is right and wrong and letting them know that once it is out there is out there. Delete and clear cache not enough.

With the sophistication of technology there is also an increased risk of online predators. They are smart and very tech savvy. They carve out their targets creep social media sites and hunt for the vulnerable. The Generation Me is exactly that its all about me and the next selfie, but there are thousands of predators out there watching and they do have the aptitude to get through privacy settings and firewalls. They are masters of seeking out the vulnerable which generally lack confidence and that is easy to identify on social media. People who consistently and I mean every ten minutes that seek attention on social media are craving for attention perfect recipe for predators. I even think for some people social media is an addiction. Soon we will see people being treated for social media addiction. We sleep with our phones for goodness sake.

I was listening to a friend the other night and he suggested that our generation is guilty of the Gen Me narcissistic attitude. The more I thought about it the more I thought he was on to something. We buy the devices and we also want to provide to our children what we did not have which may contribute to the self entitlement attitude. We have done it with good intentions, but we may have contributed to the new generation mind set. Although I have educated my kids on the dangers of technology and they have demonstrated responsible social media behaviour it was not an easy feat. Millennials can have morals and integrity, but it comes with an immense amount of patience and perseverance.