Hand in hand

“These millennials are the laziest, most entitled generation in the history of Earth.” ~A real quote by someone I was just talking to a few weeks ago.

“The current generation is growing up and wanting everything now, without having to work for it, and without having to put in the time and energy and dues that their parents did.” ~A real quote I heard on a podcast not 120 minutes ago.

“I need a raise. $4,500 a month is not enough. My wife and I are barely making it.” ~A real quote by one of my employees seven years ago when I owned and managed a therapeutic mattress store. They had no kids. He and his wife were both in their early 20s. His wife had a job, as well.

Sigh.

I run around with a lot of business peeps, and I can tell you that there is a big problem going on. The “I want it fast, and I want it now” syndrome that has crept into our society (sadly by many people even my age) is overwhelming. It’s creating more debt, more difficulties in business, more broken relationships, and more problems than ever before in history.

And it’s true. I used to be in charge of hiring and firing entire teams for a chain of stores. Employee feelings would get so hurt if I demanded good performance from those slacking. Having fun was more important to many of the young people I hired than showing up for work sometimes was, despite their hefty paychecks. Any discipline or correction had to be done with a fire poker padded and painted like rainbows so that they didn’t get their knickers all twisted and leave the company in a lurch. This was a problem with the vast majority of the younger people I hired, and almost never a problem with anyone born before 1980. Ask anyone in business who has to hire millennials. It is a frustration at best.

As parents, something we used to teach our kids got lost in the time span of a single generation. It got worse in the next generation. And it got almost unmanageable in the most recent generation of kids to leave high school and college.

It used to be… Work. Work hard. Earn what you have. Work harder. Earn more. Build a life for yourself.

Now it’s… Graduate high school. Goof off for a while. Somehow buy a house you can’t afford. Throw a tantrum if you don’t make as much as your dad did after 35 years in the workforce.

Where did we go wrong? Was it in our general and new intolerance to spanking and disciplining? I don’t think so. A heavy hand doesn’t teach work ethic. Was it in our becoming more liberal as a people and as parents? I certainly don’t believe that’s true. Encouraging acceptance and tolerance does not affect ability and dedication. Was it the big movement to load kids up to the brim with constant doses of self-esteem? Nah. Self-esteem is a good thing that only helps people be more successful. Was it the notion that every kid should be called a winner and get a trophy at the end of the baseball season? Nope. That’s a symptom of the problem, not a cause.

The truth is, I don’t know what went wrong. It was probably a list of things, and thinking about it gets me addlepated.

What I do know is that one of the biggest problem that exists for parents right now is…

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!