Selfie: Millennials As Parents

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Unique (they think), entitled, individualistic, self-promoting, tech savvy, social media addicted, constantly seeking public approval  Millennials: kids born between the late 70s and late 90s or between 1982 and 2004, depending on the source. These dates are flexible, since behavior should be examined, as well as year of birth in determining assignment to a generational group. Emotionally conflicted parents foster emotionally conflicted kids. We’ve been discussing the effects of stress on today’s kids in the last few blog posts. If you think the social media whirlwind is tough on millennial parents, let’s take a look at how it impacts their children.

In an article in the October 26, 2015 issue of Time Magazine, “Help – My Parents Are Millennials by Kathy Steinmetz, the following picture is presented:                                                                                                                 * Mom-petition – social media presents a constant brag fest photo-op for the “perfection” that is the lives of others, creating a daily standard to be met and surpassed                                            * Dependence on Social Media For Approval – the number of  likes and comments matter                                                                                                                                                              * Social Media Fosters Rude, Confidence-Slashing Comments Its Nature – people post things they would never say in a face to face situation                                                                      * Information Overload – Google, Twitter, Apps, Facebook all day long                                       * Afraid Of Making The Wrong Choice – must check reviews of doctors, restaurants, manicurists, hair stylists, toy stores, etc. before taking action                                                           * Democratic Approach To Family Management – kids are canvassed for their opinions and participate in discussions regarding family decisions, activities, schedules, punishments                                                                                                                                               * Their Children’s Approval Is Sought – children are confident in expressing their opinions and feel free to let their parents know they do not approve of their choices                               * Their Children Have An Inflated View Of Their Place In The World – they want what they want NOW. Every activity results in a media blitz of photo ops.Of course they think they’re terrific, their pictures are posted all over social media every day. Since when did eating an ice-cream become newsworthy?                                                                                           * Technology Both Brings Parents & Kids Closer And Acts As A Barrier – yes, cell phones keep you in touch but also interfere with conversations and participation in the present *** flip phones without Internet are safer to protect your kids from cyber sexual predators and social media sites where bullying and teasing can happen at an alarming rate ***                                                                                                                                                                            * Worry About Screwing Their Kids Up For Life – the parent fears if they don’t make the right choices, the child will carry permanent emotion, mental and psychological scars

So, here’s my take on this subject. Warning: I have a lot to say since my experience with this subject is extensive. Ready?

What we have is a generation of petrified parents, afraid of public media criticism and criticism from their own little children to whom way too much power has been given. Millennials, take back your parental power! You have a right to make decisions for your children for which they have no say. Be the parent. You’re creating a dysfunctional family by allowing the child to be in control.

Don’t run to social media for every advice. Family members, neighbors and professional have valuable life experience, know your child and your situation, and can offer suggestions in a loving, supportive environment. The Internet is great for fact checking the dates of the Crimean War, but has little place in life affirming decisions.

Stop posting every little thing on Facebook. Do you really think anyone wants to see sixteen pictures of your child walking in the park carrying a balloon?

Put down those cell phones. Stop texting your friends and pay attention to the people who are in front of you. Be present.

Your child is a kid, not a mini adult. Don’t give away your power to children who are emotionally ill-equipped to handle the burden of their own lives. That’s your job.

In every healthy relationship, there’s room for one adult and one child. A child without a strong parental influence grows up insecure and resentful. Notice, I did not say an overbearing influence, I said strong. You be the adult. Let your child be the kid.

Trust yourself. Relax and enjoy your children. Parenting is not an Olympic sport.

You don’t need to seek constant outside approval. Set your goals. Follow your life’s path. Constantly seeking outside approval can only lead to confusion and disappointment. Leave your middle school self in the past.

Please let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week’s blog post – Earth Day Kudos

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