If you are the parent of a child born after 1984, you have raised/are raising a Millennial.
The factors explored in this video that have given them labels like ‘entitled’, ‘unfocused’, ‘self-interested’ and ‘lazy’ are parenting, technology, impatience, and environment. These are leaving a generation with lower self-esteem than ever before. Also prevalent is an inability to cope with stress and build meaningful relationships.
Not wanting such fate for my children, I can say that I feel the weight of this. So, while it is important that we remember the last 3 factors, it is equally important that we look in the mirror. As parents, we can take this information, think about the future we want for our children and take a serious look at our responsibility.
This video by Simon Sinek below talks about the responsibility that is in the hands of industry. His passion is about leadership so he is working hard to have the leaders of today’s corporations figure out how to get the best out of Millennials in the workplace.
My passion is about raising strong children who live their greatness. So, for those of us in the ‘raising’ stage, there is much we can do. Here are some thoughts to help you support this ‘amazing, idealistic, fantastic generation to build their confidence, learn patience, learn social skills and find balance ….”
Parenting in a more authentic way helps children believe in themselves and their own capabilities. Reflecting back to our children the truth of who they are is not the same as praising them.
Praise is often based on what someone does and is meant to make them feel good. Authentic recognition is about being truthful about the qualities needed to act in a certain way. Through this, we help others know that they have and can rely on these qualities. Of course, accomplishment can be celebrated! But, failure can also be real and fully felt allowing qualities like confidence and resilience to be taught. Within the process is where the greatness lies and not so much in the end result.
We can help them form healthy personal beliefs and teach the skills they need to deal with the real world.
Through the way we relate to our children, we set the tone for what they come to believe a relationship is. What they believe a relationship is, determines how they treat each other and how they expect to be treated. Most importantly, how we expect to be treated becomes part of our personal belief system. Experiencing what it feels like to be seen and valued for who they really are, gives children a far greater tendency to be able to see that in others. Not only that, they come to insist on it in the relationships they form. When they learn the language of connecting. It naturally follows that they feel more confident, able to be real with others and less likely to engage in the peer dynamics that break down relationship and the self-esteem of others.
They are more likely to have the skills to build healthy relationships with themselves and others.
How we relate to our children also sets the tone for the influence we have in their life. With effective influence, we become so much more empowered to teach, guide and support them.
Parents can create successes to build a child’s patience to move through the sometimes messy process of life to the true sources of belonging and joy.
In our world today, we have to wait for very little. We can hit a few buttons on a smartphone and have something at our door the next day. A song we want to hear or a program we want to watch, we can do on demand. Remember ‘in the old days’ when you had to wait to hear your favorite song on the radio? You wanted to record it so you would sit by the radio with your cassette player poised and ready to go only to have the announcer talk through the first of the song? You were pissed but still had to wait for the next opportunity. At that moment, critical feelings came up and important skills were being developed.
While a simple example of a larger concept, the point is this. The pressures facing youth today seem greater while the opportunity to organically learn to manage them seem smaller.
In parenting, we have more opportunities than we often realize to see and teach what our children need. We can even create the experiences that teach critical skills. Rather than moments when your Millennial is not being successful, these are the truly teachable ones.
Marny Elliott is a Parent Coach and Relationship Counsellor. She empowers parents, educators and professionals to use the Nurtured Heart Approach®, an effective, heart centred method to transform behaviour, build relationships and grow the Inner Wealth® of children. In addition, she provides holistic counseling to adults seeking to address defeating patterns and improve their relationships with themselves and others. Please visit www.joywithin.ca, email email@example.com or call 250.218.8702.