Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sense of Entitlement?

My wife and I have some interesting challenges with the younger members in our family. I won't name who, but they are young adults that need to get their lives heading in a new direction. Here's the problem...we've noticed that many young people in their 20s in and outside our family have little motivation to improve themselves or even have goals in mind to strive for. It appears the concept of the future is not very important. Instead of having goals like a home, career, raising children, etc there is little thought about needs for the future. Therefore no drive exists to better themselves. Now I don't mean they are hopeless or feel its not possible, instead they just don't think about "the future". The concept of having a dream or plan doesn't exist.

It used to be that everyone had some sort of goal in life. Some grand plans and some not so grand...regardless there was a plan. How could this have changed so dramatically from just 20 years ago? What changed? One would think because of our generation(Hippies, Yuppies,etc) the opportunities we experienced would encourage our children to have lofty goals. Yet nothing even close is in young people's minds. They appear to worry about one thing.......tomorrow. Not next week or next month but just tomorrow. The only reason I can see is that most kids had everything growing up in the 80s and 90s. That's not saying they were rich but everything was handed to them. Video games, trips to Disney, school activities, phones, computers...the list goes on. Our society also decided everyone gets rewarded regardless of the quality of effort. I became necessary to give all kids a prize or award for participating. A losing team still resulted in all team members getting some reward for effort. Recently it became wrong to let a team achieve a high score in school sports so as not to offend the losing team. Does this teach kids the need to work hard and be successful? No it does not.
The mistake we all made was related to political correctness. Society is always trying to avoid hurting feelings or insulting someone by accident. Concerns developed about kids on a losing team especially when the score was lopsided. Parents (and I'm one unfortunately) always tried to provide the latest toys, games, and computers so kids could keep up with the others. The result was that kids didn't have to worry about achieving anything. Everything would always be alright.
Now the dilemma is that we have many 20 somethings not doing much in the way of career planning, education, looking for jobs, etc. No urgency in their minds. Example...If they don't own a car they don't think about the need for one or if they should plan to get one.
We can turn around the young children today and prevent this from happening again but how do we fix the 20 somethings? Not sure and I don't know if we can get them to care about it. Without some change in their attitude we may be in for a long haul of hardships and low self esteem as they try to leave home, start families, and look for work. They will not enjoy the same standrad of living they were accustomed to and that will be hard to swallow.

1 comment:

Beccarigg said...

Love this post because it's SO true! We didn't have a lot of money growing up so I had to work hard for everything I have. I got a job when I was 15 and worked through high school and college. I'm grateful for that because it taught me how to be self reliant and goal oriented. After I left the home my Dad got a better job and things were much more comfortable for my younger siblings. They had everything just handed to them and now they're an example of exactly what you're talking about, they're in their young 20's and aren't going to school, have trouble keeping jobs, and don't really care either.

I told my parents they need to cut the cord and let them struggle a little bit so they can learn to swim on their own. I think they'd be a lot more motivated to find a job if they actually had to pay rent. I know it's hard, I'm a mom now myself and I'm sure as my kids get older I'll want to do all those things for them too. I guess the trick is to manage the line between helping and enabling.

Anyway, easier said than done, but good food for thought anyway : )