I am a mom of two Millennials. There are lots of jokes about the Millennials these days. How they are coddled, spoiled, tech dependent, how they have it SO easy. You know the spill, "When I was a kid we didn't have Google, we had to look it up in an encyclopedia! And not just one book but a set of 36-That my parents couldn't even afford to purchase, so we had to go to a real place...in a building, called a Library."
If you think this blog post is about the Millennial generation and bashing them, then you are wrong! It's about the Millennials' PARENTS that made them how they are. Trained them!
I am guilty as sin! I come from a time like most of my peers where our parents born in the 1950 era struggled through the 70's as young parents, worked hard to give us just enough and maybe a little extra, but we kids worked hard too. We had chores. We had to earn scholarships. We had to use encyclopedias! I got my first Motorolla flip phone at TWENTY-ONE and paid for the phone and the bill myself. Yes, I had the luxury of going through high school with NO cell phone, NO social media, and NO internet. And I find that to be a blessing. I can't imagine dealing with on an hourly basis what my kids, my Millennials, go through with the pressure of social media, live streaming, Instagram, Snap chat, email from teachers. If you think, Well I don't let my millennial do any of that. They are exempt from those problems.... they're not. Their friends have it, use it, and they are a part of it through association.
As a mom of Millennials I wanted better for my kids than what I had. How many times have you heard that parenting philosophy? I am guilty and don't disagree with it; I just think they need to appreciate things and not rely on the world always being a magical place. I also feel if I don't train my millennials to do hard work-work they do not want to do then I am failing. Fast forward to today-Smack dab in the middle of Christmas Holidays. At our house that means lights, trees, decorations everywhere. My husband lights up our yard like winter wonderland. I move the elf to fun and entertaining places. Cookie the elf had a zip line that lead to an empty box of candy canes and before school the kids had to search for them. I have run around like a chicken with it's head cut off or better yet partially severed profusely bleeding buying friend gifts for 12 other lucky millennial girls, teacher gifts, dirty Santa party gifts. I hear the stories about how in middle school other Millennial girls buy tiered gifts-a simple gift if your an average friend a nicer gift if you mean a little more. Just nicer enough to make the ones that didn't get it feel like crap, or feel like oh we are friends but not close enough friends. It's craziness. After all the shopping I was running from one millennial mom duty to the next, and I stopped in the mall parking lot looked at my sweet Millennial girl and confessed, "I'm over the holiday season for this year." See, what we Millennial PARENTS do is make it so magical, so exciting, so special that not only does EVERY kid get a trophy, a tiered present, an elf, a magical time that we also in the process suck the life out of ourselves, our marriages, our homes, our wallets.
So today after I delivered the teacher gifts, the cookies, and waters I signed up on Sign Up Genius to send, after I chauffeured, after I made the day super special I started to drive home. We stopped to pick up dog food, and I waited around about an hour while the kids played with the caged kittens at Petco. Millennial parents, guess what? After all the stressful, costly things today....THAT will be what my kids remember most fondly about today. Not the Parents of Millennials orchestrated hot chocolate and cookie bar. Not the brunch the parents supplied. An unplanned, FREE, moment when it was just my millennial kids and ME...buying dog food.
And you know why it happened? I took my daughter's phone away in the car because she was talking back and sounded too big for her britches. If she had that phone in her hand in Petco I guarantee she would not have noticed the cutest yet allergenic cats.
On the way home I assigned chores-not the average M puts away dishes W takes out the trash. I assigned REAL chores. Heavy duty this is what I (the mom of Millennials) do every.single. day chores.
Turns out while I was running around, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, buying, tucking in, blowing out long hair for an hour I got sick-sore throat, stuffy nose, headache. So I figured two preteen and teen Millennials are able to do what I do. Yes, at first they weren't happy. But before long my daughter was singing while vacuuming. My son was offering to do things on the list for his sister. Pretty soon they were competent, capable, giving, helpful Millennials that I am raising them to be. W wants to listen to music while cleaning his room. The house is spotless. I am blogging. The holiday is here!
See if a child is unappreciative, ill mannered, unprepared for real life, incapable of hard work like cleaning or chores I do NOT blame the millennium the child was born in nor do I blame the child one bit! I blame the parents. Millennials are the result of our parenting. We raised them to be exactly as they are. I think mine are pretty smart, resourceful, obedient, helpful, tech savvy. I'm proud of them. If and when there is a moment I'm not, that means I need to correct or refine my parenting! So good luck parents of Millennials, and remember it's our job to give their generation a GOOD connotation to their names!
After my kids checked every chore off the list my oldest daughter asked my son if he wanted hot chocolate then asked me if she could make me some. Then they had an actual conversation-not argument- where W asked M if she was excited about her birthday. That's the thing; spoiling our kids really tarnishes their spirit. Hard work makes them good people, kinder people. Don't tarnish your kids by giving too much and not demanding enough!
Happy Holidays from this Millennial Training mom to you!