Why Our Precious Darlin’ Sugar Angels Need The Occasional Reality Check

I think this article is absolutely fascinating – and a great reminder that parenting demands down-the-road perspective.

The ‘Trophy Kids’ Go To Work

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  1. One of the main points I got out of the article is “indulgent”. I have three kids, all born in the 90’s, and it’s a struggle to raise them with a sense of responsibility and the value of earning something on their own. We are going to pay a high price in some areas of our society for raising kids that never have to grow up and support themselves. My kids know they are not going to live with mom and dad as adults…not an option! Parents need to have backbones, but many do not because they don’t have any direction in their own lives.

  2. Thank you BooMama. What a great article.

    I just printed it for my teenagers to read. Very good stuff!

  3. While the article makes some good points, some of it is just smear. Of course employees aren’t loyal to the companies any more; the company stopped being loyal to them a long time ago. I want my kids to be hard workers, but loyalty to a company is not part of my obligation in raising them. Loyalty is something that has to be earned by the company that wants it.

  4. I have a son who fits in this age group and unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, I see a lot of things in his behavior that was discussed in this article. I think I will show it to him and see what he says about it. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. This article put into words what I have seen time and time again as a high school teacher… at a Christian school.

    The kids do think way too highly of themselves, and have grandiose expectations. When kids don’t turn in an assignment, they still expect me to bend rules and wait for them to get it in… and the parents, too! I’ve seen kids turn in homework done in their parents’ handwriting!!!

    If you ask them what they think their future employer will say when they don’t want to follow the rules, dress according to dress code, get here on time, turn in projects on time, etc… they just say they don’t care.

    It absolutely amazes me.

  6. Well, I’ll speak as one of THAT generation (although I’m on the cusp, born in 1980). I wanted to be offended by the article but do identify with some parts and see a lot of the depictions in my peers and the teenagers I work with at church.

    I totally agree with Veronica about loyalty. We were raised not to expect loyalty from an employer. It was drilled into us that the days of working all your life at one company and retiring with a gold watch and living off their pension plan are long gone. So why not take your skills and find the best fit for your goals?

    We do want the best of both worlds…a good job and time with our families. But I believe we are willing to work very hard to be excellent as both parents and employees.

    I was just speaking with a girlfriend who was crying over the sudden realization that she wouldn’t be able to continue her rise at her law firm at the same pace if she chose to have a baby right now. Many of us were told if we worked hard enough we could do it all, we could have it all.

    It’s a hard reality to face that sometimes something has to give.

    I personally don’t have high career ambitions – I quit my job in social work to stay home when my son was born last year. So I speak as one not in the work force and not planning to return any time soon.

    Interesting article though. I emailed it to my husband. Thanks for sharing!

  7. AMEN sister! I just posted a “Top ten list” on my blog that was sent to my high school guidance department from a college!

    Where’s the balance? Why can’t we empower AND teach repsect?

  8. You are so right that we have to have a down-the-road perspective!!! I struggle with how much easier it is to just DO IT MYSELF rather than try to get the kids to help out more around the house, but I know it’s not good for them in the long run. The article was a good reminder of that. And like it said at the end…

    “In the final analysis, the generational tension is a bit ironic. After all, the grumbling baby-boomer managers are the same indulgent parents who produced the millennial generation.”

    What kind of generation is my generation creating??? I guess only time will tell!

  9. Thank you so much for this article – so interesting. I’m already preparing myself to battle this challenge with my own children who are only 2 and 4.

  10. At the staffing firm where I work we’ve been studying this issue for over a year now since we as recruiter we are often the first people to have to introduce a dose of reality to these kids.

    And they are just that, kids.

    They haven’t grown up. They have been REQUIRED to grow up but their parent, teachers, or advisers. So now it falls to us their employers to force some maturity on them.

    It has definitely influenced how I parent my two young girls. I refuse to be a helicopter mom even if it earns me a dirty looks from other Moms on the playground. Our kids get in an fuss, I tell them work it out between you – I will not get overly involved until there is blood. They are not teacups and I won’t treat them as such.

  11. Veronica, I think you’re dead-on about the company loyalty thing. Great observation. And Stacey, I subscribe to the notion that people can have it all if they really want it – just not all at one time. :-)

  12. Hard to grow character in our culture, that’s for sure. But then, I suppose it always has been. For if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.

    Feeling sad for our kids now. But I hang on to hope.

  13. I really enjoyed this article, and as a former physician practice manager, I can totally relate. There is a huge sense of entitlement by the younger generation, to the point it is just ridiculuous. I worked for a thriving physician practice and each year the physicians would give the staff in a specific hospital department a Christmas bonus and have a nice meal catered. Now mind you, the Christmas bonus given was not to the physicians’ employees, but to the hospital employees – do you know that some of the younger people had the gall to complain about the amount given, as if they were entitled to more! They weren’t entitled to anything, they weren’t even the doctors’ employees, and when I had had enough and final explained that to one person – she told on me!! I did not get in trouble, because the doctors felt the same way as I did, and truly the only reason they continued to do it was for the tax write-off – but that sense of entitlement that seems to be the norm with that generation really irritates me. I guess I feel like, no matter how you were raised at some point common sense needs to prevail and you should know that you aren’t entitled to everything.

  14. I’m one of that generation (I just graduated from college), but thank goodness my parents raised me to know I have to work hard to get what I want. Some of my peers are definitely like the ones described in the article…and they irritate the living daylights out of me! Melizzard has the right idea: show your kids that you care, but let them learn to work things out between themselves and take responsibility for their actions.

  15. Thanks Boo Mama…I love this article. It is so true. My husband has worked as a Concrete/Excavating Foreman for fifteen years and he definitely can attest to the truth of this article. The sense of entitlement is the perfect description of many of his work crew, especially the more recent workers from the millenial generation. He is always frustrated by the lack of “work ethic” and the attitudes of entitlement. It is a predicament for our society. And a good reminder for those of us training up the next generation of the work force.

    Kelly Gerken

  16. I taught these kids.
    The article is bang on.

  17. I was intrigued by the need for constant feedback and reward described in the article. i’m older than this generation by just a hair, but i feel some of that. that was the hardest thing about becoming a SAHM. i really missed that feedback. talk about a thankless job, where your work is unseen, and no bonuses or trophies! these poor girls of this generation will have a really hard time if/when they spend time at home with babies. if adjustment to the workplace is difficult, that will be impossible.

  18. Amen and amen and amen. I’ve been teaching college students for the last eight years, and the sense of entitlement has grown with each entering class. It’s a little unbelievable to me that I have to explain to students that: 1) the grade they receive is the grade they earn, not the grade they think they deserve, and 2) that just because they paid tuition/worked really hard/didn’t mean to plagiarize doesn’t mean that I automatically owe them an A. We refer to the students as “snowflakes,” because each one has been taught that they are precious and unique. And they melt under pressure.

    Parents need to keep their kids’ self-esteem high by teaching them that what they do is not who they are. But parents, you also need to teach your children that they have to earn what they get, and that they’re not always going to be the best and brightest at everything. And, for goodness sakes, I know it’s hard to see your children fail, but swooping in to fix every mess they get themselves into is NOT impressive to a college professor or to an employer, and it’s not doing the child any favors. Let go and let them grow up.

  19. Great stuff! I was born in ’77 and my kids in 2003 and 2006, and I see these traits and I pray that I can teach my children like I was taught- hard work, respect for authority, etc.

  20. This was a great article. Being a baby boomer I see this in the young people today. However, I must say loyalty to a company doesn’t alway pay–my husband worked 36 years for the same company and when he was 55 they decided he didn’t fit the bill, along with over 400 other older employees. Downsizing is a nice way of saying you are fired. Loyalty this day and time means nothing to companies. We were forced to start over when he was 55. Now a good place to be at that age. The rest of the article was excellent!

  21. Interesting article. Thanks for the link!

  22. I agree with the article. It is so right-on!! I have 2 children (born in 1981 and ’83) who fit in this age group. I also have taught school for 27 years. I don’t feel like my adult kids have this attitude. We didn’t raise them with an “entitled” attitude.

    The young adults described in the article were brought up with the idea that name brands made them who they are and I’ll just bet they got a sticker for every little cotton-pickin’ thing they did. I have spent hundreds of $$$ in previous years on stickers to reward students for all sorts of things. A BIG deal had to be made for every effort made, no matter what. The satisfaction of “a job well done” is too old school, I guess. Maybe these new employers should hang up charts and give them stickers for showing up on time, completing a task, etc.

  23. As a “millennial” myself, I read this article and found myself thinking, “yeah, and?” LOL. I do think that work is just a thing that I do, not a defining and consuming object in my life. And while I was spoiled by my parents, I don’t think that the world owes me anything. I only expect to be spoiled by my parents. I think that a lot of people in my generation though do think that the world will be handed to them on a silver platter and that they don’t have to work for anything they want/need. I went to college with a lot of those people. I think that the best part of that article was when the author pointed out that the grumbling baby boomers are the ones who created us. Sure, we have our flaws and our lessons we will have to learn the hard way, but the people that seem to be complaining the loudest are the ones who created the problem. And it is a good thing for me to remember while raising my daughter: she will be a contributing member of society one day; what will she have to contribute?

  24. Thank you for linking to this, Sophie… but more importantly, thank you for the title to this blog entry… a great reminder, in eleven words.

    I’ll be showing this to my own millennial.