Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Well, after the first week of my new book’s release, I see folks are dividing on the subject. Some can readily see the warnings I issue in the book, Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. Employers, teachers and coaches, for instance, have expressed gratitude for the plan I lay out to equip “Gen iY” for the future.
On the other hand, there are “mommy bloggers” who feel I’ve been too harsh. They don’t acknowledge the fact that millions of parents have stunted the growth of their children by doing too much for them. They refuse to recognize the mounds of research documenting this — pointing to research that seems to stand in contrast.
So what’s going on? Who is right?
May I suggest one response? Perhaps both sides are. After writing 25 books, I believe you can find statistics to back whatever position you’ve taken. Further, I believe one’s presuppositions going into an argument determine what they’ll see in the end. So let me suggest these realities and get your feedback:
- There are many great parents across the U.S. who are doing a magnificent job raising their kids. (Maybe they’re the ones reading those mommy bloggers!) At the same time, an alarming amount — millions — are unwittingly damaging their kids to a degree by over-protecting and over-serving their children.
- There are many high school and college students who are mature and responsible, preparing to make a contribution to society as they graduate. (We hire them as interns!) Sadly, the vast majority of students stand in contrast to them. Since 2003, I have spoken to 300,000 of them. I love them. I believe in them… but I believe adults have failed to prepare them for the future.
The bottom line? We have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on. They are a generation of paradox and we, the adults, must mentor them to become the best version of themselves they can be. It’s time we face the music — and acknowledge where we have fallen short. Adults have three big tasks as we teach and raise kids:
- Provide – Give them love, food, clothes, and support.
- Protect – Give them a safe place to live, play and grow.
- Prepare – Give them the training to be ready to live without as an adult.
I am simply crying out that we must focus now on this third task.