Do the perceived problems of Millennials have to do with parenting today?

Do the perceived problems of Millennials have to do with parenting today?

I had a dinner with a few of my friends, who are also parents with children. The consensus is children just don’t seem to listen like they used to when we were raised. They complain more than we do, are more sensitive then we were, and generally avoid the same sports and games that we participated in as children. And yes I had plenty of video games and movies to entertain me as a child. The only think that wasn’t there for me was the internet.

I brought up a working theory.

When my father raised his voice after trying the nice route, the siblings in my family all knew he meant business.The consensus at the dinner table is that seems to have been lost with our generation.When their dads spoke, his words carried more weight an were clearly heard. Granted some Dad’s back then weren’t afraid of spanking their children or taking something of value away to alter behavior. These days that’s frowned upon.

Anyone buying into this, as a reason why the Millennial generation according to the Baby Boomers 1946- 1964 and Generation X’ers 1965-1982 have the problems we think they have?

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
-Socrates…about 2500 years ago.

– Socrates

ETA - Damn, beat me to it. But I’m gonna post it anyway.


I mean when was the parents meeting where there was a vote held to change how to raise kids?

“These damn kids today” is a story as old as stories.

My Dad used to tell a story, when parenting issues and styles were raised, about visiting a friend who talked back to his (the friend’s) father. My Dad stepped back, expecting the ceiling to collapse as the wrath of heaven fell on his friend–as it would have at my Dad’s house. Instead, nothing happened. Dad’s point was that different families had different approaches to parenting. My dad was huge and could be loud, so there was no talking back to him in our house, so I do not know how he would have handled it. We talked back to my (smaller and shriller) Mom on many occasions, but not if dad was around.

Times change and families are different.

As to singling out Millennials for public abuse, that is nothing more than the current “Let’s pick on an age group” theme that I have watched for my whole life. It is pretty stupid, but it just seems to be something in which people enjoy engaging. There are differences among age groups in regard to what is considered proper etiquette or common courtesy as mores change, but it really does not actually get into serious issues. When I was in my mid twenties, my mid thirties boss used to lament the way that kids (at that time) did not have the serious work ethic that we shared. I now work with several guys who would have been teens when I was in my twenties and I constantly hear them complaining that today’s kids do not have the same work ethic that we had.

I know a number of kids, today, who are coarse, not very respectful, inattentive to directions, etc. I also know a number of kids who are not coarse (when they are in mixed company), are generally respectful, follow (and seek out) directions, etc.

If someone enjoys grousing about “kids today” (or accusing Millennials of being raised poorly), they are welcome to join the last few hundred generations who spoke the same way about the generations younger than they, but I find it silly.

Which dialogue is this from?

And what do you mean by “millennials”? The people who came of age around the turn of the millennium, as it originally meant, or the people born around then, who the original millennials like to complain about?


From the 1963 musical Bye Bye Birdie, expressing displeasure with the generation that an advocate for a return the the 1950s was voicing

As other said, I don’t think anything has changed fundamentally, just what the older generation is picking on the younger generation for and vice versa.

Like so many other things though, social media has magnified the issue. Kids under 20 +/- a few years are the first generation to have had smart phones, computers and access to the internet along with facebook, twitter and myspace for virtually their entire lives. People that I work with that are in high school can’t believe I didn’t get my first phone until 1998, when I was in college. It takes a second for them to understand that the late 90’s is when people started getting them and almost 10 years later before smartphones started showing up on the scene…many of these kids were just a few years old at that point.
Now, having said all that, I ran across a meme just this morning that said “If you raise your children, you spoil your grandkids. If you spoil your children, you raise your grandkids.” So, it’s possible there was a generation of spoiled kids, which resulted in grandkids that feel entitled, but I still think a lot of this is just blown out of proportion by facebook.

Firstly, I think that the internet is a societal problem we haven’t come to terms with, but it’s not a Millennial problem. It impacts every generation.

As for the ‘problem’ with Millennials, I think it’s basically they were raised in an era of unprecedented prosperity. They were raised in a way which took advantage of that prosperity and assumed that that prosperity was endless. The whole ‘everyone should chase their dreams’ and ‘we’re all special at something’ way of raising children in the 80s and 90s wasn’t a bad thing. It was just a thing that assumed that we were on the verge of a society without want. There are lots and lots of good things about millennials. Their drug and alcohol use is down. Their violent crime rates are down. Their teen pregnancy rates were down. Their educational attainment is up. There are lots of really good things to say about them. The ‘problems’ that we see with them tend to revolve around social involvement and workplace surveys. They tend to be more socially isolated (and this trend is continuing in my opinion far worse with Gen Z) and they have higher expectations from their work while not really contributing as much productivity as older generations. I think that the workplace issues are directly the result of parents assuming that work would always be abundant and well-paying and setting up those expectations for their children. Unfortunately, automation , globalization and good old fashioned corporate greed have really impacted those predictions and it has left a lot of young workers disillusioned. I don’t think the problem is really with them, it’s with this society that they’ve entered which isn’t at all what they were promised. If wealth inequality was what it was in the 60s, then I think we’d be talking about Millennials as bright workers who were advancing the cause of labor although a bit introverted. In this society though, they are lazy do-nothings that overvalue their worth. I think that the real answer is that wealth inequality has undervalued their worth and older generations are better equipped to deal with this undervaluing.

Millennials aren’t kids anymore, they’re young adults mostly in their late 20s to early 30s, many of whom have kids of their own. Going on a ‘kids today’ rant about people who are actually the parents is a little… off. Also, as a Gen X er I don’t agree that Millennials have a problem, the only generational cohort that I think is generally spoiled, unreasonable, narcissistic, and odious as a group are Baby Boomers.

Well, the Boomer generation had an era of unprecedented prosperity. Then they destroyed their own labor protections, founded for-profit colleges, refused to raise minimum wage. Then they let thieves steal their corporate pensions, invested in subprime mortgages, and gave their life savings to Madoff and Enron.

And you people wonder why Millenials think the status quo is bullshit.

We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little!

probably not said by Socrates.

Still the point stands.

God, my Daddy used say that. “Kids today, harumpf”
Every parent since the beginning of time has lamented about their kids, or the genetic ‘kids today.’ Seems like a few get grown up and are productive members of society. Somehow.

People like to bring up this quote but that doesn’t mean the issue is invalid - that bad character is a problem. It merely means that it’s not a new problem.

It also suggests that the problem isn’t with “youth today,” but with youth generally. Those complaining were usually just as bad in their own youth; they just have selective memories.

I don’t see any problems with the millennial generation. They save more money, believe in science more and are more pro-social believers in equality than the boomers or silent generation. And they do all this while facing more economic setbacks, competition and information overload than their parents generation. Society will be better when the Millennials are the major force in politics and business.

The kids* are alright.

*Technically kids isn’t accurate as the youngest millennials are almost 18 and the oldest are nearly 40.

“Genetic” kids rather than “generic” kids would be their kids :cool: