Every generation thinks the one that came after it is softer. While you may struggle with uncertainty and insecurity during the most intensive part of parenting, your grown children look pretty good. Most of them are doing alright for themselves. It’s easy with the hindsight of rose-colored glasses to believe you did a bang-up job. Because, well, the adults who were once your kids are all the proof you need.
But their children…the children your children are rearing. Well, that’s a whole other story. I mean, kids these days, they’re rotten, entitled, ungrateful, spoiled… you know the rant.
To that we simply say, “Shut up.” OK, just shut.your.pie hole. We’re over it. We’re done hearing it.
And here’s why:
1. The “Greatest Generation,” if you can really call them that, created the Baby Boomers. You want to talk about spoiled? Let’s talk about over-indulgence. The Baby Boomers blew their allowance on bubble gum and baseball cards when they were kids, and they’ve made a life of blowing their paychecks on faster cars, bigger houses, younger wives and fancy vacations.
2. The Boomers should be retiring by now. But.they.can’t. Because they have no savings. No retirement. Not 10 minutes of even once considering the future. They’ve mortgaged the entire country into debt financed by China, and they have audacity, the unmitigated gall to lecture Gen X about being uncharitable when we’re not super excited about being saddled with the bills they ran up. Every single one of us is working harder for less money than the previous generation in our chosen profession.
3. Gen X watched the Boomers shred every fiber of social fabric. We grew up to tales of Watergate and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. We couldn’t fill the schools built for the Boomers, so the buildings were allowed to crumble around us. The divorce rate reached its peak in our childhoods. Most of us were latch-key kids. So. Government, religion, education and marriage ALL failed us.
How can you possibly be surprised we’re not that interested in the advice of our parents and grandparents who set all this in motion? Seriously?
So here’s what it comes to: Gen X is sick of hearing about our kids. We don’t care that this isn’t how you did things. We’re doing things differently on purpose.
Sometimes, we hand our kids an iPad so they will give us 10 whole minutes of peace. We even use tools and technology to educate and enlighten our children’s lives that you didn’t have access to. That doesn’t mean our kids are spoiled or entitled. It means times change. Technology moves along. Get over it.
We don’t want to hear (again) about that orange you got for Christmas, and how special it was, compared to the toys our kids get. Yes, we have access to a more diverse and cheaper food supply than you did. As a percentage of income, we’re spending roughly what your parents did on that stinking orange. And this stuff lasts year round…not just one snack.
Boomers, you’re going to have to pick a position, but we’re no longer going to let you have it both ways. You either have to claim that we are the proof that you did a good job as parents and believe that we know what we’re doing when we make choices for our own kids. OR you have to admit you weren’t so hot, but we’re doing the best we can with the hand we were dealt.
Either way, we’re done talking about kids these days.