I find it so odd when one generation mocks a subsequent generation. It’s like an apple tree looking down upon the fruit that has fallen beneath its own branches and mocking it.
And we’ve all encountered the I survived riding in the car with no seatbelt while sucking on lead paint on my way to a rusty playground without sunscreen bunch. Okay, we get it, your childhood was really unsafe. Glad you made it. I’m never sure whether I’m supposed to apologize that technology and knowledge provided me a less hazardous upbringing or feel somehow inferior, weak and coddled by my booster seat and SPF.
It’s definitely not a new phenomenon. Even my homie Socrates had beef with the generation proceeding his own, and that was some 25 hundred years ago. He said, “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
Basically I’ve come to the realization that adults have been hating on their kids since the beginning of time.
The apple not being far from the tree, Millennials are increasingly critical of kids today. Centennials: the generation being raised with gentle parents, granola moms, participation trophies, common core, and gluten intolerance. Catching a glimpse of a Centennial is rare, as most often their faces are hidden by electronic devices, but as I have worked with children for most of my adult life I feel that there are some things I must share.
Centennials are kind. The US Department of Education indicates that bullying rates have been decreasing since 2006. Far more often than children mistreating one another I see great compassion. Kids today don’t hesitate to help a fellow student, even if it’s inconvenient. I see sisters standing up for little brothers. I see white kids standing up for black kids. When bullying does occur, more often than not I have the pleasure of watching another student standing against it before I even need to be involved. Kids today are generous. “I love those heart erasers,” I once told a student! “You want one,” she replied happily?
Centennials are innovative. Over the years children have astounded me with their ability to solve problems in unique ways. From desalinating ocean water for human consumption to gloves that prevent e-coli contamination, kids today are blowing our Styrofoam solar systems and baking soda volcanoes out of the water. Check out more ingenious ideas from the minds of babes here: http://www.exploravision.org/10-scientific-innovations-from-kids
Centennials are savvy. While we were spelling boobs on our calculators and trying to keep Nano pets alive, children today are learning code, broadcasting over youtube, and communicating with their teachers via email in Elementary school. Think about it, Centennials are the first generation as a whole to have never lived without the internet. So when your dad always uses his cellphone with the speaker phone on because that’s the only way he knows how to answer it, remember our children will soon be rolling their eyes at our ridiculous questions about how to operate our hover cars.
So, while it's natural to look at a world full of problems and want to find someone to blame, let's stop the cycle of generation discrimination! These kiddos will inevitably be changing our adult diapers some day, and I trust we are in good hands (or perhaps some sort of diaper changing robot).
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