Entitled millennials constantly seek special treatment. The generation thinks they’re above “working their way up,” and believes good jobs with high pay should be handed to them.
They don’t want to work and would rather spend their days in pursuit of folly, like their “dreams” and the things they’re passionate about.
Their desires aren’t grounded in any type of reality, yet they persist in their belief that they deserve more.
Why Millennials Differ So Greatly From Previous Generations
The generations that came before know the value of hard work. Boomers grew up in America’s golden age of prosperity, but their depression-era parents instilled strong work ethics. Gen X, the latchkey kids, learned self-sufficiency during their many nights alone.
What happened to millennials?
I Have a Theory
Millennials were born and raised in a very different world.
In the 1970s, The changing social and cultural landscape and the advent and legalization of new technologies made parenthood a choice for the first time in history.
Women could control if, when, and how to become mothers. However, with that shift came a shift in expectations for motherhood.
Because women could opt out of parenthood, those who opted for parenthood faced even more pressure to be exceptional mothers. However, they also faced pressure to join the workforce and excel in their careers.
All this pressure led to a massive shift in expectations for children and child-rearing.
From Housewife to Stay-at-Home Mom
The shift is most obvious in the way we describe women who stay home to raise children. In the past, we’d describe these women as “housewives” or “homemakers.” Their duties included childcare, but the title also encompasses all the other tasks associated with the home.
Now, we describe these women as “stay-at-home moms,” highlighting that the primary function of women who stay home relates to childcare.
Obsessing Over Their Children
Parents of millennial children took their jobs seriously. They dove into parenthood, becoming their kid’s coaches, teachers, proctors, cooks, nurses, chauffeurs, and best friends.
They started valuing input from psychologists on child development and obsessing over their kid’s developmental, social, and academic progress. They bought into an overly supportive approach to parenting, initiating the much-derided “everyone gets a trophy” events and protecting their children from any type of negative feelings.
Everyone is Special
This new parenting style challenged previous notions about humanity, community, and individualism. Everyone became special in their own unique way. Teachers could no longer rule classrooms with an iron fist, as children’s opinions, viewpoints, and feelings became more important than academic success in a structured environment.
You Can Do Anything
The best measurement of success for parents is raising successful kids. Millennials’ parents had to prove to the world that their choice to embark on the parenthood journey was correct.
They pushed their kids to succeed in every aspect of their life. Millennial kids knew they were college-bound before they even entered high school. They were forced into team sports and after-school activities to fill their resumes.
On the flip side, they learned that they were special, talented, blessed beings who deserved the world.
Changing Technological Landscape
It’s not all the parent’s fault, though. Millennials were born during a cultural paradigm shift. They came of age with the internet and were the first generation who could communicate with peers across communities, schools, and nations.
They gained perspective from those outside their immediate circles and internalized it, realizing that the way they did things wasn’t always the right way.
Millennials all Grown Up
Millennials are now adults ranging from their mid-twenties to early forties. They have a reputation for valuing work-life balance, collaboration, and engagement. Millennials don’t worship work for work’s sake and would rather spend their time on personal development than on earning an extra dollar.
The attitude flummoxes older generations, who value work above all else.
Are They Wrong Though?
Boomers and Gen Xers sigh in exasperation at Millennials’ attitudes but never stop to consider whether they have a point.
Why should we accept unlivable wages and toxic work environments? Why should life revolve around work? Why can’t we promote programs and policies that would make life better for everyone, whether they “work hard” or not?
Millennials reject the old notion that work is the be-all-end-all to our lives. Older generations think they’re spoiled and entitled for that attitude, but I fail to see how they’re wrong.
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