A couple of weeks ago, I came across a video on Facebook that sent me into a mad spin.
The video was a small snippet of a more extensive video discussing how the kids of today are not resilient; they are weak and soft.
On the stage, a woman of an older generation is presenting her take on how she views the children we millennial parents are raising. Now I must reiterate that this was a cut of a more extensive video, it was some conference. I am unaware of this particular woman’s qualifications, I did wonder what qualified her to speak so profoundly about the kids of today the first minute or so, but shortly after the nonsense that came out of her mouth her qualifications became irrelevant.
I am a millennial, well if we want to be accurate I am an Elder Millennial, thank you to the gut wrenching funny comedian Iliza Shlesinger for giving us this adequate title, much appreciated!
Millennials are now old enough to have kids in their early twenties (if you got busy making babies early) right through to newborn bubbas. I’m a Mumma of two kids in the tween years myself.
The woman on stage talking the nonsense captures the audience with a story about how when she was little (a solid decade or two before us elder millennials were little) playgrounds were made tough. She describes how parents allowing kids to slide down the metal slide in the playground on a hot summers day in Australia and landing on the solid ground was ‘real’ parenting.
She then takes her story on a twisted journey and makes a ridiculous conclusion that playgrounds of today are horrible.
Playgrounds with slides that don’t cause third-degree burns, scrapes and abrasions. Playgrounds with colourful flooring that bounces little bodies that have accidentally tripped or fallen. Flooring that has thankfully caught the kids who ride the slide like fearless beasts and bounce their way to a magnificent landing.
In her view, these carefully constructed playgrounds are creating a whole new generation of soft, whimpy children who are going to be awful adults.
Now the playground comparison was being used as a description of how generations of past had it tough and they turned out to be better people than my children ever will be, apparently we millennial parents have taken it too far.
Here’s the thing, when we were little, we too went down those hot metal slides in our local playgrounds. We experienced the burns from the heat and the burns from the friction of the metal tearing on young flesh.
We swung on wooden swings that had a serious chance of coming lose from the ground and tipping over if you swung too high. We scraped our knees on the horrible bark that lay in chunky clumps on the ground and that hurt like hell if you fell on it!
If you happened to break skin and bleed it would without a doubt require a considerable dose of antiseptic. And don’t get me started about having to wear sandals in a playground full of bark!!
Yeah, that was SUCH a better experience than what my kids have in the playground, NOT.
I guarantee the majority of us have a scar or two from the ‘good old days’ as well.
But you know what lady with the opinion, we were smart enough to do something about it! We did not see the need to inflict pain just because we had to suffer through it. We changed the game!
We not only wanted a better experience in the playground, but we also took real tangible action. Millennials designed, constructed and changed play from being a war zone to an adventure.
We don’t want our kids to hobble home with blood dripping down their knees and bark in places bark should NEVER go, whilst pushing their bike home wearing an oversized stack-hat and fending off killer magpies.
That was not making us resilient that was corporal punishment!!!
Kids of today are nothing short of exceptional.
GET OFF THEIR CASE!
Yes, they are different from all the other generations that have come before them, and you know what, thank goodness they are.
They are smart kids. These kids are knowledgeable about domestic and international politics years before we ever were. They have a vast array of interests because they can educate themselves at the touch of a button. They are passionate and guess what; they are not afraid to call us out on the mistakes we’ve made, climate change anyone!!
Kids of millennials have a mighty task ahead of them. They need to be equipped to handle vast levels of information all at once; they must create solutions they have inherited from mismanagement of generations past. They must study hard and complete their education for jobs that haven’t even been created yet!!
Talking smack about millennial parents is ridiculous. You have no idea what we are trying to achieve. We get the severity of the task ahead, and we are making decisions to guide our kids to be better people than we are.
If you want to call us bad parents because we made some brilliant play equipment, fine, we can accept that, we’ll in turn call you bad parents for making us wear sandles. But do not call our kids anything other than exceptional. They run rings around us now, give them another decade, and I know they will change the world for the better.