Are We Raising Generation Y-Me?


Our four-month old little girl, can’t quite roll over yet. She’s getting close. She’ll rock quite a bit. I wonder what would happen to her learning to roll over if Julie or I held her all the time.

I’m sure several months from now she’ll have seen enough walking to also want to try it. She’ll need to learn to balance on those two (wobbly) legs. I wonder how long it would take her to learn that necessary balance if Julie or I constantly held her hand.

If we’ve done some things right, several years from now, my daughter is going to head off to college. She’ll need to learn to manage her money with a whole new set of obligations. I wonder what would happen to her learning about managing money if Julie or I were to simply give her money to live on, no strings attached.

Love Hurts (And So Does Life)

I’m sure it’s partly my own biases, seeing things through my own lens, but it seems society is bent on making our kids the softest, weakest, most selfish, spoiled brats the world has ever known. Are we raising a Generation Y-ME?

Now in little league, everyone gets a trophy. In spelling competitions, nobody has to go sit down at their desk if they misspell a werd. The Wii is replacing the We in “We’re going outside to play hard, for hours, because we’re kids and wii we have boundless energy.” The word allowance is fundamentally flawed. Is the rising generation going to be a bunch of spineless pushovers? Let me rephrase: are we raising the rising generation to be a bunch of spineless pushovers?

Hold that thought, because we’ll get back to it in just a second.

A Dwindling Perspective from a Wiser Generation

The crowning achievement in personal finance for my grandfather and his generation was to “own your home” (and it was likely 1,000 square feet — not 2,000+). It seems the Baby Boomer changed that clarion call to something along the lines of, “leverage what equity you do have in your home to fit a lifestyle you can’t afford.”

(Now generations don’t live in bubbles, and we’re seeing plenty of the grandfathers out there adopting the “enlightened” way of thinking. It’s sad and extremely frustrating. Don’t touch that reverse mortgage!)

You Big, Impatient, Selfish Baby

This trend is dangerous. Treacherous.

I want things now. Now. NOW. NOW!

And there’s no sacrifice to get it. If we screw up, we look for a bailout. If we’re duped, we look for a regulator to prevent us from being duped again. (Failing to mention the fact that we had huge dollar signs in our eyes and the LARGEST of fine print wouldn’t have deterred us from signing on the dotted line.) If we want it, we swipe for it. We have no patience.

We are acting like a bunch of spineless pushovers and our kids are following suit, becoming a bunch of selfish, spoiled, now-oriented, spineless pushovers.

Just like my four-month-old baby. If she wants to eat, she cries. If she gets too tired, she cries. If she is sick of lying on her back while Julie desperately tries to get things done around the house, she’ll cry (the Baby Einstein Musical Octopus toy distracts her for about 9 seconds).

But if we always carry her, she’ll never roll over.

If we always hold her hand, she’ll never learn to walk.

If we give her handouts, she’ll never learn to work. Sacrifice. And win.

Take offense, or take action — it’s a choice. I vote to raise a strong, independent, take-no-prisoners generation that thrives on difficulty, loves a good fight, and has instilled in them down to their very core the knowledge that school is tough, kids are mean, work is brutal, money is tight, life isn’t fair — and they’ll be just fine.