The other day I took my niece to the bank to help her open a new account. As we sat in front of the bank staff I happen to notice the nervousness and lost look on this young teen's face. So being the cool uncle I am, I tried to get her to relax and jokingly said, "hey, today a bank account, tomorrow a job, and the next day bills!" The bank staff laughed and told my niece, once you've crossed over, you will not be able to get back, ever, and enjoy the little time she has left. I thought, how true this is.
Kids, welcome to Adulthood!
Lately I've been hearing phrases like "this adult thing is hard or adulting is difficult." In my mind I'm like, well how difficult is it to pay a bill on time, or change out a lightbulb, or wash your own clothes? Really? The sad truth to many millennials and especially centennials is that these simple tasks are, well, really can be difficult if they've never been taught how. In another event, I took my niece to get school pictures at a local photography studio. We went inside and I had her go check herself in and make the payment herself with the studio employee. Afterwards, she went to the back to take her pictures and I waited in the lobby. As I sat there I saw many parent's bringing their teenagers who were seniors in high school for pictures as well. What I saw every time was they walk in, the minor goes straight to a seat, the parent walks in afterwards and takes care of all the photo decisions, the payment, etc. All while the child just sat there complaining about taking pictures, having to wear makeup, or don't care to be there, blah blah blah. One minor was even asked a question from another parent about what kind of pictures they were going to take and the minor looked lost, had no answers but "I don't know". In my mind, I was like, these parent's took time off of their job, to bring their child a great distance to a studio and pay a lot of money for a young person who is either ungrateful or have no clue what to do. Lord help us! In the US I see a lot of this happening. These teenagers or young adults have a lost look on their face when asked a question or given a responsibility. It's like they have no perception of the word responsible or no concept of thinking for themselves.
It's our fault!
As a Generation X parent, I blame myself. I blame myself for not taking the time to invest in my own children to learn some of life's simple yet important tasks. How many other parent's feel this way? These kids are now becoming adults by age but not by mind. I run a business in video and photography and certain times I hire help for bigger projects. Many times this hired help are young adults who know a thing or two about tech and creativity and can be very good at the art but suck at communication and admin tasks. Which as a business owner is frustrating to deal with. I'll email important communication that needs attention to and they usually wait to the last minute when I finally call them to respond to my email that I sent a month ago and ask them to look in their 1000 plus unread emails for mine. Many times I go through this unfortunately. It concerns me because they do a job that they maybe good at but are totally not prepared for because of lack of communication on their part. I also see in this young generation an attitude of "I already know what to do" but when it comes down to it, they become lost in their efforts. Who's to blame for this? The current adults. We have failed this new generation of young adults in teaching them things like, how to cook, pay bills, work a budget, wash clothes, small home repairs, checking the car vitals, dealing with the issues of life, how to perform at the workplace, life threatening dangers, how to think for themselves, how to tie a tie, and even how to write a check. Mom's if you can do me a favor and pause your Candy Crush Saga game to spend a little time teaching your daughter important duties and how to become an individual that can handle what life throws their way. Dad's can you please press that power button on that remote control or computer screen and spend some time with your sons, teaching them the fundamentals of budgeting and responsibilities as future leaders. It just takes a little time everyday to invest in this future generation to teach them and lead by example yourselves. Just like Whitney sang, "I believe the children are our are future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside." Remember that!? LOL Now you got that song stuck in your head. You're welcome! Kids, sorry, you don't know a thing about that song!
What does our future look like?
Well that question really depends on how much we as current adults are willing to work at helping these future leaders become adults. Teach them how to stay out of dangerous debt, teach them how to handle drama in dating, teach them, teach them, teach them! Let's do this parents, guardians, and mentors! Our future and legacy depends on it! I once heard that the best teacher for a child is the parent. School teachers just aid the parents with teaching their child academics in education. So many times parent's tend to leave it all to the school teachers to impart into their child which is not their job.
So teenagers and young adults, are you ready to take Snapchat, Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram a break to do what it takes to be a responsible adult? You might not like that word "responsible" but believe me, learning the meaning of that word can save your life, and save you from many frustrations and disappointments ahead. Take time today to learn something new, complete a task early, and talk to a responsible adult about how they've dealt with life. Enjoy the journey and for heaven's sake, change that battery out from that smoke detector that's been beeping for a week! Don't wait for maintenance, do it yourself! Push in, turn counter clockwise, pull out, size 9 volt, and put back.