So many of us Generation X ers are raising Generation Z kids. Our oldest is heading off to college next year.
Yeah, time does fly and its crazy how much there is to do their Senior year (and expensive).
Why is it as parents it seems that we have this time clock attached to us especially around this season of life when our kids are getting ready to head off to college?
The questions begin to flood our minds:
Did we raise them right?
Do they know the difference between right and wrong?
Can they make their bed, wash their clothes, or clean a toilet?
These are just some questions I know few of you ask yourself.
If you born between 1966 and 1976, you are part of the Generation X generation. Where our parents were less focused on us and more focused on being an adult. Heck, I can remember being dropped off at Grandma’s house as my parents went to Las Vegas every other weekend.
We were “latchkey” kids. Kids that both parents worked and didn’t come home until 5 or 6 at night. Meaning we were left at home alone for 3 to 4 hours a day. God-forbid we sat and watched MTV during those hours.
We are known (and still today) as the hardest working generation since World War II. And, we wonder why our own high school kids don’t have jobs because we tell them every day how “I got at job as soon as I turned 16”.
Generation X has the highest divorce rate. There are tons of reasons as to why, but growing up in the 70’s only 9 states allowed joint custody. Seems like our parents knew how to work things out and we have forgotten how to do that and instead tell ourselves “for the sake of the children”.
So, now, I get to the reason these question are drawing to my attention. The previous Generation Y is being told they are lazy and have no work ethic. Generation X started the “self-employment” movement therefore, maybe, became narcissistic along the way. Generation X took God out of schools and Generation Y may put it back but not quite sure if they want to do the work it would take to do it. Generation X wants the Heisman Trophy and Generation Y wants to give a trophy to everyone. But, Generation Y is the most tech-savvy and marketed to. They know a sales pitch and heard every reason as why they should “buy now”. They are looking for purpose, validity, and a mission for why they are here on this earth.
But, us Generation Xers are raising a group of kids that are part of a new Generation – Z’s or iGen. There is something amazing about that. Z to me is final, finished. I mean it’s the last letter of the alphabet. There is just something that says “we have crossed the finish line”.
Make a Difference
Parents, now is the time to instill some incredible things into our children. It’s not to late. Compassion, love, hope, a good work ethic or how nothing comes freely unless you work for it. Teach them how to forgive, offer grace, and how to see the light at the end of the tunnel and what it really means. Teach them disappointment. Teach them how to encourage one another, how to not just love Christ, but have a relationship with Him. Teach them to never have regrets but only to learn from them. Teach them to trust Him more and themselves less. Teach them to find the good in others. Teach them how to put money away for that rainy day. Teach your sons how to change the oil in there cars and your daughters to change a tire. Teach her to laugh more with them instead of at them. Teach him how to open doors and respect her parents.
Let’s take what we’ve learned and use it. Remember those times when our parents weren’t around as much. Let’s be around for ours.
For some, you are on your second or third marriage. Let’s take today as the first day until forever to give our kids the example they need for a lasting marriage of their own.
Raising kids is one the toughest but one of the most rewarding you will face in life. Questions of did we do everything we could while they were under our roof will always arise, I am convinced. And you know what, that is ok.
Its time to be present, be purposeful, be loving as we get ready to cross our finish lines.