Thursday, February 17, 2005

Who's Keeping Score?

"What do you mean they don't keep score?" I asked the coach of my then-little nephew.

"We don't want the kids to feel bad that lose," he replied.

What the fuck?

Thus defines the new generation, the Echo Boomers.

I totally missed it last night, but I guess 60 Minutes had a special on about the "Echo Boomers" or "Generation Y" or whatever you choice of label for those born between 1982 and 1995.

I did find an interesting article over at CBS, and you can read it over here.

I know, I know....The Boomers told us X'ers that we'd never amount to anything. We were the beginning of this attention defict population, and we've pretty much turned out ok, or at least some have...It's really lame to beat up on the next generation, but damn what the hell have we done to these kids.

It's not totally the parents of these kids fault. Living in a totally different world, these children were the first to have "play dates" and be taught that being a team was better then being me. From CBS:

"Nothing could be more anti-boom than being a good team player, right? Fitting in. Worrying less about leadership than follower-ship," says Howe. "If you go into a public school today, teamwork is stressed everywhere. Team teaching, team grading, collaborative sports, community service, service learning, student juries. I mean, the list goes on and on."

That whole leadership thing is what makes us here in the USA a bit special I believe. The independent spirit. The creativity. The not following the pack. This generation seems content with following the crowd, with pleasing.

"They are more protected," says Howe. "They regard themselves as collectively special, because of the time in which they were raised."

Some people aren't special. Harsh? Yep...but true. If someone doesn't go out of their way to be special, or put the effort into being special, hang it up. What happens when you tell these kids they are special for just doing the minimum?

I shudder to think...

There was one point in the whole article about how if told to go play these kids just stare at you like a deer in the headlights. They are so used to being shuttled from activity to activity they don't know how to just play. Oh how I've seen this.

Even though I don't have kids, I pretty much raised my sisters kids, who are right in the middle of this new generation. Being raised by a single parent and a crazy Aunt, they didn't get the activity to activity limo service, and quite often had to go in their own backyard and "play".

When there friends came over, I could see it then. If we broke out the art supplies, they wanted to know what the project is. My niece and nephew would be busy creating, and their friends would want me to tell them what to make. I'd always tell them to make whatever they felt like making, and they'd just stare at me.

God forbid I leave them alone to think and create. I was supposed to be there to service them.

This is scary stuff folks...

So we've rasied a generation dependent on the one before to tell them what to do. They have a video game mentality, don't know how to think for themselves, and can't do things without being told each step.

Suddenly being an X'er and being called a slacker doesn't seem so bad...

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