Currently I am reading a book by Tim Elmore titled Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. It is a very engaging text thus far. The book discusses the generation that we are dealing with now as teachers, educators, coaches, parents, or anyone who works with today’s kids.
Though I just started reading the book, I am beginning to see a clear message I have been trying to tell a lot of people I know for years. What is that message you ask? Well, it has been confirmed to me that today’s youth are selfish, have low work ethic, and are over confident about the future. Well, at least most of them.
As I am reading this book, I am marking in the margins, interacting with the text much like I teach my students in my classroom. Anyways, the whole time I approach the reading in this book as if I am a coach and a teacher. Even though I am not presently coaching, I still saw numerous amounts of the above mentioned characteristics in today’s youth as a high school coach. The book discusses how today’s youth feels do not have to work hard or pay their dues to get something. Which is what I have been saying for years. I can’t tell you how many players and students I have come in contact with that want everything handed to them on a silver platter. The question in their mind is always, “Why do I have to work for anything?”. Kids feel they are deserving of almost anything. There are actually individuals in the iY generation that believe they know more than their bosses and should have the job their boss possesses. Unreal!
Today’s youth and their work ethic is not the only “wow” statement I have read in this book so far. Kids today don’t mind that their parents get involved in decisions about school and other areas. Younger people actually think of their parents as advocates for them. Are you kidding me? This is where I draw the line. This is why coaches have so many issues today. First, parents solve their own child’s problems instead of either having their child solve the problem on their own or having them buck up and face it. As teachers, parents make excuses for their children when it comes to homework and other issues in school. Why are parents afraid to let their children fail? What happened to telling a child to figure it out, especially if they have the tools to figure it out. We should all teach our children to advocate foe themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, even though I have encountered students, players, and parents that have fit the iY characteristics. I have also met students, players, and parents who are the complete opposite. Which, to be honest, helps me to keep my internal drive motivated to keep impacting today’s youth. The one aspect that completely irritates me to the core is the school systems who bow down to these parents and don’t let the coaches and teachers do their job. Administrators and administration in general should be supporting their educators, whether the classroom is the gym or the one where desks are lined up.
I am looking forward to what else this book has in store and what possible solutions it may offer for today’s educators or anyone else that has direct contact with the iY generation.