Upon reading an article on how the Generation Y (those born after 1980 and through the 90s) like to be recognized and rewarded, it was just one more reassurance that parents and leaders have a lot to learn still about correct parenting skills. No matter what, there always seems to be something missing from this group and unfortunately the lack thereof comes from the bottom up.
How many coaches, teachers or principals have given out awards for sheer participation when the kids at the top only get the same as all of the others? That is sad. Look around people, we are not all the same. We were not given the same gifts. We were born unique, thus we should be treated as individuals. We should not have to receive an award due to the sheer fact that we showed up or because our feelings will be hurt if we don’t take something home with us.
Part of the reason that there are so many suicides and school shootings is because children do not know how to play fairly, treat others with respect or lose with dignity. These are all very important skills and are in our lives for a purpose.
Since this generation has learned that no matter what they do that they should get recognized for their sheer existence, then they demand to be recognized and only put forth effort in many times unless they are praised and rewarded. The world should not have to operate on these standards.
Beginning from the time that a child can sit up and learn, a parent should be teaching them these life lessons. If there are other siblings in the house, make certain that everyone learns to share. Beginning with the small tasks can help you develop well-rounded children that do not necessarily have to be acclaimed just because they sat in a desk, put on a mitt, jumped in the water at a swim meet or spelled c-a-t correctly.
When you play games with your child, don’t cheat so that you lose; allow yourself to win sometimes, too. If the child wins every time, then if they play with someone other than you, they will throw a fit if they do not win!
It is not easy, but if you do not allow your children to learn for themselves, then they may never grasp the concept. Life has realities such as conflict, struggle and consequences. The sooner your child learns to deal with these issues, the better off they will be in life.
According to Dorothy Stubbe, M.D., associate professor and program director at Yale University School of Medicine Child Study Center, "The trick is to stay just far enough away that the child begins to develop her own autonomy, but close enough that if a child is floundering, the parents can come in and pick her up."
If we all begin today, perhaps the next generation coming through will be happier in life. They will not expect to be rewarded for just showing up and let’s all hope that the violence toward one-another and self will be corrected. Not everyone can win at everything. We should all know this and embrace it!