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Mike Hendricks

Mike at Night

Mike Hendricks recently retires as social science, criminal justice instructor at McCook Community College.

The problem with millennials, their parents

Friday, December 29, 2017

If youíre on Facebook, youíve seen the comments about all the things we used to do when we were kids that kids arenít allowed to do anymore and most of us seemed to grow up okay. This is a slap at over-regulation and the government trying to become parents of children. Although some of the laws make sense, others donít and many people simply want their freedom back to do as they please.

Then we have what are called ďhelicopterĒ parents who hover around their kids wherever they are, trying to ensure that their kids never make a mistake or do anything that could put them in harmís way. So in many cases, these kinds of parents have taken on the role of an overly-concerned government about the safety and welfare of our kids.

But thereís also a third group of people who have control over the kids of this generation and they havenít been given a name because theyíve been around forever. These are the parents who see their children as nuisances and have as little to do with them as possible. They donít act as role models, they donít spend time with their kids, there is little or no expression of love and caring, and they donít really care what their kids do as long as it doesnít bother them.

These are the kids that become troublemakers and lawbreakers. These are the kids who are thrust out into the world to make decisions for themselves before theyíre ready and, consequently, they tend to always make bad decisions. These are the kids who find it much easier to cheat and steal than to get an education or a job and work for a living. On top of this, itís a generational thing too because these kids tend to become the same kind of parents their parents were and so this miscreant behavior is passed from one generation to the next; generation after generation. Thatís why crime rates in certain areas of larger cities have been high for decades. Obviously, the kids grow up, but if they continue to live in the neighborhood, have their own kids and raise them the way they were raised, the results will be the same.

Everyone from social scientists to Presidents have been trying to discover an answer to this problem with little or no success because parents who donít want to be good parents canít be trained to be. Itís a lot like traffic violators being required to attend defensive driving classes. There are certainly things to be learned in a class like that that would make them better drivers but if they donít care about the class and consequently donít listen or pay attention to whatís going on, the information will go in one ear and out the other and the traffic violators wonít learn anything.

One of the contributing problems to high delinquency rates is the fact that in many cases, children are giving birth to children. Teen-age girls are sexually active just like teenage boys are and if they arenít instructed on how to avoid pregnancies, then they wonít. And when they donít, we have kids having kids and because they still ARE kids, they typically turn their children over to their parents because although they enjoyed the process of getting pregnant, they donít enjoy the responsibilities of motherhood.

So nothing ever changes and the beat goes on. Every generation complains about a portion of our youth who are lost without ever being given the chance to succeed. But when parents donít pay attention or show love or care about their kids doing well and succeeding in life, then chances are the kids wonít care either and this problem will continue for as long as these circumstances exist.

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