Are More Millenial Protesters Gearing up for the Inauguration?
With the inauguration coming up, we will likely see the millennial protesters again. But, then again, we see protesters every day. They’re the toddlers who are screaming in the grocery store when Mom won’t buy them candy. As preschoolers, they’re whining in the back of the church as their parents slip them snacks to quiet them down. By school age, they’re receiving gold stickers just for obeying the rules, and trophies for showing up for “recreational” soccer. They’re picking up their free Mac Book as they enter middle school, and in high school, they assume they’ll have a limo ride and a two hundred dollar dress for prom. By college, they are entitled and expectant that they will be able to skip class, get drunk every day, and still graduate with that degree that they presume will get them a starting position paying fifty thousand dollars a year or more. When that doesn’t happen, then we see them on the news.
As hard as it is to admit, this is the generation we have raised. I am just as guilty as anyone else, having often bribed and begged my kids to cooperate as they were growing up. I bought into the self-esteem error that was proliferated by the likes of Oprah and Dr. Phil. Shame on me (and maybe you too), but now what? What can we do about this generation of grocery store hellions and college babies? Well, we probably won’t change them at this point, but maybe you and I can affect the next generation of young people who are coming up. Today, I’d like to share with you a somewhat facetious set of instructions that I’ve developed called, “How to Raise a Protestor.” While my thoughts are expressed in a tongue-in-cheek way, I hope that some of you moms with young children will take it to heart, and avoid the mistakes and pitfalls of those of us whose turn at childrearing has passed.
How to Raise a Protester
From the moment they’re born, make them your Number One Priority. Their needs come before your spouse’s or anyone else. After all, your spouse is an adult who can fend for himself. Your child is helpless and vulnerable, and needs all of your attention! Go ahead and neglect your marriage. You and your husband can reconnect later.
Never allow them to do without anything, if it’s in your power to provide it. After all, they are looking to you for their every need. Don’t disappoint them. They need to know that they can count on you to be there when they decide they need something. Don’t make them wait, either. There’s no reason for them to have to stew and be upset if you are able to give it to them now. This will save you some headaches, too!
When school age rolls around and they forget papers, books, lunch, etc., always bring those things to them, wherever they are. This will increase their trust in you, and help them out. After all, you’re not doing anything, and even if you are, they are more important.
Boost their sense of self-esteem/self-worth every chance you get. If they don’t feel good about themselves, they won’t have the confidence to succeed in life. Even when their work is sloppy or their spelling is wrong, tell them they did a great job, and that they are special and especially smart!
Once they know how special they are, make sure everyone else does, too. Don’t allow their teachers to make them feel bad or criticize their schoolwork. If they come home with a bad grade, call the teacher and make an appointment to go in and explain to her why she is wrong about your child’s schoolwork. Be consistent in this. Your child needs to know that you will always get him out of trouble.
Don’t give them instructions or tell them what to do. This will only cause them to rebel, and rob them of their freedom to choose. If you want them to do something, give them two choices that are equally acceptable to you, then let them choose! (When they say they don’t like either choice, just get out of their way and tell them you’re proud of their independent thinking!)
Never demand obedience! This will squash their initiative and make them “followers.” Remember, they are people with rights, and you don’t want to infringe on them. Never tell them that they did anything wrong, but only offer comfort when they have made a bad choice. If there are financial or material costs associated with their bad choice, you pay it the first few times, until they learn that it’s better to make a good choice. This will ease them into responsible person-hood.
Don’t expect them to move out of the house too soon. You wouldn’t want them to try independence and fail! Once you have funded their college experience, let them know that they are welcome to occupy their childhood bedroom for as long as they need it. The stress of finding a job and fending for themselves (also known as “adulting”) is probably too much for someone their age.
I could think of many more ingredients for this recipe, but I think you get my point.
By the grace of God, my boys are responsible adults today, who do not fit the description of the millennials we’re seeing on the news. They are hardworking young men who fully support themselves. Today, I am grateful to God who, by His Providence, redeemed many of the mistakes I made, and guided me to make some course corrections along the way. He will do the same for you.
If you are currently in the trenches of child-rearing, my heart goes out to you. It is a mixed-up world these days, where children are catered to and coddled, never challenged to grow and learn through their mistakes. You will be fighting an uphill battle, fueled by friends who have everything, school systems with low expectations, and communities with little accountability. But there is still hope, my dear sister-moms! Commit yourselves to prayer and consistent study of the biblical principles of parenting. God is faithful, and He will lead and guide you as you walk in obedience to Him.