Our local radio station here plays The Intentional Life with Randy Carlson for at least two hours everyday. So, whether I intentionally want to listen to him or not, if I’m in the car during those two hours I tend to tune in.
The other day he was talking about Millennial parenting. He said that this is the first generation of parents to seek the advice of their peers instead of their elders. He went on to say that most Millennials are more comfortable asking Google what to do with their screaming two year old than their own parents…..
Since I’m a grandparent whose friends are grandparents I know that this is too often too true.
But you know what else I’ve noticed? We who are now the elders are not as comfortable as the generation before us in sharing what we think and feel.
I don’t know about you but I had about 10 people in my life who were never hesitant to share what they thought no matter how much it might hurt my feelings…..And you know why they did that? Because they loved me and wanted to help not make the mistakes that they had made in their lives!
Back to Intentional Living and the Millennials. They’re getting advice from their peers and Google while we are keeping our mouths shut so that we don’t offend them. Or maybe, truth be told, it’s because we’re intimidated by this generation who is so much smarter than we were at that age. It’s hard not to be intimidated when they are better educated, have access to more information, and are so comfortable posting their lives on the internet.
But that’s a mistake on our part. It’s our responsibility to help this generation avoid the mistakes that we made. Sometimes we don’t need to give advice but we need to be willing to share failure.
Now the reason I’m thinking about this is a little passage in 1 Kings 12:
6 Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?” 7 The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. 9 “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
This didn’t turn out very well for Rehoboam and you can read it for yourself here.
I don’t think things will turn out as well as they could for our kids if we continue to keep our mouths shut. Now, I’m not giving you permission to stick your nose into their business. I am asking you to be transparent about your own experiences.
We don’t need to tell them what to do as much as we need to tell them what we wish we would have done or (ouch!) what we wish we would never have done.