Parenting the Millennial Generation: Guiding Our Children Born between 1982 and 2000

By Dave Verhaagen | Go to book overview

2

A Whole New World

Do you ever flip through hundreds of cable TV stations and think, [What kind of crazy world are we living in?] You are overwhelmed by a cacophony of different lifestyles, languages, and worldviews. After watching a local newscast, one of my friends told me, [I'm going to move to rural Montana to get away from the humans.] Life seems so complex and unfixable at times.

Is the world really a different place than when we were kids? Perhaps all this was going on when we were younger and we just weren't aware of it. Maybe the same struggles and issues have been around for decades, even centuries, and yet youth is blissfully ignorant. After spending some time studying history, sociology, and even philosophy, I have come to the conclusion that two things are true. First, we do see the world as worse than when we were kids. In actuality, it might not be in any more disarray than it was generations ago; we just see it that way. Second, there have been significant changes in our culture over the past two generations in ways never before experienced in modern history. The world may not be much worse, but it is significantly different. To understand this well, we need a brief history lesson. Before your eyes glaze over, I can assure you that it will be brief, interesting, and relevant.

The Enlightenment was a seismic shift in history, ushering us into the era of modernity. With the Enlightenment's emphasis on intellect and ability, the world saw an explosion in the arts and sciences. A guiding notion was that through science, philosophy, religion, and art, humankind was getting better and better every day. Science could solve most of our problems, and philosophy, religion, and art could enrich our minds and souls. The Enlightenment was an extremely optimistic time. It lasted from around 1500 to about 1965, but the beginning of the demise of the Enlightenment occurred in the early twentieth century.

The two world wars and the Great Depression did much to damage the notion that the world was getting better and better and that we could solve all problems. News of tragedies was no longer spread by word of mouth, but by newspapers and radio and then television, making it increasingly hard to believe the world was getting better. In fact, many would argue that it was actually getting worse.

-11-

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Parenting the Millennial Generation: Guiding Our Children Born between 1982 and 2000
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1: Who is This Millennial Generation? 1
  • 2: A Whole New World 11
  • 3: What, Me Worry 19
  • 4: Ten Traits of Good Parents 27
  • 5: Kids with a Hope and a Future 43
  • 6: Risk Factors 51
  • Introduction to Protective Factors 63
  • 7: Emotional Protective Factors 67
  • 8: Cognitive Protective Factors 81
  • 9: Academic Protective Factors 97
  • 10: Personality Protective Factors 111
  • 11: Social Protective Factors 125
  • 12: Family Protective Factors 135
  • My Last Gasp 145
  • References and Further Reading 147
  • Index 159
  • About the Author 163
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