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Baby Boomers Screw Up Their Kids? Suuure They Do

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Boomer Parent with Millennials. Can’t stick to anything? Them’s fightin’ words.

 The original title of Simon Sinek’s article excerpt on Salon.com?

How Baby Boomers Screwed Their Kids And Created Millennial Impatience.’

The subtitle is , ‘Ambitious but easily distracted, Gen Y wants to be good but can’t stick to anything. It’s their parents’ fault.’

He get’s into it a little further in a TED talk where he asks how great leaders inspire action.

Do you have kids? Did you ruin them?

We all know it’s bad form to kill the messenger when the message doesn’t fit what we want to hear. That’s a bad idea. No one’s killing Simon Sinek, but he’s earned a nice boomperpdx smackdown.

This man is a forty year old Englishman according to his bio. Born in 1973, he would have been someone’s new baby my senior year in high school. He’d have fit right in.

There’s no mention of wife or kids for him, just plenty of attitude. For example:

The Greatest Generation, raised during the Great Depression and wartime rationing, wanted to ensure that their children did not suffer or miss out on their youth as they did. This is good. This is what all parents want — for their children to avoid their hardships and prosper. And so that’s how the Boomers were raised — to believe that they shouldn’t have to go without. Which, as a philosophy, is perfectly fine and reasonable.” 

Uh, Simon, this Greatest Generation you mention? They’re called the Greatest Generation because they jumped into the fire against Germany, Italy, and Japan. Tom Brokaw wrote a book called The Greatest Generation, his way of saying, “Thank you for your service.”

This expert on America needs to widen his research net. He’s like everyone else who imagines a military career, but never quite gets around to joining the service. Of course they’re officers, probably generals and admirals after their first week of boot camp. Field Marshall Sinek?

They’re called The Greatest Generation because they bled more than anyone else in America during WWII, not because they were raised during the Great Depression and wartime rationing. How can you get that one wrong?

The most senior of the group gave birth to the Silent Generation while the younger members gave birth to the leading edge boomers beginning in 1946. It’s a technicality, but an important one.

Simon gives his approval of parenting in a nice English sort of way. When he says, “perfectly fine and reasonable,” it’s England’s way of saying “whatever, anyway, there you go.”

It sounds dismissive because it is dismissive.

Baby boomers were raised during a time of corporal punishment. Did their parents really want to ensure their kids didn’t miss out on their childhood? Not when the house rule was, “if you get in enough trouble at school and go to the office for whacks on the butt from the board of education, you’ll get it home, too.”

No one wanted to miss out on that.

If you got a home haircut in junior high and complained, you got a buzz cut. If you were so embarrassed the next day in school that you refused to take your hat off and got sent to the office to meet with the counselor, it got worse.

When Mr. Counselor called momma at work to come and deal with your emotional issues, she showed up with a belt and an offer: Do you want a whipping in the counselor’s office, or out by the car?

Who wants to miss out on that? But it started earlier.

One second grade teacher, Mrs. Romani, gave homework she expected you to do. If you didn’t, you stood at the front the class with others who didn’t get it done and got whacks from her paddle. It was a cute paddle ball paddle without the ball.

Baby boomer’s parents didn’t complain about her all year. We took it and now we’re blamed for coddling our kids? How would Simon react if he played recess tag too hard and pushed another kid down? If Mrs. Romani was the monitor, she’d grab him by the arm and spank him all the way to the office where he’d get another whack from Principal Burke.

More than a few boomer students got worked in the 50’s and 60’s. No wonder they started a social revolt.

To point a finger at boomer parents today and say they screwed their kids up is to ignore the one ringing truth: Baby boomers were the first screw up generation, and we’re proud of it. If you didn’t hear, “Get a job you lazy bum,” or “Get a haircut your furry freak,” you weren’t trying hard enough.

Our baby boomer parent expert might miss the boat on us, but he’s classic in a final sense. He taps on boomer parents and their Gen Y Millennials. Since he’s a Gen X-er, he’s feeling pretty good about where he is, which is better than you.

Snippy, condescending, and misguided, Simon Sinek wouldn’t have made it to third grade where I’m from. Mrs. Romani would have held him back for lack of backbone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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