I got a little late start with my last child–I was almost 40. Now I am almost 60 and I have a 20-year-old at home. The learning curve has changed, and for most of her life, I have spent teaching her the way of the world according to a middle-age man. Now she is teaching me the way of the world from a perspective of someone who grew up in the computer/internet/technology era, and man, it is a whole different world from the one we grew up in.
For the last several years, there has been the Baby Boomer vs. Millennial saga. We say put your shoulder to the wheel, get a real job, work 9 am to 5 pm, buy that house in the suburbs. That’s what we did. They want to work out of their condo and walk to the coffee shop. Where did we go wrong? Well, we didn’t go wrong. They are just a product of what we taught them–“work smarter not harder.”
My 20-year-old has had 15 years of keyboard education. Her entire life has been with a computer in the house and at school–a personal communication device most of her life and a smart phone for several years. Texting, Snap Chat, and Instagram are just a way of life for them, and for us, it’s all a grey fuzzy area. Sure, I have a Facebook profile and can surf around the internet, but it was a learned skill, not second nature like it is to them. They have cyber relationships that are just as real as our first crush, games are no longer in the street with the neighborhood kids but in the basement with kids from all over the world, and friendships come and go just like in our “real world.”
Whether you want to face it or not, the world has changed and will continue to change no matter how stubborn we choose to be. My father was a farmer and worked sun up ‘til sun down, seven days a week—a 40-hour week would be a dream. Let’s not lose perspective and realize how different we are from our parents and embrace the future generation.