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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?

A couple of days ago, I had the undeserved privilege of being on “Fox and Friends.” I did an interview on Generation iY, detailing how adults often fail to prepare kids for adulthood. It was a fun and lively interview, where I was prompted to share four ideas to help kids mature. It’s been said before, but I will say it again:

Growing older is automatic. Growing up is optional.

I am on a war path. I am sounding a battle cry. As parents, teachers, coaches, youth workers, and employers—we must stop merely “entertaining” and start “equipping” young people for the future. I believe adults have under-challenged these great kids and when they flounder, we wonder why.  Now is the time to become intentional about saving their future.


So what do you think? Are we raising a generation of helpless kids?


  1. Stephanie on February 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Yesterday I spoke at a coaches conference and had some interesting dialog with coaches about the frustrations they experience in trying to build relationships with their athletes. When we allow young people to text their way through relationships at the expense of learning face-to-face communication skills, we do them a disservice. 

    The technology of the day is wonderful and convenient, but we must help young people grow in the personal communication skills that will help them navigate through life more effectively. I fear what they will be like in 20 years if they don’t learn skills to help them resolve conflict or create intimacy (neither of which happen best through electronic communication). 

    Thanks for all the resources you provide to help us help Generation iY!

    • Tim Elmore on March 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Great example, Stephanie. I often remind students that texts/email are for information, conversations are for emotion. As adults, we have to model and teach students how to use technology well. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rob T on February 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Well said.  i suspect the model that many kids are seeing in their parents is leaving a mark.     and it starts with them.

    • Tim Elmore on March 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      So true – adults must be constantly aware of what we are modeling to kids. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Kurt Earl on December 8, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I think with the good and proper goal of improving efficiency in the classroom we have trained a generation of educators how to create a classroom in which the student simply takes in the experience. We whisk the students in and out and feel obligated to make their experience fluid and fun. As a result our students don’t really know how to learn.

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Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?