Over the last several weeks, I have blogged about the research on the latest batch of students; the ones I call Generation iY. (They kids born since 1990). They are different in their decision-making skills, communication methods, values, and style than earlier generations. So, what do we do? If the research is true, how can we help Generation iY respond well to the needs of the world around them? Let me suggest a few practical ideas below and build on this list in my next several posts.
1. Let them be different from Generation X or Y.
They want to create a new reality. Things lose their novelty fast for students today. Don’t chide them — encourage them to be themselves and define their own identity. This means building a healthy sense of interdependence — not a narcissistic independence or needy co-dependence. Help them to develop personal values. I believe this should come before vision. They live in an eclectic and pluralistic world. If they are not value-driven, they will shift as they encounter pressure from the culture. They must see themselves as individuals who possess a set of values, but who collaborate with other generations.
2. Help them to make and keep short-term commitments.
Generation iY has a tough time making long-term commitments, since everything in their world has been so instant. Help them put wins under their belt, which could lead to longer, deeper commitments. If they commit to a team or a project, see to it they fulfill that commitment, even when the glamour wears off. (Remind them they don’t need to commit the following year — but they must follow through this year.) This is critical to their future development.
I am interested. If you agree with me, how do you accomplish these ideas above? Or, do you disagree? What do you suggest we do as teachers, coaches, youth pastors, employers, and leaders?
Countdown to the book release of Generation iY — Our Last Chance to Save Their Future: 16 days