Have you heard of quarter-life crisis? Everyone has heard of midlife crisis. In fact, most people know someone who has gone through it. It’s a forty-something (or fifty-year-old) who began to question who he was or what he’d accomplished, and decided to make a change -- new wife, new car, new career, new goatee, new earring, etc. (It can happen to
Let’s face it. Kids today are inundated with a myriad of voices coming at them, vying for their minds and hearts. Because many of those voices come from well-funded marketing campaigns, we who want to connect with young people often face a daunting task. Just how do we capture and hold their attention? How do we compete with VH1 and
We are in the age of the “Wanted Child.” Sixty years ago, Dr. Benjamin Spock told parents to allow kids to express themselves and build a strong self-esteem. Today, we have taken this to an extreme. These kids most assuredly have developed a strong self-esteem. According to a nationwide high school survey, over 80% believe they are very important people.
This young generation has grown up with safety seats, safety belts and safety policies on everything. They can’t ride a bike without a helmet, and they stay inside for most of their childhood, in front of a screen. I call them “screenagers.” As parents, we don’t want them out of our sight. We feel we are protecting our future by
It’s very sad, but very true. This past week, the sixth student fell from a hotel balcony in Panama City, Florida to his death, during spring break. Tragic. What grabbed my attention about these stories of high school and college students is this. In every case, the parents said: “But he was a really good kid. A very smart kid.”
Well, the latest Pew Research Center report is in on the Millennial Generation. Some of the report was a yawn. It confirmed our knowledge that these young Americans are confident, self-expressive, upbeat, open to change, and addicted to technology. That’s old news. The core finding in the Pew’s findings was on “Religion Among the Millennials.” Young Americans are less likely to
I am concerned. One word describes millions of young people today better than any other: Overwhelmed. In 2007, the American College of Health Association surveyed the largest randomized sample of students since its inception. It revealed these results: a. 94% of students reported feeling overwhelmed by their lifestyles. b. 44% said they felt so depressed it was almost difficult to function. c. Almost 10%
Last week, I blogged Part One of this two part blog post. I suggested that a strange phenomenon is happening in the U.S. and around the world in Asia and Europe as well. It is the prolonging of adolescence and the delay of adulthood in young people. As I mentioned, several university deans have said to me: 26 is the
I just saw the movie “Alice in Wonderland.” I went primarily because I enjoy Johnny Depp portraying eccentric roles in stories. From Edward Scissorshands to Willie Wonka to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, he is always fun to watch. In “Alice,” Depp plays the Mad Hatter and says something to Alice that could be said to many of us today.
Over the next two weeks, I plan to blog on an issue that should be a high priority for American society today. It is a phenomenon that’s happening across the country, and while most see it, few people have put their finger on why it’s happening. Let me weigh in with part one here, and I will follow up next
There are reasons why this new generation of students appears so extreme. While there are some similarities between them and the previous generation, Gen. X, they’re not simply Gen. X on steroids. They are unique. You can find both positive and negative research about them. Before we attempt to develop them as leaders, we must try to understand their world.
Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 at age 76. This is a bit odd to me because, frankly, he always looked to be 76, when I watched him on TV as a kid. He always came across as this meek, gentle guy who found his niche with kids. Flipping through channels on my TV remote recently, I saw
It seems everywhere I go, I run into parents who ask how my wife and I pulled off the “Rite of Passage” for our son and daughter, when they turned thirteen years old. As you know, in many cultures worldwide, adolescents experience a ceremony when they turn twelve or thirteen years old. It is a sort of passage from childhood to
What a difference five years makes. When social scientists began assessing Generation Y (The Millennials born between 1984-2002), their prospects were bright. We began reading about them a decade ago, when authors Howe and Strauss touted their confident attitudes, self-esteem and optimism. Jobs were readily available as commerce was still booming for the most part. Today—not so much. Our nation is in
I am asking a question more and more these days. I wonder if American’s have overlooked a counter-intuitive idea as we educate our kids. Generally, speaking, we believe that “more” is better. We believe that faster is better. We believe that sooner is better. We want to provide more for our children and we want to do it right away.
I remember an activity from my early childhood. When we were in elementary school, my sisters and I used to play “school.” We’d get the chalk- board out, the chairs and the map—and one of us would be the teacher. Sometimes, we’d get the G.I. Joe’s or stuffed animals involved, to enlarge the class size a bit. When we didn’t know
I just finished doing some staff training with a great group of leaders who serve in a non-profit organization. They work with young adult volunteers between 17 and 25 years old. During our discussion, one of the staff members told me that her roommate is an elementary school teacher who was also going through training as an educator. What she told
I know, I know. One minute you think you’ve figure out this new generation of kids and the next, you feel you’re on a learning curve again. I get to spend a lot of time with university students these days and I’m amazed at one thing. The world they live in has produced a generational mindset—a shared paradigm—if you will. Need
I love working with students. I believe in this next generation of kids--the ones born between 1984 and 2002. Whatever you choose to call them, Millennials, Generation Y, the Digital Generation, their sheer size and demographic are destined to transform our culture, as they become adults. Social scientists believe they will be the largest generation in American history, somewhere between
I have been musing for some time about a demographic group sociologists say has expanded worldwide. The years between 18-26 and even beyond have become a distinct life-stage—a strange, transitional never-never land between adolescence and adulthood—in which young people stall for a few extra years, putting off adult responsibility. Some call them “Twixters.” Often, they’ll finish college, then move back
I've been thinking lately. The more I travel and teach students, the more I can see that the way males learn is just different than females. Now, don't get me wrong. Both genders are growing up today in a new day, impacted by iTunes, iPhones, iMovies, iChat, iPods, etc. All young people seem to be permanently connected to each no matter
I have been musing over a question posed to me today by an attorney in California. I want to pose the question to you and get your response to it. I am desperately curious to read what you have to say. As you consider young people today (Generation Y), you would likely agree there are both good and bad qualities they
I have sixteen books laying on my home office floor. I am researching for a new book I am writing and I've picked up every leading article and book on Generation Y I can find. My research has been very enlightening. Of the sixteen resources I am reading--eight of them offer a very negative report on kids today. Dr. Jean Twenge
I just finished speaking at a conference in Orlando. The event is called: "First Year Experience." It's attended by deans and directors who program for first year students at universities across the country. This was my second year experience at the First Year Experience event. :o) In my session, I suggested something that launched a little discussion. I reminded attendees that
Every now and then, you just get inspired. Last Thursday, I spoke at a leadership conference at Auburn University. It was hosted by student leaders on campus for potential Auburn students coming from high schools all over the South. Four of us from our "Growing Leaders" office drove over from Atlanta to be part of this. We suspected this would be
There's been a fire burning inside of me for more than two years. As I travel, I hear so many complaints and compliments about this next generation of kids. Some call them Millennials, others call them Generation Y, the Digital Generation, Sunshine Kids, MTV Generation, Screenagers, et all. What strikes me is the disparity on the comments I hear. Many adults