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And now there are four… We had an interesting turn of events this weekend, and we now have four 17 year old boys living with us through the school year. My two boys, our foreign exchange student from China and now a friend whose family is living in New Zealand. They have a blast together, and we are excited to have him.
I’m finding I really enjoy teenage boys. They engage in passionate conversations with me, they jump in and try new things with abandon, they are witty and adventurous. I’m having to parent, but in a different way. I think there are some major misconceptions about teenagers in general, and particularly this “millennial generation”.
I read a very interesting article by Joel Stein in Time Magazine which dubbed this generation the Me Me Me generation. He shared some statistics that I chuckled at, having very close contact with these Millennials:
Doesn’t sound promising…and it doesn’t really sound like the boys that live in my home. As the article continues, the author talks about how these kids got to this point, and then finishes by saying this generation just may save our world…didn’t see that one coming did you?! His proof:
So why in the world am I talking about this?? I’ve been hiring for what feels like forever. And a lot of the applicants have been millennials. They are blowing me away with their lack of respect for the hiring process. I get it now that I read this article, but what they don’t realize is that I’m doing the hiring…and I’m not a millennial! My favorite applicant: She texted my office manager to confirm she had an interview the following day. My office manager told her she did, to which she replied, “will you remind me what time it’s at, and do I need to dress up?” My reply – you only need to dress up if you’re interested in ACTUALLY GETTING THE JOB!!
So we have to coexist, all of us “older than millennials” and these younguns. For all you parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends and neighbors out there, this is for you. (hopefully you fall under one of those categories!)
We used these guidelines last night and sat back in amazement. I’d been concerned about their electronic useage (what parent isn’t) so I asked them to think about all their goals for the next 6-8 months and what it was going to take to get there. Then, I had them write an Electronics Agreement for our home. Wow. They wrote it better than I would have, and frankly, were more strict with themselves than I might have been. They included time to be on their phones and computers (that’s the balance), but set guidelines for themselves (that’s creating an expectation). Rather than me pounding the rules down their throats, I let them figure it out (Coaching), and I let them know how great it was (Feedback).
Now lest you think I have this down perfect, this was my first attempt :). It just happened to work just like promised! So take what you might need out of this oddball post and embrace the people that are different than you! Next week I might get back to writing about dentistry!
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen