Millennials are Self-Centered Know-It-Alls, but You Knew that Already

A fairly recent article in Time and a bunch of other follow-ups all tell us the obvious: Millennials are not only generally helpless and incompetent, we are also more full of ourselves than an Ouroboros. Two statistics should suffice to sketch the dismal picture:

  1. Millennials (ages 18–30) are far more likely than members of previous generations to be unemployed and living with their parents. More than a third are living at home. Which is pretty sad.
  2. Millennials are also far more likely to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Taken together, these statistics indicate that in spite of the fact that my generation has very little to be proud of, we are prouder of ourselves and more self-focused than any generation that has come before us.

And if you think we’re bad… Oh my. You should see the generation of cream-puff miscreants following us. They are aptly termed “Generation Z,” if by “Z” you mean “zombie.”

I don’t know exactly how to react to all of these statistics concerning my generation. Part of me wants to say, “That may be true generally, but that’s not me.” But I know that’s what most of my generation is probably saying. And we can’t all be in the clear.

It’s also the case that every generation voices extreme concern about the generation rising up after it. And perhaps the most recent generations have been even less willing to pass the baton. The rise of multi-generational homes speaks to this. Why don’t Baby Boomer and Gen X parents just boot their kids out of the nest? I don’t know. But they’re not doing anyone any favors.

I used to be a high school teacher and my experience, and the experience of my colleagues, was that parents were the biggest obstacle to their own children’s growth and responsibility. Whereas teachers used to be directed to produce educated children with skills and discipline, now our job was to provide supervision, self-esteem, and unearned credentials. If we did not provide these things, we were hounded by whining parents and harangued by school administrators. In other words, it doesn’t surprise me that a huge number of Millennials are living with their parents without jobs.

I wanted to warn parents: “What do you think is going to happen when your child goes to college or applies for a job? Do you think a college professor is going to care if you complain about your child’s workload? Do you think an employer is going to happily receive your excuses for your kid’s inadequate performance? No. As soon as your kid hits the adult world, he will fail. And you have actually set him up for failure. And your safety net will not be big enough to catch him. He’ll be right back in your house, and he’ll just keep failing until he learns that discipline is more important than self-esteem and hard work means more than raw talent.” Most parents don’t want to hear it. This is just one facet of the national problem. But if it’s not fixed soon, it is unlikely our country will survive as we once knew it.

21 responses

  1. Admittedly I still live with my parents, but I do have a job and the situation has been the most cost-effective way to save money, especially since I’m not married.

  2. Generation Z is in for a grave awakening. My dad has to employ my Sister in Law’s little brother just so we can be on her good side. But he knows he doesn’t do the work. Me? I’m a graphic designer, I’ve been forced to learn how to work when I entered the workforce.

    And now I work very hard at my Internship, so I can transfer my skills and my ethic to the real world. However, with Thermonuclear War on the Horizon and a War in Syria coming to bear, Generation Z might be caught in a post Apocalyptic Scenario. Where they will have to work to survive.

    Know-it-alls? Just you wait until the rug is pulled from right underneath their feet.

  3. Much of the reason boomer parents f***ed up their kids is they were the drug and free love bunch who polluted their brains. then they went to the yuppie lifestyle and badly neglected their kids for material pursuits. A working couple could have a stay at home mom but chose to both work for nicer home and “things”. They were also taxed far higher than their own parents. So we got guilt ridden, dysfunctional parents, mostly divorced, with issues and they spoil their brats. Rude awakening is the tip of the iceberg these punks are gonna run into.

  4. It didn’t start with these generations. Parents looked around and saw the competitive world is not based on a work ethic, responsibility, self-control, decency, fairness or any other good qualities. Oh sure employers want these things, but it’s not what is rewarded. Friendship, family connections, same ideology, bullshit artists and a degree of some sort are the coins of commerce. The good qualities are for the sucker class. So, they try to get their kids into the system using what is actually valued.

    • Dorothy—–I belive you’re confused—-this generation and the precieeding generation (X generation) are the kids—that if you played a sport—everyone had to play–(even if they were (fools) and then they all received throphy’s. The Mothers would scream at the coach—if little fumble-bumb Johnny didn’t get to play—would cause a scene and get the coach removed—because her little boy/girls was the best in her eyes—–
      These parent and kids are a disgrace to life— and you are part of the problem of America being a 2nd class country.
      You——-Dorothy are a lost individual and enabler of failure.

  5. All I know is that my 2 daughters (33 and 29) are grateful that I was strict on them as they grew up, made sure that they had as an example hard-working parents who went the extra mile in everything they did. We were disciplinarians who didn’t allow them to slide, even though their teachers were willing to do so. My oldest had a teacher that accused her of plagiarism, because her papers were of proper grammar and spelling (reviewed and errors pointed out to be corrected by the writer, by me). I had to stand up for her because the teacher wouldn’t accept her papers, but I knew she had done the hard work to write them, and finally get him to acknowledge that she DID write the papers herself. He just wasn’t expecting the higher standard that I held her to.

    I have had both girls come and tell me how grateful they were that we were the strict parents, who told them that they had to stand on their own 2 feet when they were adults, because unless they were in school full-time, they would either have to pay rent (nominal but responsibility-driven) or move out. I wasn’t going to have them mooching off me. However, as they moved out of the nest at 20 years old (oldest into her own home with her future husband and their son, her being sole wage earner because he was an illegal Canadian alien and wouldn’t work (he could, but too afraid to try… under the table jobs were available), and youngest still in school but moved in with her current boyfriend at the time, into their own place), they realized when they looked around at their friends who were still living at home with their parents, as they made it on their own, how proud they were of their accomplishments to be able to make it… all because of how they were raised… in reality.

  6. i don’t think i would be so quick to blame the parents of the millennials.
    i think it’s a lot more complex than that,
    certainly they should incur a good portion of the blame.
    other generations share in it as well since it did not “just” happen to one generation.
    it’s been a gradual thing.
    if i had the space i would explain how incredible it was to hear a guy complain at work that he had to do his son’s taxes because he is in afghanistan. and he has to take care of the car by parking it on his own property for same reason. really? did ya think to tell your boy that he has grown up now if he has been hired to kill other people in other lands and welcome to the real world where it is going to be painful that you forgot to do your taxes on time to meet the april 15th deadline so you’ll have to come up with another solution so you remember to not do that again. this isn’t your homework anymore this is no-kidding real life and they don’t care about your excuses – penalties accrue. not too bother with the car thing although after the first time i would let the kid know to put it into storage next time. that way you learn that things cost money and maybe you want to sell it instead of buying a brand new vehicle three months before you deploy… duh!

    • Well, maybe this enabler of a father was a draft dodger in his younger days and knew nothing about the realities of deployment. Then, once the nature of his child’s duty became obvious, he decided to do what little he could to assist his patriotic son (due in part to his guilty conscience)!

      Who knows? It’s possible!

      Garl B. Latham

      • And maybe he is just a good dad who is supporting his heroic son who is serving his country in a war zone. Why didn’t anyone think of that?

        I taught at a private technical school for almost 20 years, and left there in 2005. For many years my students were wonderful. They wanted to know, were great learners, wanted good grades and were willing to work for them, asked for help when they needed it, didn’t blame the instructor if their grade was less than perfect, and respected the faculty, other students, and themselves. But then a change began, slowly at first, but it took only a couple years for the student body to begin demanding grades they had not earned (they always wanted an A, even a B wouldn’t do), whining about all assignments, running to the dean to gripe about their classes, their instructors, and any student in the class who was actually willing to work. Then they began doubling down on their demands from the instructors after they realized that they would be supported by an administration that was highly concerned about money, but not at all about education. I felt so sad for them when they made their tacky little demands in my classes, because I knew the world was going to kick them in the pants when it would cost them much more than an unearned A, but would cost them jobs, income, and a future.

        We are now seeing the same thing in our country, with a president who wants to give all of us everything. That means he is giving all of us nothing. No matter what aspirations we may have once dreamed, we will become low-level wards of the state, unable to work or to earn our way though life. In our dissatisfaction, we will blame everyone but ourselves, and we will always resent those who actually have more because they worked for it. It will be a horrible waste of lives, talents, and possibilities for millions of Americans, and sadly, they will never even know what happened. Their dreams, once to strong and beautiful, will have become nothing, and they won’t even understand that they have demanded themselves into oblivion.

  7. General statements about age groups don’t always ring true. I work nights in a local restaurant. The majority of the crew is in their 50s and 60s, but we hire quite a few of Generation Z. Some of them are shocked there isn’t a participation medal for washing dishes, but many buckle down and provide an honest days work and a good attitude.

  8. I prefer the term “Virtual Generation” for the next one instead of Z. If you think about it, they live their live with a view screen in their face. I am trying to get “Virtuals” to stick.

    The author does paint with a wide brush, but his comments are generally true.

    I do disagree with one thing in particular. The issue is not whether the kid is kicked out of the house or not. It is whether the parents and schools have taught self responsibility, honesty, hard work, discipline, integrity and other necessary qualities that make for a livable society where we have to interact in close proximity. Previous generations and other cultures had multiple generations living under the same roof. Location is not the issue.

    The other thing I disagree with is: this did not start with these generations. Parents can’t teach what they don’t know. I have encountered many senior citizens of the three previous generations (gen X, baby boomers and Great War or WWII) who have displayed the same characteristics. The next generation usually takes it further. That is what we are seeing. It is deeper and more widespread than before.

    They will get a rude awakening and quick education when our economy crumbles and we go into a world wide depression. Too many countries, including us, (U.S.) are devaluing their currencies and amassing unsustainable debt.

  9. As a parent of a 30 something that was educated in public schools it became obvious that he liked not being responsible. Much like tossing a child in the deep end of the pool to force him to learn to swim, we found a way to insure he does not want to live at home. We simply run around naked. He almost left skid marks leaving after the first exposure…pun intended.

  10. Hey boys and girls, y’all don’t know how to do anything except run your mouths. When something’s is broken and needs fixed don’t call me as you already know everything! I live by this little saying, ” the more I learn the less I know”. This is my definition of that saying, the older I get I understand that I truly know so little about so many things and as I learn I understand how much I really don’t know!

  11. These are the very same ones who claimed to be the one percent and came together as the OWS crowd. They had nothing to do or nothing to lose by protesting because they don’t work and they sponge off their parents so they had plenty of time to lay around and mess up parks.

  12. This is why America and her future are in serious trouble. The younger generations seem to expect to wear their pants half way down to their knees, use every other word as a curse word, do drugs, start their career 3/4 of the way up the ladder making 6 figures doing nothing all day but playing video games. They have no idea what it means to put in a day of hard work and actually go home tired. They don’t know how to complete anything. They want to be taken care of by someone but what happens when they are the older generation – who will take care of them then??

  13. I think your percentages are off. But with the same breath i personally know of two spoiled rotten diaper wearing brats that where destroyed by the parents. New 40,000 cars and four years of college and the only thing they are good at is partying. I don’t see any future for these two as long as the parents keep justifying everything the brats tell them. As i am writing this he just pulled up in his driveway with a new motorcycle. It must be because his BMW uses to much gas.

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