According to research more 20 somethings are struggling with anxiety than ever before, and more than any generation before. It would appear that the myriad of choices of this age group is causing a rise in making decisions which let’s face it, brings distress. For some, more than others.
Let’s say Mary is a millennial who came from a home where her mom always dealt with the teachers who did not understand how Mary best performed, and her mom made certain Mary did not have to ever make any decisions that might bring her stress. She chose Mary’s friends and she also was Mary’s friend, her very best friend.
She chose Mary’s car and her extra curricular activities and her college. Lucky for Mary mom did all the heavy lifting for her whole life so Mary could just coast. Except for research is now showing that was not so advantageous for Mary.
This is a classic story of a parenting style that blurs the line between over engagement and actual support. Children parented this way present with more anxiety and depression than kids who are parented in a way where they learn to make their own decisions, and their own mistakes. Hopefully, as the kids make their mistakes at home with the support of a loving family, then they learn and are better prepared for adult life , which is a bad time to be launched into the decision making mode for the first time ever. Kids need to practice this while they are kids. The mistakes are not so far reaching with such big consequences.
Think about this, ten year old Sue goes to the bank and finds a dollar on the counter and she slips it in her pocket, rather than handing it to the teller. Her mom finds out and she sends Sue back to the bank to return the money and apologize. Lesson learned. On the other hand, little Tommy’s mom doesn’t take the time to make Tommy feel uncomfortable while he is a kid, and has many opportunities to learn valuable life lessons under her tutelage. Tommy grows from a kid who felt entitled to never be uncomfortable, into an adult who thinks all of life is unfair if it is not going his way. He is passed over for a promotion at his job, and he screams about the unfairness of it all. It never dawns on him that someone else was better qualified, and more deserving of the promotion. Little Tommy grew up in the “everybody gets a trophy generation” and he thinks everyone should get a promotion. Tommy is having to learn some important life lessons late in life. The world is not fair, and it doesn’t revolve around Tommy. Momma can’t help him now.
This creates uncertainty for kids, and they grow into uncertain adults who are caught like deer in headlights when they have to make life decisions. The abundance of choices present today for those millennials is causing a quarter life crisis. According to research it is causing “uncertainty intolerance”. Next week in my blog, I will talk about the passive way millennials are dealing with their anxiety, and “uncertainty intolerance”. Oh, and in case you didn’t get the solution to the problem, teach your kids to make wise choices and let them make mistakes. This builds confident adults and by the way, this is a parent’s job, to grow independent confident adults.