A Letter to the Parents of this Generation

The way we were raised says a lot about who we are as adults. There are things that parents might not understand about being kids and now adults in this generation because they were raised in such a different time. Now, the things that I write in this article won’t apply to every parent and kid and not all parents and kids are the same, so take it with a grain of salt, but do keep in mind that these are things the kids of the millennial and generation z generations might be going through and want you to understand.

We’re listening to you, even when you think we aren’t

You probably think we aren’t listening 99% of the time, and you might not be wrong. If you are yelling at us or telling us to do chores, we are probably zoning out. But please understand that we pick up on the things you say, and they stay with us. If you tell us one time that we look bad in a shirt or we are looking chubby one day, we will never wear that shirt again and will watch what we eat for a week. We also listen to how you talk about yourself, and that can change how we see ourselves. If you talk about being fat and needing to go on a diet or start working out, we will compare ourselves to you and think we are fat and need to diet or work out. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy and work out, you can and should, but rather than looking at it from a negative perspective, teach us to look at it as a chance for growth and help develop healthy habits. Conversely, if you only eat junk food and never exercise and raise us that way, it will lead to a lifetime of health problems and struggle with weight, so watch what you feed us.

We fight how you fight, so don’t do it in front of us

Stop fighting in front of your children. When we are younger and our minds are still growing and being shaped, everything you do and say has an impact on us, whether you think it does or not. If you argue often with us present, we will pick up on that anger. It might put us in that mood, and later on we will fight the same way. If you use a lot of curse words or call each other names, we will likely do the same. And if you hit each other, we are more likely to do that, too. So, stop fighting in front of us because we will pick up on your habits.

 Society is rough on us

We were raised in a different time, with new technologies and the era of social media. Even if we aren’t being judged at home, we are being judged at school and online. We are constantly being compared to each other and to people online. If we don’t look a certain way we feel like outcasts, or if we aren’t successful enough, we feel like failures. Not caring what people think is easier said than done, so don’t just give us that advice and expect us to be good.

We aren’t “entitled snowflakes,” we are trying to survive

If I hear the terms snowflake, entitled, lazy, sensitive, lib-tard or femi-nazi one more time, I’m going to lose my mind. We are a generation that fights for what we believe in and if you use these words to stereotype us then shame on you. We aren’t over-sensitive entitled snowflakes who don’t want to work and get offended by everything. We are fighting for our rights. We work our asses off just to be able to afford rent and bills. The phrases lib-tard and femi-nazi are extreme, inappropriate, and demeaning. Stop thinking feminists are a bad thing. Feminists fight for equality among genders, that’s it. Everyone should be a feminist. You women who are sick of feminists, don’t you want the same rights as men?

We didn’t ask to be born

This may sound dismal, but it’s true. You didn’t ask to be born, and we didn’t. You had us for your own reasons and purposes and with your own expectations. But for you to expect to be able to raise us for 18 years then shove us out into the world to grow up, get a job and support ourselves is extremely selfish. We didn’t ask for this, so if we are struggling, you better be there to help us. Even if we are 25 and still figuring it out, we want to be able to count on you. Similarly, we didn’t ask for our genes. If you have anger issues or mental health disorders, they can be passed onto us, so don’t get upset when we act like you because you chose to have us and gave us those genes. So before you yell at us or are disappointed with a choice we made, just remember that you brought us here.

We just want you to accept us, and be proud

All we want is for you to accept our choices and be proud of us. You don’t have to agree with what we’re doing, but if we’re putting in a genuine effort to improve our own lives while not compromising our dream or end goal, we just want to know that you’re always going to be on our sideline cheering us on.

We can’t be good all the time

We are young. We make mistakes. No matter how much you coach us through life and expect us to do well, we will fail sometimes. But failing is how we learn, and you don’t always know what’s best for us. We can try as hard as we want but we can’t get all A’s all the time. We’ll break curfew. We’ll forget to do chores. We’ll roll our eyes when you talk to us. It’s not because we want to disrespect you, but simply because we are human. So, don’t put so much pressure on us, because we are trying, really trying, but we can’t be good all the time. 

Life is hard enough without the parental pressure and impact, so like I said, take these things with a grain of salt because I know that not every parent and child have the same relationship, but if you come to realize that any of these things apply to you, think of ways to change. Maybe you need to sit down and have a conversation with your kid, no matter if they’re six or twelve or 28, but talk to them and ask what more (or less) they want out of their relationship with you. And if you read these and couldn’t relate because you think you’re the perfect parent or you don’t agree with what I said, well I feel bad for your kids.