Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Is it our fault?

(26 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Thu 18-Feb-16 16:10:06

A while ago at an evening event the keynote speaker was Lucian Tarnowski.

He was talking about Generation Y the children of parents born during the baby boom (the “baby boomers”). Children born during this time period have had constant access to technology (computers, cell phone etc ).

In fact , another reason for calling them the Y Generation is that they are always asking 'why can't I have that?' or 'why can't I do that'?

They have never used a telephone that has a dial, never had a TV without a remote control and never known a world without mobile phones and the technology that comes with that.

They were brought up by parents who constantly told them they could be anything they wanted.

The problem has arisen that although they were told they could be anything they wanted they weren't told they had to start at the bottom of their chosen career ladder or even that they would have to work for what they wanted. In effect a generation has been created who feel a real sense of entitlement.

My question to all of you is - Is this our fault as mothers? Is this a load of 'tosh' -as my Dad would have said? Or was it an inevitable consequence of technology progressing?

tanith Thu 18-Feb-16 16:17:48

My children certainly didn't have mobile phones, computers and access to high technology when they were youngsters and they were well aware they needed to start on the bottom rung of the ladder. They had to work or do chores for pocket money and didn't get everything they wanted because we couldn't afford it. So most of its a load of nonsense.

Jalima Thu 18-Feb-16 16:32:38

Well, I have a mix of Gen X and Gen Y.
All are hardworking, none had everything they wanted and it is a load of tosh.
It's part of the present-day obsession with trying to pigeon-hole generations and put labels on everyone.

Imperfect27 Thu 18-Feb-16 16:32:45

I think there are some truths in this, but it is never helpful to make sweeping generalisations and I do not thin k it is helpful to think of it in terms of 'fault' - in my experience most parents do the best they can.

I was born in 1963 to parents who grew up with rationing and 'Victorian' grand parenting. They were somewhat prudish and unnecessarily harsh (I felt) about eating every mouthful of food. I remember going without meals on several occasions as a punishment and a standoff over brussel sprouts that were then served to me at breakfast the next morning ... They didn't show their feelings - we never heard 'I love you' and to tell us we looked good or had achieved something - well, it didn't happen - that would have made us vain in their opinion. I grew up with little self-confidence and low self esteem, but overall I think all our family have good values and are good to others.

My children were cuddled and told they were loved. They weren't told they were great all the time, but I did tell them I was proud of them when I was! They have grown up with technology - but it was monitored and rationed on the home front and we didn't use a screen to babysit. They all have a strong work ethic. I think they have more confidence than I did ...

In my long-winded way, I am trying to say we are all products of our upbringing. We often elect to parent in particular ways, sometimes in purposeful contrast to our parents - perhaps not better or worse, but different to, but in the hope we are doing the best for our children. As time goes by we learn we may have done some things better - other things worse ...

Re technology - the one thing that does gravely worry me now is the overuse / over exposure of children to 'screens'. As a literacy teacher I am concerned that early years spoken language standards are falling - and spoken language provides the building blocks for writing skills. We see many parents at the school gate with their music headphones in, not chatting to their children. Children as young as 5 are given tablets (was the must have present for age 7 two years ago - then six - and now five ...) and we know from what they say to us that they are often not properly supervised - these are quite frequently just used as a babysitting tool, but for many hours a day.

Sorry - I digress - but I do wonder where this will lead ...

annodomini Thu 18-Feb-16 16:35:47

I am a pre-boomer, but as I didn't have children until my 30s, my sons fit into the category, apparently known as Generation Y. We had a monochrome TV until they were almost teenagers; a remote control didn't enter the house until after they had left it; mobile phones didn't enter the picture until they were in their 20s - and they bought me my first one. Yes, I told them they could be anything they wanted to be but they never took success for granted. Both of them had jobs before they left school and DS2, who went to Uni, worked during his holidays. They are now wonderful family men, kind and generous to their old mum. I could say the same of my sister's sons and know she would agree with me that the description of their generation in the OP is a gross generalisation.

NanaandGrampy Thu 18-Feb-16 16:41:22

I agree about the generalisations , its a shame his talk wasn't recorded because it was most persuasive.

I HAVE seen some of the behaviours he spoke of but in the work place. As a senior manager I sometimes despaired of the attitude of some of the young people ( by no means all).

I would like to think my 2 daughters don't fit his template .

Jalima Thu 18-Feb-16 17:02:22

I have heard 'Generation Y' used as a disparaging term (usually by a person who is 'Generation X'!).

amberdogxK9 Thu 18-Feb-16 17:09:12

Felt sad today watching a child being ignored by her Dad as she tried to get him to help her use the roundabout on the park. He was wearing earphones and texting. Sad for both as no one seems to live in the moment.

Iam64 Thu 18-Feb-16 18:41:13

I dislike generalisations like this one. It's rare for parents not to love their children and to do their best by them. I am well aware that I had more material stuff than either of my parents did as children, my grandparents left school at 12, my parents at 14 whereas my generation left at 16 (earliest) and often had the benefit of higher education. My own higher education happened in my late 20's, something that the current generation would find much more difficult. I had a place to do a professional qualification, funded by the Home Office. Young people doing similar training now would come out of it with about £40,000 of debt, whereas I managed to struggle along on a very low income without incurring any debt.

My own children incurred student debt, despite working part time throughout university and having limited financial support from us. I suspect if they'd had less "fun" they'd have less debt but their degrees and subsequent work/further qualifications have meant they're now in employment and doing ok.

Blaming the baby boomers for any shortcomings in our children feels very like blaming our own parents for being slightly more emotionally buttoned up that we have been. I was very lucky with my own parents but friends whose father's had been prisoners on the Burma Railway (for example) talked of father's who were emotionally over controlled/controlling and prone to either angry outbursts or emotional distance. As our generation hits its 60's and 70's I suspect we empathise much more with the difficult life experiences many of our parents endured and coped with. There are so many positives in family life, yes there are difficulties and stresses but I believe most of us love our children and do our best. Blame is tedious and demoralising.

whitewave Thu 18-Feb-16 18:44:08

There is a lot of nonsense talked about this. Nothing is taken into account of the ziegest during this period and what were the cultural norms. It is lazy and uniformed tosh.

Neversaydie Thu 18-Feb-16 18:47:37

Mine are 30 and 26 so I guess qualityDd1 with a Double First from Cambridge for which she worked extremely hard plus a Masters works for a charity
DD2with a First from a RG uni works as a midwife
Neither was babysat by TV
Mobles only in late teens Ditto their own laptops
Certainly not typical of Generation Y

Elegran Thu 18-Feb-16 19:17:13

His own parents don't seem to have done any harm to his prospects, and I imagine all doors opened to him (see his genealogy). He is an entrepreneur who also earns high fees as a speaker.

And he enjoys a social life too.
Count Lucian Tarnowski at London's newest A-list nightclub Movida, packed with gilded youth at the Take Heart Summer Ball

His genealogy

He is - Lucian Francis Philip Tarnowski (born 1984)

Parents - Bridget Mary Astor (born 1948) and (m 1980 and div. 1986) Arthur Tarnowski

Grandparents - Gavin Astor (1918–1984) - Lord Lieutenant of Kent, and Irene Violet Freesia Janet Augusta Haig, (daughter of Douglas Haig)

Greatgrandfather- John Jacob Astor V (1886–1971) - Conservative Party MP for Dover.

Gtgtgrandfather - William Waldorf Astor I (1848–1919), 1st Viscount Astor

Gtgtgtgrandfather - John Jacob Astor III (1822–1890), financer and philanthropist

Iam64 Thu 18-Feb-16 19:23:40

Thanks Elegran! Motivational speakers eh

Elegran Thu 18-Feb-16 20:20:22

I do like to know who said what, and their background. Public speakers always have their CV online, so that they can be contacted by other event organisers who may wish to book them. There are agencies who keep lists of after-dinner speakers. Lucian Tarnowski is on the books of at least five of them (and that is only on page one of the Google results for my search) so he is probably kept quite busy with engagements.
London Speaker Bureau
Speakers' Corner
Jillie Bushell
Gordon Poole agency

"Lucian's brilliant idea is a candidate-driven website that aims to revolutionise the recruitment business. . . . . . It has immediately been recognised as a cost effective and efficient talent pipeline, perfectly suited to the needs of Generation Y." So he is doing his bit for Generation Y, despite not souinding very approving of them in his article.

Judthepud2 Thu 18-Feb-16 20:53:55

Oh here we go again! We are to blame now for 'Generation Y' being spoilt and technology obsessed are we? As well as our being a selfish generation who got/gets everything?

I am a 'baby boomer' with children born throughout mid 70s and early 80s. Every one of my 4 children have a strong ( perhaps too strong) work ethic. Even the apparently most 'spoilt' (she does like her own way), DD3, runs her own very successful award winning business and works her socks off. They all have good degrees and 3 of them went back to do Masters Degrees in their chosen area of employment. They are now the tax paying generation. What would society do without them?

My children were highly computer literate from an early age as DH worked on the cutting edge of microprocesser research and development, and he brought home the technology for DCs to learn. This has given them a strong advantage in the workplace.

I can't understand this attitude of generalising faults in each generation. We are all a vital part of our society and each generation brings new fresh ideas and energy into the mix.

Elegran Thu 18-Feb-16 21:10:34

Everything has to be someone's fault these days, and parents make useful whipping boys. Either they had it too good so they must have grabbed it all and left their children and grandchildren with nothing, or they remembered having nothing themselves so they spoilt their children and gave them everything on a plate so that they didn't know how to work for anything.

Tosh is the right word.

Every generation has its own problems to face. Some of them are the same as their parents faced, some are different. Some solutions to the immediate problems cause unforeseen problems in the future.

What a pity we are not all born with the ability to read what is to come in a crystal ball! Then perhaps the Y generation might see what their decisions will do to the Z generation, or the next, or the one after that, and possibly, just possibly, make different choices - or maybe not.

Synonymous Fri 19-Feb-16 00:51:08

Utter tosh! hmm

EmilyHarburn Fri 19-Feb-16 10:55:55

I have on occasion seen in print a young person who says when they grow up they want to be a celebrity. This kind of aspiration seemed to me to be removed from the first effort which should be to be good at something that is socially valued. Then from this would follow recognition. Then if there was sufficient recognition the person might become a celebrity.

I do feel that have this 'you are worth it' advertising does not help. We started our house with a caravan in a shed, a twin tub for washing clothes and for hot water to fill a zinc bath tub. We cooked on camping gas in the shed. We now have a lovely house and garden achieved bit by bit through out our working lives. We are now enjoying it in our retirement.

At the time a neighbour who was a foster carer thought our kids should be taken into care. They have both grown up hard working and are raising families with clear rules and boundaries for use of technology etc.

Elgan I agree with you.

hulahoop Fri 19-Feb-16 18:03:10

I feel sad that I now see many small children ignored while mum and dad are on phone or have headphones on . I have seen mums struggling onto bus with buggy but chatting on phone I feel like saying just speak to your children .

Elrel Sat 20-Feb-16 12:39:37

Emily - some years ago a headteacher was taken aback that when asked what they wanted to be pupils started saying 'famous' as if it was a career. He pressed them as to what they wanted to be famous for and was met with incomprehension. How sad.

NanaandGrampy Sat 20-Feb-16 12:45:00

Elrel and Emily. I too have experienced that . My SiLs younger brother when pressed said he wanted to be a popstar or an actor. I asked him if he could sing or had a talent in that direction and he replied'no'. But didnt seem to think it was going to be a problem anyway.

He went on to study drama at university , fully funded as both of his parents didn't like working , and dropped out in the second year.

He fully expected everything to just come to him.

I think he works in Poundland now ( when he does work that is ).

Elrel Sat 20-Feb-16 12:45:08

I first noticed in the 1980s that some of the young people saying they couldn't get jobs were unrealistic. They meant they they couldn't get the exact job they wanted, if they got it they expected everyone to be nice to them all the time. They complained if they had to tidy up or make tea, they never expected to be bored at work.
Briefly they had no idea of starting at the bottom and working their way up, of fitting in to a working environment.

Anya Sat 20-Feb-16 13:36:08

I know what you mean Eirel and later generations have some young people like this too. I was 'talking' (I use the very loosely) to a distant (thank goodness) relative the other day, male, aged 19. He hasn't held down a job since he left school with one GCSE level 'F'.

He wants to 'work wif compooters' but has no realistic idea, or qualifications, which will allow him to do this, and doesn't fancy returning to study to get some basic qualifications. His parents naturally blame the system, because in their words 'he's good wif compooters' (meaning he plays games on them day and night).


AshleyM Sat 20-Feb-16 14:06:17

I think the issue that is key no matter what the generation, is bringing children up with realistic understanding of what life is.
That if they want to achieve something they have to work for it & show they want it. If they want something material, they have to earn it, unless they put it on a birthday/Christmas list.
There will always be some parents that give in to their children & give them what they want, when they want - they will then have to accept the consequences of that parenting when their children don't meet with the same boundaries when they go out into the world.
There will also be parents that decide on the way they want to bring up their families despite all the media & peer pressure to have everything now. I saw a post on Facebook that really captured this it said stop comparing your everyday script to other people's highlights. It's so true =
There are plenty of children that see sports stars, musicians, actors etc with these glamorous lives & all the trappings but no one shows what it takes to get there!!
Children learn far more from your example than by what you say. I always got what I needed growing up but had to wait for what I wanted, either saving up pocket money or waiting for birthday/Christmas. I have never been afraid of hard work & everything I've bought I can equate to what it took to earn! smile

Judthepud2 Sat 20-Feb-16 18:28:05

Hit the nail on the head there AshleyM Children need to grow up being able to recognise the difference between 'need' and 'want'! I fear I failed here with last DC sad