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24

TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY

that the American trend toward extreme mass violence in schools would also take its place in Britain?

These conditions did not come about all at once. As far back as the 1970s, modern society began rearing a generation of “latchkey kids”—children who came home to an empty house after school. Without adult supervision, they were left to their own devices. Vast numbers of latchkey kids have practically reared themselves into adulthood. The final products have not been good.

On the one hand, they have become generally (and often fiercely) independent adults who seem to need little supervision on their jobs. On the other, they never learned to emotionally bond with people and are generally poor team players. They never learned to feel for others, because they have been trained to feel—and fend—only for them- selves. This has also meant that they do not know how to build lov- ing, mature relationships. And they show little interest in parents who showed little interest in them.

“Millennials”

Now imagine the following scenario: You are standing in the “12 Items or Less” cash register line at the local supermarket, waiting to pay for a loaf of bread.

The man in front of you is buying a bottle of wine, which he presents to the cashier—a pimply blonde with streaks of orange, lime and other unnatural colors swirling through her hair, a butterfly tattoo on the inside of her left wrist, and body piercings on parts of the flesh that can only be seen as perverse. Too young to legally ring up alcohol purchases, she signals for help from an older cashier.

A pleasant, personable middle-aged woman suddenly appears. She smiles at the customer and asks, “Hello, how are you today, sir?” as she enters a code into the register. The transaction is made. The older woman thanks the customer for his purchase, and then returns to her other duties.

You are next in line. The young blonde stands at the register and stares at you, saying nothing—not a “hello” or “how are you?” Nothing.

You step forward and present your loaf of bread. She rings it up, bags it, tells you the price, which you pay, and she hands back your change. Your transaction is complete. You pause for a moment, expecting her to say, “Thank you. Come again.”

“Strange Generation”

25

Nothing, not even a smile. It’s as though she’s a mannequin that breathes.

You smile and offer words of appreciation for her prompt service—to which she grunts, “Yep” or “Uh-huh” or something similar, anything except, “You’re welcome.”

Welcome to the age of Millennials. They run supermarket registers and department store counters. They loiter in malls in large groups barely saying a word to each other, “too busy” text-messaging other friends. Many graduate from college and take on entry-level positions in office complexes where ties, dress shoes and general business attire are largely extinct— white collar work environments where young employees freely call their gray-haired supervisors by their first names and the expression “Pay your dues” falls on deaf ears. The average Millennial does not know how to professionally conduct him or herself in the office. He or she lacks the training to use proper etiquette at business dinners and other special occasions. Neither was he taught to value the hands- on experience of older, more seasoned generations. And he does not know how and when to accept “no” for an answer.

The age of Millennials has dawned. A chapter about this generation is necessary before understanding what God requires of parents. It is necessary to look in-depth at what have become many millions of people throughout the Western World.

Who They Are

Born in 1980-2000, they are the latest generation of youth in the United States, Britain, Australia and other Westernized nations. Though called by various descriptive names—“Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Generation Next,” and others—a poll revealed that most preferred to be called “Millennials.”

Theirs is the first generation to grow up surrounded by the modern, “instant gratification” technology of digital media. They have no memory of a world without computers, cellphones, digital cameras, email, text-messaging, instant messaging, personal digital assistants, mp3 players, handheld video game devices, blogs, do-it- yourself Internet videos, online virtual worlds, web browsing and remote controlled devices.

An estimated 80 million Americans, Millennials are set to replace baby boomers as they retire from the workforce.

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