Snowflakes aren’t born with that mind-set. They are molded by what they see, hear, and experience. Parents are the core , because they are the only resource in the beginning of a child’s life. What is a Snowflake? They are the teens and college students needing safe rooms and or throwing tantrums, or maybe even teachers at all levels in the education system. They seem to be more prone to take offence at concepts they disagree with, and are the generation of young adults living in the 2010 era to present time, meaning they are less resilient than previous generations. They seem vulnerable when coping with views that challenge what they think. They sea-saw between being victims and bullies, without any openness to rational debate or critical thinking.
Parents don’t get an instruction book when they have a child. However, there is a lot of advice floating around in the universe by way of books. There was a popular professional that influenced many generations of parents named Dr. Benjamin Spock, a Pediatrics Psychoanalysis, who wrote a book in 1946. By 1998 his book had sold over 50 million copies. His advice planted the seeds for todays Snowflakes, in my opinion. The book was entitled “Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care”. His advice was for parents to be more flexible and permissive. He also promoted instant gratification as a child rearing tool. Bingo. Not what the kids or society needed.
Many parents think their job is to make their children’s lives easy. Wrong, big mistake. A parent’s job is to love them profusely, keep them safe, feed them, put clothes on their backs, shelter them and prepare them for life for when they leave the nest. Another responsibility of parents is to help teach their children to become productive human beings so they don’t fall face down when they enter the world away from the protection of their home. This also entails teaching respect, both for themselves and others, the value of learning and understanding the value of boundaries and self-control. They also need to guide them towards learning the art of critical thinking and the importance of patience.
The concept of “hard” is one of the best tools parents have in their tool-box. Nature has given them a fabulous model and example of how “hard” works. The formula is EFFORT, WINNING, LOSING, AND FINALLY SUCCEEDING. This formula involves all of the lessons needed to learn to walk. First the child has to learn to roll over, then sit alone, then crawl, then stand, then learn balance then walk. All parents can do is sit back and watch the struggle and be cheerleaders. The child falls down hundreds of times before they master walking, but it never occurs to them to quit trying to reach their goal. They don’t give up until they master the task. Here is what they learn, even if it is subconscious. Patients, persistence, pride, self-esteem, and that a task has a beginning and an end, no matter how hard the job is to achieve. The best part is probably the joy and raves the child gets from his audience when walking is mastered. I wonder how many Snowflakes have been sheltered from hard things in life?
A huge problem with parents of Snowflakes may be the third-party parenting that is prevalent in today’s society. There are programs and schooling available for children as young as 3. Kids are being raised with the help of daycare and baby sitters because both parents need to work. Children are enrolled in endless sports programs and other activities. Then there are the subtle babysitters lurking in the shadows that kids are not able to live without. Smart phones, computers and gaming devices fill up what time is left in a day, and those choices don’t create much creativity or critical thinking, in my view. Parents don’t have the energy or interest to monitor the teachings at the schools their children attend. I will go into more detail on schools in part 2. Is there an underling consistency in all of this third-party parenting? Hasn’t it helped turn out Snowflakes?
Family dynamics, consistency, and expectations are three huge pieces of the parenting puzzle that probably impact the developement of the Snowflake mind-set. Many kids live in single parent situations. When one parent is left with all of the responsibilities, resources are sometimes spread thin and little energy is left to parent in a healthy way. Actions speak louder that words, and kids learn from what they see, hear, and experience. If a mom says, “You need to get your homework done and be in bed by ten”, and doesn’t follow through on seeing that happen, a child gets a troubling message. If there are no consequences for the child another message pops up, especially if this is a reoccurring pattern. That message is, what I say doesn’t matter, and there is no price to pay for not doing what you are told to do. I think trust is damaged as well.
So look at Snowflakes as victims of a decaying society based on, not learning the value of “”hard”,not learning boundaries, not being taught self-respect for themselves or others, not valuing debate, not recognizing the importance of consistency, not having realistic expectations, and not knowing how to engage in critical thinking. I hope Snowflakes have a light bulb moment and figure out they need to go back to the drawing board and learn or relearn a dose of reality, so they can become a healthy element of society, and stop being spoiled and entitled brats.
Todays parents need to rethink their role and figure out what is working and what is not, and make changes if they don’t want to add to the Snowflake population. I have read where a child is pretty well set in their habits and values by the time they are seven or eight years old. That is a narrow window for raising outstanding adults.