Opinion, World, Editor's Choice

Generation Snowflake: Toughen Up or Else?

Life is hard, challenging, and unforgiving. It takes a certain skillset to successfully maneuver through adulthood, because once you leave your parent’s womb and four walls the world suddenly loses all interest in your general existence and feelings. However, we are currently in what many dub the generation snowflake, a generation easily offended and embracing each and everyone’s uniqueness above everything else. It not only highlights the apparent divide between different generations but also showcases how this generation snowflake consequently takes things to an unhealthy extreme.

We are living in a time and place where competition among kids is discouraged. It’s not a race, but a place to explore and to find yourself. While this is all very well and might even work to a certain extent, it is in no way a representation of the real world. We are increasingly raising people incapable of dealing with the most integral parts of living – failure and criticism.

The Biggest Problem of the Generation Snowflake

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a tough human being, but still, the direction our society takes in raising and educating kids is worrisome. It is based on personal development at the expense of reality. Heard the news recently? An elementary school in Kanesville, Utah, for example, employs the policy of denying kids the right to decline an invitation to dance at their school dances. If a boy asks you to dance as a girl, saying “no” is not an option. They claim it’s for exclusiveness, for avoiding failure and embarrassment.

Even unrelated to the fact that this is not how life, relationships or dances work, it creates more problems. Usually, boys would ask girls to dance. Imagine what a “Don’t say no” – rule could potentially engrain in their young brains. Girls can’t decline boys, and boys always get their way. Saying it like that, actually makes it sounds like our current reality. We don’t have to be inclusive for the sake of inclusiveness because that creates other problems as showcased here.

It’s an overarching scheme, padding kids in layers of empathy, encouragement, and walls too thick for reality to seep through at any given point. Generation Snowflake doesn’t compete, but it demands. Everyone is a winner, everyone is entitled, distorting reality and the fact that it is ok to be unique, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn your share or that you are good at everything. It’s ok and important to fail, and it is only natural that you are not good at some things.

Toughen Up your Kids

While the solution to generation snowflake may be obvious, it’s far from easy. The way we raise our children is always in contrast to our own upbringing. Parents that had a difficult childhood or see themselves as incredibly tough are usually overly concerned and go to extremes in trying to educate their kids in a similar way. We should not forget that children, indeed, are not necessarily as capable of coping with certain types of stress, especially when they are in stark contrast to the all-inclusive loserless approach many educators take.

Children have to be challenged to a certain degree, but only so much that they are able to eventually regain control by themselves and push on. It’s OK to struggle, it’s OK to fail, and it is necessary to still be a safety net for children if they cannot make a recovery from a situation. That doesn’t mean we should remove any challenge or setback from their lives like many people often do.

Inclusive but not Ignorant

Generation snowflake is not a complete loss of course. It’s been this generation and recent decades that have preached inclusiveness and enabled us to overcome many barriers. For example in terms of acceptance for members of the LGBTQ+ community. This is not an appeal to undo the good we have achieved, but an appeal to be realistic of what we know about life and to instill it into our children, even if that may make things harder for them growing up.

A dickish child should be able to get denied at a dance, an unfit kid should be able to lose a race, and a lazy one should be allowed to fail until a realization is made and until children learn to overcome failure and to adapt to life. This, right now, is madness.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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