Meet A Group Of Some Very Nice Young People

April 21, 2005 | By Jim Dunn

They will be graduating from your high school in the next month or two.

According to historian and author, William Strauss, Millennium children were born from about 1980 through 2000, and “grew up” during the 90s and the 00s.

Do you remember these bumper stickers? “Babies on Board,” “Have You Hugged Your Child Today?” and “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child.”

The children those bumper stickers talked about are now graduating from high school.

All that attention and good self-esteem, all those new schools and good teachers our culture gave to them seems to have paid off.

Here is the story of Millennium Generation.

The Millennium Generation was born at a time when our country put a real focus on improving the live of kids and their families.

The Gen-Xers who grew up before them were not treated nearly as well.

Many Gen-Xers were Latchkey kids, the children of divorced parents, and they were, for the most part, kids with two working parents who found themselves home alone way too much.

With only pop culture to keep them company and an amazing amount of unstructured, unattended time, Gen-Xers were left to fend for themselves.”

Gen-Xers learned to cope. They should receive more credit, but they smoked more, had more abortions, committed more crimes and they drank a lot more alcohol than previous generations.

The Millennials are very different.

Children born in the 90s saw Las Vegas become a family resort town.

Parents and grandparents did not leave these children home alone; they brought the kids along as they traveled, and went out to eat.

The family outing and the family night dinners returned. Fathers started watching their children be born, and the mothers of these children were older and wiser and more ready to have children. Parent as a whole were more mature and ready to become caregivers, teachers, and mentors.

The Millennials were busy little kids, too.

Mom and Dad put them in camps and gave them lessons in just about everything. They did not have free time because they were busy keeping their new day-planners full of activities.

The result is that these kids are different.

Our 2005 graduating seniors have more interracial interaction among themselves than any other generation. They have seen first-hand the terror of what hate and violence can do. They witnessed the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City.

They watched in horror as two Columbine High School students killed and wounded their classmates

Then they lived though September 11, 2001. On that day they saw there are still American heroes.

Policemen and firefighters replaced rock and movie stars, sports heroes and rebels as a deeper and more substantial kind of hero. As a result the kids became more patriotic than any other generation and led even their elders to a new appreciation for the USA.

You know what, the Millennials even like their parents and their parents like them!

These kids smoke less, have fewer pregnancies and abortions, commit fewer crimes, do fewer drugs and drink less alcohol, for the most part, than any generation we have records for. These gain are sustained in every ethic, gender and racial group.

Just how cool are these kids? Consider this:

Nine in ten describe themselves as “happy,” “confident,” and “positive.”

Teen suicide rates are now falling for the first time in decades. They’re cooperative team players. They like doing community service, and they like working in a groups.

A recent Roper survey reveals millennial teenagers blame “selfishness” more than anything else when asked, “What is the major cause of problems in this country?”

By a huge ten-to-one majority, they believe it’s their generation—and not their parents’—who will do the most to help the environment over the next twenty-five years. We need to brag about our kids!

People who make a living putting down our young people (politicians, preachers and fear mongers) need to get their facts straight.

The Millennials may very well become the best generation our democracy has ever produced.

You can give them a graduation present if you wish. When you hear some uniformed person talking about how bad our kids are, set them straight.

Parents and schools have done good work, too.

Let’s give credit where credit is due!

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