What an expert has to say about today's teens & the very different world they are living in.

The Status Quo

The world today our teens are living in is far different from the one in which we, the parents, grew up. While we bought textbooks and attended college classes to gain information from knowledgeable professors, students now log on to their computers and search for anything they need to know. If they don’t feel like reading, they can watch a YouTube video. If they don’t like the perspective they find, they can simply find another “expert” online. If they need bolstering that their idea is the best, it isn’t difficult to find a Facebook group of people who agree. The reality is this: students are not short on information, but they lack wisdom for applying this information to real life situations.

Students are not short on information, but they lack wisdom for applying this information to real life situations.

Few have studied Generation Y more than Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders, a character and leadership development company. In his book Artificial Maturity, Elmore explains how teens have overexposure to information yet underexposure to genuine life experience. The application of “head” knowledge has been lost, thus creating false confidence in our teens. True confidence comes from knowing they can solve the problems they encounter via life experience.

The Downside of Convenience

Certainly, technology makes our lives more convenient, but is that always good?

Elmore notes, “Our world has become so convenient, instant, simple and virtual that certain intellectual, emotional, relational and spiritual muscles atrophy because they don’t get exercised.”

Students often lack virtues that are crucial to healthy adulthood like:

  • Patience/delayed gratification - the ability to wait on a reward that comes slowly

  • Connection/people skills - the ability to build common ground with those unlike you

  • Responsibility/morals and ethics - the ability to do what’s right even when acting alone

  • Endurance/tenacity - the ability to stay committed and complete work toward a goal

  • Empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

Many of these virtues are not reflected in a student’s book knowledge or IQ but by their Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQ.

What's your EQ?

The concept of Emotional Intelligence was first proposed in the early 1990’s by John