The following post was first presented to grandparents in Lansing, Michigan. In it, Mike Shaughnessy proposed that the 2020s will mark the biggest shift in youth culture since the 1960s. He gave seven ways the psyche of this generation of youth is changing and how to address them. This post is part one of a series.
Many grandparents of today lived through the 60s and 70s and were influenced by the youth culture of the day. It was the era of “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” and a time of massive cultural shift in our society. The 2020s will likely be seen as another time of massive cultural shift, and those under the age of 25 will be highly affected by it. Is it possible to predict what the long-term effect of the Covid era will be? I think the answer is yes. Let’s start by considering what we can already see occurring today.
Let’s look at one major effect: Exhaustion.
We are exhausted because of the emotional toll that Covid-19 has taken on us. We have had to deal repeatedly with anger, confusion, frustration, fear, impatience, and despair. That emotional struggle has physical consequences and exhaustion is one of them. Many of us are very aware of this issue and feel like our energy levels are 80 to 90 percent of our normal levels. Few of us would say, “I am back at 100%.”
Young people have also wrestled with these same emotions, but they don’t yet have full emotional maturity. They don’t quite comprehend what’s happening and how to handle all their emotions. They just experience the consequences. Some of them will recover quickly, but for others who have been wounded more deeply, the recovery will be slower.
So, how do you begin to recover from exhaustion, especially emotional exhaustion? I suggest that in a quiet moment you take an inventory of your emotions. What are the primary feelings you have experienced most often in the past two years?
Following that, there are two helpful things you can do to aid in recovery. First, offer the adverse effects of your struggles to God and ask for His peace to replace your aggravation and to restore the energy you need to do your grandparenting work.
Second, discuss the emotional impact Covid-19 has had on you with your older grandchildren. Ask about their experiences. Let them share the repercussions they have felt from riding an emotional roller-coaster. Ask if they feel it has had an effect on their own energy level. Then consider together the best way you can both get back to “100 percent.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30.
Mike Shaughnessy is the founder of Grandly and lives in Lansing, Michigan.
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