It is about four days to the end of 2019. As the year ends, it marks the end of another decade. Children born in 2009 are now ten years old. Those born in 1999 are now 20 years. There are a lot of implications of this on the agents of socialization in the society. Parents, teachers, school administrators, proprietors, religious institutions and other people involved in moulding the lives of the youth must be aware of the nature of the youth they now train or mould as well as their problems. Times are changing. It is the turn of a decade. We need to pay attention so that we could know where the shoes of these young adults hurt. And as well provide the necessary succour in counselling, training and admonition. As a youth development advocate, I have taken time to compile this list of six areas we have to pay attention to as a new decade begins. Here is a rundown:
#Welcome to the World of Millenials and Gen Z. One major development youth advocates must accept is that the demographics have changed. The generation of youths that would be under our care now from 2020 onwards are mainly of these two types. Either Millenials or Gen Z. Whichever one that is represented, the two generations mean they were born shortly before or after the millennium. Find out more about these two here. There are negative perceptions about them. They are seen to have a high sense of entitlement. They are considered unfocused and generally unmotivated. To make them maximize their God given talents, youth development advocates must make them realize the realities of their lives.
#Appreciate the huge distractions before them. One thing that is common to the two generations is a huge load of distractions. They live in a multimedia environment. Everything for them is continuous. They are exposed to content online and offline. They are the generations that are beginning to experience media convergence. This opens them to limitless opportunities. And may spell doom for them. To them, the internet is the best gift this generation has received. They have unfettered access to videos, photos and global platforms where they could pitch themselves and get the needed attention. Yet, it is the biggest source of distractions for them. They found it difficult to cope and manage their time with it. If you are relating with the youths at any level from 2020, bear this in mind. One of the biggest challenges they are facing and which has a high tendency to become more adverse is time management. Youth trainers need to talk more about time management more than they have ever done. It is the sign of the beginning of a new decade.
#Problems are internet related. For youth handlers, there is an urgent need to pay attention to issues these youths will continue to encounter. If we have noticed the issues before, there is a probability of their escalation. They will be confronted by issues such as internet addiction, cyber bullying and sexual solicitation. They are also open to online isolation as well as excessive gaming, and obsessive social networking. But beyond that, they get easily depressed and have a higher tendency to commit suicide. When their mates display a problem free life online, the pressure gets to these young people. For youth trainers, we must talk about these issues to make the youths live out their potentials from 2020 on.
#Lower Emotional Strength. Emotional strength is regarded as the ability to cope with life challenges and obstacles. One feature of life is that it throws impediments and obstacles the way of human beings. However, the major weakness of these two generations is that they have little or no strength to cope with issues of life. There have been young people who kill themselves simply because they fail examinations or lose a relationship. They find it extremely difficult to find inner strengths in the face of adversity. For youth nurturers, there must be an attempt to focus on this from 2020 and beyond.
#Learning Patterns have changed. This particular one is for teachers and trainers. These are millennials who have lived with their smartphones all their lives. Before their attention could be secured, the teaching process must change. Videos, slides and other interactive methods of passing knowledge should be adopted. Interesting games should also be introduced. To get the attention of the 2020 youths, trainers must understand the changing learning patterns.
#Access to information. One major advantage of the internet is that it brings information closer to its users. As a result, loads of information that are previously not readily available or that could not be easily obtained are now available. But, it is not the volume of the available information that matters but its use by the concerned people. Trainings on how to make use of available information should be a priority from 2020 upwards. It is not the volume that is important but the extent of its use.
In 2020, anyone who is involved in youth development needs to be abreast of these issues for a more impactful youth development programmes.