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Throwing Gen Z and Alpha Stereotypes Out the Window

Kilimanjaro Lesson #4

Kids do what their parents allow them to do.

As you know, we took five teenagers with us, and they did not disappoint. These guys put their heads down and did what they were asked to do. All the BS you hear about them is the result of parenting. I know you don't want to hear it, but it is what it is.

There was one particular boy who I was concerned about. As antisocial as it gets. He wouldn't even say hi to us during training times for weeks. No eye contact, no interaction, just a complete and utter rejection of everyone.

Mom painted this boy as "a gamer" who sits in his room and plays games all day and night. How would he learn social skills????? He is a mommy's boy, no question about it, and it does no good to him.

The transformation of this boy in seven days was fascinating to watch. Abdul forced him to serve us during meal times and pack his bag instead of Mom packing his bag daily (yes, Mom was on the trip but separated for most of the time). Being a teenager, he slept (I get that)..... One morning, I stepped outside my tent and heard Abdul shouting, "Wake up, wake up." I looked towards his voice and saw him pulling the kid out of the tent in his sleeping bag...:-)))) I was like, Abdul, that's child abuse. Stop it!

Anyway, he learned to get up on time...:-)

During the week, he opened up more and more, talked to us, asked me interesting questions, joined me on the walk where it was just the two of us, and even came to me asking to look after his bag or if I had snacks, etc. This was big! He joined the other teenagers in playing games, singing, dancing, or just having great laughs. He was the first in the dining tent the last two mornings, and we had good chats.

During one of these chats, I told his mom that there is so much in this boy buried under pampering parenting and video games. During the last morning, we discussed what we should do the next day. Lots of options came up, like coffee plantation visits and cycling. All I heard was him quietly saying, "I like cycling." I looked at Mom and said, "There is your son! Outdoor activities, and you are allowing him to numb his brain with hours of video games."

We then continued the conversations about his future studies, and I said, "Please don't lock this guy in some stupid office job, he will struggle."

As for young generations being social media addicts, I have to say no. These guys had no internet for a week and were quite alright about it. They socialised more than adults did and never once complained about anything, whilst adults always had a problem with something.

So take the bloody phone away from your children, go and spend time with them, talk to them, and you will see a very different side to them. Teach them social skills because they are more receptive to it than you think.

It is down to parenting, nothing more. These kids are amazing!!!! And when they are not, you just say, "Come here, you, let's chat"...

And this is exactly what we have to do with the young generations at work. Guide and coach them. Open the doors for them to come to us instead of judging them for being different. They are eager to learn, but our biases and judgmental approach make them reject us. Welcome them, talk to them, and they will let you coach them. They need that, they want that.

PS: That awkward hug he gave me at the airport when saying bye:-))) But he did it!!!! This boy undoubtedly is my favourite, and I wish I could spend months with him and bring out everything he has to offer to the world. :-))) He has so much in him.

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