Kenneth Lowe is a young man with a message — and a rather stark message at that. He has written a powerful essay that serves as an indictment of his parents’ generation. The issue is divorce and the emotion is intense.
Writing in his college newspaper, Lowe holds nothing back in making his argument. “If there’s one thing I need no citation or research to prove,” he asserts, “it’s that our parents have done a pretty horrendous job bringing us up. I mean this as a whole, and not necessarily every single parent individually.”
Since the Baby Boomer generation has gotten so much fun out of naming us hurtful and insensitive things like “Generation Me,” “Generation Why,” “Generation A.D.D.” or the “Entitlement Generation,” we should perhaps return the favor and start calling them “Generation Divorce.”What does this mean for the children we’re going to have — and that we’re going to subject to our messy divorces? I have experienced divorce myself from the child’s point of view, and it isn’t anything I’d care to inflict on anybody else. My prediction of the outcome for our age group and our children is not a happy one, if we repeat the misbehavior of our parents. I foresee a lot of broken, unhappy households that ultimately end in separation, with another generation of kids that are going to look at us spitefully for being dysfunctional and petty people who refuse to work things out because we can just call up a lawyer and have divorce papers served.
That is language from the heart — language meant to get attention and make a point. Kenneth Lowe argues that the Baby Boomers were “repulsed” by the romanticized ideal of the nuclear family and so they embraced divorce and other means of weakening the family bond. These parents have taught his generation “that compromise and fidelity are no longer in vogue.”
The prophetic force of Lowe’s article is concentrated on the pain of divorce. Those who doubt that divorce hurts children need only to read his pain-filled prose. He offers a severe indictment of his parents’ generation and calls upon his generation to do better — so that they will not, like so many of their parents, “leave our kids listening to us shouting in the other room.”
Kenneth Lowe’s article, “Parents of Generation Y Have No One to Blame but Themselves,” was apparently published first in the Northern Star of Northern Illinois University. It can now be found at The Northerner, an independent student newspaper of Northern Kentucky University [registration may be required].