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NEWEST GENERATION: Babies born in 2020 will fall into the alpha generation, which spans from 2010 to 2025.

Alpha generation needs more than tablets, Instagram

Joy's Reflections: Today's children still need time to be kids.

Did you know babies born in 2020 will be part of the alpha generation? Children of millennials, babies born from 2010 until 2025, are the first generation entirely born within the 21st century. They are the most technically infused demographic in history. They’re barely potty-trained, but they can operate tablets and smartphones with ease. The voices of Siri and Alexa are as familiar to them as the voices of their mothers.

They’re set to be the wealthiest, most educated and technologically literate generation in history. As preschoolers they have become Instagram sensations. Their wardrobes often mimic an adult’s closet and their “influence” on social media generates an incredible amount of money.

Yup. The world is their oyster.

My beautiful grandchildren perhaps will not know some devastating diseases as they mature. They’re going to know great scientific advancements. One article I read even talked about how they won’t have the burden to care for their aging parents. That will be the job of robots.

Reality check

Um, excuse me, does anyone else see some issues with all of this? For starters, likely, they will be the most stressed generation as the world and its problems are coming at them like rockets all day long, and we expect them to lie down and rest well?

Let me be the first to say that I am grateful for all the remarkable strides in science, medicine and education. However, if I may point out a few things: The heart of man is the same throughout all of history, and so are the needs of the heart of man. Alexa cannot rock your baby to sleep or look longingly and comforting into a face that is learning how to process and read human emotions.

By serving, caring, sacrificing and honoring another human being, we are equipped with a wonderful thing called compassion and selflessness. Uniquely created, each life is an absolute blessing. But a 3-year-old should never be put on the platform of influence within our culture.

While reading over various sources about this demographic, the information was almost void to the thought of intimate nurturing and metered pace of development. On the contrary, most of it reads like we should be thrilled that a super race is about to embark on their journey. Opportunities abound within a safety net of germ inhibitors. I want them safe. I want them smart. But more so, I want them to be wise, kind, loving, compassionate little humans. I want them to desire time with another human more than time with a glaring screen.

I want them to learn to handle their emotions and circumstances by being given the space, example and process by which to do so. I want them to know the smell, sound and feel of pages within a book; the wrinkled face on their grandma; the sacrifice of serving another; and the growth and maturity that comes from want and struggle.

I want them free from the pressure of not measuring up when they aren’t considered successful by second grade. I want them on my lap, reading classic books before bedtime, with the only expectation befalling them to “sleep well.”

McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind.

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