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Worst Advice Ever?

Millennials ready to dish on out-of-touch boomers

boomer parents have given some really bad advice to their children

Getty Images/Cultura

What is the worst advice you’ve ever gotten from your boomer parents?

You know that feeling when a younger person asks for advice and you realize about halfway through that they have no idea what you’re talking about? Then read on. This may be about you.

A recent thread on AskReddit posed this question to millennials: What is the worst advice you’ve ever gotten from your boomer parents? The results ranged from hilarious to cringeworthy.

And the No. 1 topic? Parents’ outdated job-hunting suggestions.

Pound the pavement! Keep calling so they’ll know you’re eager! Check the help-wanted ads! (That clacking sound you hear is a million millennial eyeballs rolling in their sockets.) Then there was this, from a boomer unaware that 1967 was 50 years ago: “Don’t take a job unless it gives four weeks’ vacation out of the year.”

But wait — there’s more! Bad relationship advice was plentiful, too. One millennial reported that a coworker in his late 50s advised him, “Find a woman you can stand, and start a family with her as soon as you can.”

And this: “Babies just need love, not money” — which drew this response: “Love does not buy diapers.”

And if you are ever tempted to tell a millennial how you succeeded after starting out with nothing, don’t. “I wish I started with nothing,” one millennial said. “I’m starting with $40,000 in student loan debt.”

When it comes to cohorts of Generation Y, there’s no doubt many boomers have a hard time communicating with them — especially in the workplace. Indeed, stereotypes abound, with many older people thinking of millennials as “lazy” or “entitled.” But communication can improve if boomers open themselves up to new ways of thinking and operating.

And it also wouldn't hurt if millennials were able to let go of their often outdated beliefs and embrace the idea that aging is not just about decline but about growth.