Generation Trends: Gen X As Parents
What Comes Around Goes Around
As we watch our children grow, it’s common to ponder what sort of people they will be and what sort of world they will live in. How will it be different from our own life experience?
The kind of unique individual a person becomes is due in large part to genetics and upbringing. But the culture in which people mature and the mood of the nation they inhabit play a large role in shaping the personality of each individual and determining the characteristics of entire generations. In a nutshell, the personality of one child is largely up to heredity and parenting, while the personality of that child’s generation is all but predetermined by the behavior of the generations that preceded it and the major social events that occur during that 20 or so years that make up a generational era.
Just as history repeats itself, so do generations. According to generational historians and authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, each generation lasts about 20 to 25 years, and these generation trends repeat approximately every 80 to 100 years—the average length of a human life. These experts studied the last 500 years of generations and discovered a pattern; there are four types of generations that have consistency recycled approximately every century. That means that babies born after 1998 will most likely resemble the traits of the so called Silent Generation, folks now in their 60s and 70s, while their children, your grandchildren, will behave much like the Baby Boomers.
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