Generation Trends: Gen X As Parents
If history repeats itself, and we’ve seen the same types of generations pop up every 80 years or so, is there anything we can do to alter what seems to be predestined? Yes. While we’re unlikely to change how history remembers our children’s generation, we can undoubtedly influence who they will be as adults.
- Ease Up: Protecting your children from harm is the single most important job you undertake as a parent. However Generation X has already shown a propensity to overprotect, even smother their babies in an effort to right the wrongs of childhood and shield their offspring from the horrors heard every day in the news. But an overprotected child becomes a timid adult, afraid to take risks and uninterested in exploring outside their comfortable boundaries.Take heart in the fact that everything from divorce to teen pregnancy and violent crime is at an all time low. The reason it seems so prevalent is because of modern media repeating the same stories over the television, radio, newspapers and Internet.So take care of your kids, but allow them freedom to explore their world, take risks and seek adventure.
- Nurture: Although they may look like you, your children have unique personalities. While it may be tough for a skeptical Gen X parent to watch her baby grow into a dewy eyed Artist, it can be fulfilling to help nurture a budding poet, sculptor or writer. Listen to your tiny activist when he protests his bedtime and cheer for your little politician when she runs for student council. Your screaming infant might be preparing her voice for United Nations speeches or your warbling toddler could be the next great consciousness raising songwriter.
- Connect and Remember: If you don’t remember Woodstock, the Moon Landing, or the Vietnam War, make sure your children spend time with someone who does. Children hear their parents’ stories throughout their lives. They see pictures from their parents’ youths. The rest they have to read in history books. Make it real for them and shape their understanding of the past by staying connected with aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Ask them about the Kennedy presidency, the advent of rock-n-roll and the Holocaust.Interview your parents about their favorite childhood memories, the songs they loved, the books they read, and play the tape for your children whenever they miss
Grandma and Grandpa.Visit historical museums and rent classic movies from other eras that you might have missed out on yourself. Make an effort to show your children where they really came from to help shape the amazing people they’ll become in the future.
- Divorce is at an all time low. Historians predict that it will continue to ebb. The children of today will most likely marry at young ages.
- Unlike their Gen X parents who found fulfillment moving from job to job, the next generation of workers will be attracted to large corporations and display loyalty to their companies, hanging in for the long term. However the telecommuting trend will continue, and tomorrow’s employees will demand even greater flexibility to balance work and family.
- The logo-obsessed Gen Xers (Guess?, Member’s Only, Tommy Hilfiger) are being replaced by younger consumers demanding variety rather than conformity. Logos are disappearing from clothing, while clothing companies increase the number of style options available to buyers.
- While the country turns inward and becomes more nationalistic, the current generation of children is the most multi-cultural in history. Race will no longer be a divisive issue for dating and marriage. Money will become the great divider. The gap between the middle and lower classes continues to widen. Parents want their children to be financially secure and would prefer their children to marry someone of another race than someone with a poor financial future.
- In 2018, the average cost of tuition for a four-year public university is estimated at $113,157.00. Add in room, board, books, lab fees, sorority dues, spring break trips … A private four-year school will cost around $245,328.00. Gulp!You can learn more about generational trends in these great books by William Strauss and Neil Howe: Generations: The History of America’s Future, The Fourth Turning : An American Prophecy, and Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation.
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