Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The post millennial generation: The impact of Gen X, How X-er parents are shaping a new generation

8,522 views

Published on

Welcome back to The Generation Edge series, our monthly magazine exploring the identity, values, and lifestyle of the post millennial generation. People born after about 1995, the eldest of which are 19 now. We call them Generation Edge.

In this edition we explore how Gen X parents are shaping this new generation. Because, like it or not, our parents exert tremendous influence on the people we become...

Published in: Marketing

The post millennial generation: The impact of Gen X, How X-er parents are shaping a new generation

  1. 1. GENERATION HOW GEN X PARENTS ARE SHAPING THE NEXT GENERATION UNDERSTANDING A NEW GENERATION WWW.THESOUNDHQ.COM
  2. 2. IMPACT OF GEN X: HOW XER PARENTS ARE SHAPING A NEW GENERATION Welcome  back  to  The  Generation  Edge  Series,  our   monthly  magazine  exploring  the  identity,  values,  and   lifestyle  of  the  post-­‐millennial  generation.  This  month   we  explore  how  Gen  X  parents  are  shaping  a  new   generation Because  like  it  or  not,  our  parents  exert  tremendous   inDluence  on  the  people  we  become... 03
  3. 3. Preparation Independence Realism Truth ALL THAT IS LEFT FROM HELICOPTERING PARENTS IS THE SHARP BLADE... A PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP ANCHORED IN... The  relationship  Millennials  have  had  with  their  Baby   Boomer  parents  has  been  widely  discussed  for  many   years.  Whether  it’s  Helicopter  or  Tea  Cup  parenting,  or   even  the  complete  dissolution  of  the  parent  role   through  peerenting,  it  is  undeniable  that  this  co-­‐ dependent  relationship  has  played  a  signi?icant  role  in   shaping  Millennials  and  their  expectations  of  the  world. However,  as  Generation  Edge  comes  of  age,  the   relationship  they  have  with  their  Gen  X  parents  is   in?luencing  them  in  far  different  ways.  Generation  X,  a   cohort  rooted  in  rebellion,  anti-­‐trust  and  a  cynical  take   on  the  world  are  parents  that  focus  on  preparation   over  praise,  being  unique  vs.  being  the  best  and  realism   over  unabashed  championing. Parents  are  no  longer  saying  ‘World,  get  ready  for  my   baby’,  but  rather  “Baby,  get  ready  for  this  world.’. RAISING GENERATION
  4. 4. Text ‣ National attention was thrown onto the plight of latch key kids after the 1983 publication of “The Handbook for Latchkey Children and Their Parents” ‣ Studies in the late 1980s showed showed that about 15% of children 6 -9 yrs did not have a parent present when they came home from school, increasing to 45% among children from 9-11 yrs “''They  [Gen  X  Children]  get  the  sense  that  they're  not  really  cared   about,''  he  said.  ''It's  easy  for  them  to  start  rejecting  adult  standards,   and  to  give  in  to  the  kind  of  peer  pressure  that  gets  them  in  trouble.'” - Dr. Jay Belskey, Professor of Human Development, Pennsylvania State University The  statistic  that  half  of  all  marriages  end   in  divorce  was  true  only  in  the  1970s   when  most  Gen  Xers  were  growing  up.     In  addition,  for  the  ?irst  time  the  majority   of  Gen  Xers  saw  their  mothers  leaving   the  home  to  become  ‘working  women’. As  a  result,  the  number  of  latchkey  kids   exploded  with  Generation  X,  and  the   traditionally  comforting  ‘nuclear  family’   home  for  many  came  be  a  lonely  place. Now  parents  themselves,  Gen  Xers   re?lect  on  these  experiences  and  claim  to   be  signi?icantly  less  likely  to  ask  their   own  parents  for  advice  when  it  comes  to   raising  their  kids. As  parents,  Generation  X  are  determined   to  do  things  very  differently. LATCHKEY KIDS CONTEXTUAL FACTORS
  5. 5. The  effects  of  national  economic   disparities  and  turmoil  have  trickled   down  to  our  schools  and  learning   institutions,  resulting  in  uncertain   stability.    For  Gen  Edge,  not  knowing  if  a   local  school  will  remain  open  next   semester  or  if  teachers  will  be  present   to  teach  a  lesson  has  become  an  all  to   typical  dinnertime  conversation.     Furthermore,  conventional    basics  can   no  longer  be  taken  for  granted  -­‐  i.e.   supplies,  resources,  and  extended   school  hours  for  additional  help.   UNRELIABLE CONTEXTUAL FACTORS Indeed,  economic  collapse  has   punctuated  every  signi?icant  coming  of   age  milestone  for  Gen  Xers.  The  Energy   Crisis  loomed  throughout  their  early   childhood  years  in  the  1970s.  Wall   Street  fell  when  Xers  graduated  from   high  school.  College  graduation  was  met   with  the  ?irst  Bush  recession  and   impossibly  scarce  jobs,  and  when  they   ?inally  bought  their  own  homes,  the   housing  bubble  burst. After  a  never-­‐ending  onslaught  of   challenges  and  issues,  Gen  Xers  see  the   world  through  grey  lenses. They  believe  the  world  is  a  tough,  hard   place.  A  place  where  one  ?irst  needs  to   survive,  long  before  they  can  thrive.   And  Gen  Xers  want  to  make  sure  their   children  have  the  tools  and  are   prepared  to  face  this  head  on. NOT SO WONDER YEARS “In  the  early  1990s,  I  found  in  extensive  interviews  with  young  Xers  that   many  of  them  associated  themselves  with  collective  failure,  as  if  their   generation  were  a  gigantic  auto  accident.  This  meant  that  to  be  successful   you  had  to  take  plenty  of  risks  and  be  different  from  your  peers.” - Neil Howe, Researcher/Demographer, Forbes Contributor X’ers ‣ Gen Xers in their 30s and 40s have experienced the biggest decline in homeownership — and to this day are the most likely to be underwater on the homes they still own
  6. 6. Text The  effects  of  national  economic   disparities  and  turmoil  have  trickled   down  to  our  schools  and  learning   institutions,  resulting  in  uncertain   stability.    For  Gen  Edge,  not  knowing  if  a   local  school  will  remain  open  next   semester  or  if  teachers  will  be  present   to  teach  a  lesson  has  become  an  all  to   typical  dinnertime  conversation.     Furthermore,  conventional    basics  can   no  longer  be  taken  for  granted  -­‐  i.e.   supplies,  resources,  and  extended   school  hours  for  additional  help.   UNRELIABLE CONTEXTUAL FACTORS So  when  Gen  Xers  combined  a  fractured,   lonely  home  life  with  a  world  seemingly   on  the  brink  of  collapse  at  every  turn,   how  did  this  shape  their  world  view? Growing  up,  Generation  X  saw  the  ‘adult’   world  as  a  pretty  depressing  place.  It   either  made  promises  it  couldn’t  keep  or   trapped  people  in  cycles  of  unhappiness.   As  a  result,  Xers  famously  rebelled   against,  or  outright  rejected,  traditional   markers  of  maturity  as  they  came  of  age.   Instead,  they  wanted  to  be  in  adult-­‐free,   youthful  places  doing  things  that  were   ‘cool’  with  people  who  were  ‘in’. Buying  a  house,  getting  a  ‘real’  job  and   even  becoming  a  parent  could  be  seen  as   depressing,  or  ?inally  giving  up, So  now  ?inding  themselves  as  parents,   Xers  have  had  to  relunctantly  adjust  to   this  mature  reality.  And  along  with  that   adjustment,  they  profess  that  they  will   never  lose  touch  with  how  it  feels  to  be   young  and  relevant. ADJUSTING TO MATURITY “Generation  X  is  ofIicially  old.  Sorry,  when  did  this  happen?  It  seems   like  Iive  minutes  ago  we  were  young,  we  were  the  future,  the  people  for   whom  anything  was  possible.  Now  we're  the  middle-­‐aged  bores   pottering  around  in  slippers,  fretting  about  how  our  savings  scheme  is   doing  in  an  unstable  market  and,  saddest  of  all,  "getting  into"  things:   expensive  coffee,  Booker-­‐nominated  novels,  obscure  types  of  pilates.” - Darragh McManus, Journalist, The Guardian “There’s  this  incredible  denial  of  middle   age  going  on.  People  want  to  hang  onto   their  youth,  so  in  that  sense  you’re  young-­‐ young-­‐young  ‘til  you’re  old.” - Patricia Cohen, Journalist, NY Times
  7. 7. The  effects  of  national  economic   disparities  and  turmoil  have  trickled   down  to  our  schools  and  learning   institutions,  resulting  in  uncertain   stability.    For  Gen  Edge,  not  knowing  if  a   local  school  will  remain  open  next   semester  or  if  teachers  will  be  present   to  teach  a  lesson  has  become  an  all  to   typical  dinnertime  conversation.     Furthermore,  conventional    basics  can   no  longer  be  taken  for  granted  -­‐  i.e.   supplies,  resources,  and  extended   school  hours  for  additional  help.   UNRELIABLE CONTEXTUAL FACTORS Sex  -­‐  Drugs  -­‐  Violence  -­‐  Despair.  These   topics  cover  newspapers,  TV   broadcasts  and  social  media  at  every   turn.  Generation  X  parents  (as  they   expect)  are  seeing  their  world,  and   their  child’s  world,  ripe  with  fear. Children  today  are  exposed  to  more   violence  than  any  other  previous   generation.  Gen  Xers  don’t  want  to   make  up  stories  and  excuses  for  what   is  on  the  news,  but  rather  to  educate   their  children  to  be  active  citizens  and   highly  aware  of  what  is  outside  their   doorstep. Married  with  a  highly  complicated  eco-­‐ system  of  ever-­‐present  and  non-­‐stop   technology,  Xers  lean  into  a  tougher   tell-­‐it-­‐like-­‐is  stance.  Rather  than  shield   their  children  from  the  dangers  of  the   world,  give  them  the  weapons  to   survive. NAVIGATING GLOBAL REALITIES “Boomer  parents  assumed  that  since  they   had  turned  out  Iine,  their  kids  would,  too.   Gen  X  doesn't  have  that  assumption.  We've   seen  what  it's  like  to  have  the  rug  pulled   out  from  underneath  us.”- Lisa Chamberlain Author, Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction “You  need  to  things  where  kids  can  be  safe  but  where  there  is  a  bit  of  a   perceived  risk  -­‐  they  shouldn’t  be  able  to  fall  on  their  head  easily,  but  it   can’t  be  so  safe  that  they  are  bored  to  tears.” - Prof. Anita Bundy, Professor of Occupational Therapy, Sydney University
  8. 8. The  effects  of  national  economic   disparities  and  turmoil  have  trickled   down  to  our  schools  and  learning   institutions,  resulting  in  uncertain   stability.    For  Gen  Edge,  not  knowing  if  a   local  school  will  remain  open  next   semester  or  if  teachers  will  be  present   to  teach  a  lesson  has  become  an  all  to   typical  dinnertime  conversation.     Furthermore,  conventional    basics  can   no  longer  be  taken  for  granted  -­‐  i.e.   supplies,  resources,  and  extended   school  hours  for  additional  help.   UNRELIABLE CONTEXTUAL FACTORS After  being  brought  up  on  microwave   meals  (that  they  heated  up   themselves),  junk  food  or  whatever   mom  could  get  on  the  table  after  a  full   work  day,  Gen  Xers  want  to  provide   real  meals  for  their  children  (think   Jamie  Oliver).  As  a  generation,  growing   up,  Xers  had  notoriously  poor  diets  and   as  adults  have  been  swept  up  in  every   diet  craze  that  has  come  along. Now  as  parents,  they  question  of  the   industrial  food  complex  that  failed   them.  Many  Xers  challenge  where  their   food  comes  from  and  want  to   understand  the  potential  impact  on  the   well  being  of  their  kids. Coupled  with  emerging  research  on   connections  between  sugar,  wheat  etc   to  ADD,  autism  etc,  Generation  Edge   are  being  raised  to  understand  exactly   what  they  are  putting  in  their  mouths. FAST FOOD NATION “86%  of  Moms  turn  to  multivitamins  as  a  “one  stop  shop”  to  provide   nutrition  they  fear  to  be  lacking  in  regular  diets” ‣ About half of GenXers said they preferred to buy organic foods at least some of the time, and one in 10 said they are committed to buying organic when it’s available
  9. 9. The  effects  of  national  economic   disparities  and  turmoil  have  trickled   down  to  our  schools  and  learning   institutions,  resulting  in  uncertain   stability.    For  Gen  Edge,  not  knowing  if  a   local  school  will  remain  open  next   semester  or  if  teachers  will  be  present   to  teach  a  lesson  has  become  an  all  to   typical  dinnertime  conversation.     Furthermore,  conventional    basics  can   no  longer  be  taken  for  granted  -­‐  i.e.   supplies,  resources,  and  extended   school  hours  for  additional  help.   UNRELIABLE CONTEXTUAL FACTORS With  adulthood  repeatedly  shipwrecked   by  economic  disasters,  Xers  have  had  a   tougher  ?inancial  road  to  take  and  continue   down. With  Generation  Edge  kids  having  to  stay   at  home  longer  (as  they  face  their  own   tough  ?inancial  realities)  and  Boomers   refusing  to  retire  and  give  up  those  plum   senior  jobs,  Xers  continue  to  have  to  do   more  with  less.  For  many  Xers,  retirement   is  a  distant,  challenging,  and  unaffordable   dream. As  a  result,  as  they  raise  their  Generation   Edge  kids,  fewer  dollars  are  available  for   college,  after  school  activities  and  family   trips  away. The  coddling  ‘anything  for  my  child’   mentality  of  the  Boomers  for  their   Millennial  kids  has  made  way  for  harsher   realities  for  Gen  Edge.  And  if  they  want   something,  they  might  just  have  to  go  and   get  it  themselves. FREEDOM 75. HOPEFULLY. ‣ The largest percentage of households in foreclosure belonged to those in Generation X—in particular, Gen-Xers who had high average household income ($59,500) and years of “Xers  are  always  living  in  a  state  of  triage,  always  in  a  survivalist  mode.   We’re  not  thinking  long-­‐term.” - Susan Gregory Thomas, Author, “In Spite of Everything”
  10. 10. “Today, behold the era of the Gen-X “stealth- fighter parent.” Stealth-fighter parents do not hover. They choose when and where they will attack. If the issue seems below their threshold of importance, they save their energy and let it go entirely.” - Neil Howe, Demographer
  11. 11. INTRODUCING THE END OF PERFECT PARENTING... The  world  has  shown  Xers  that  Mom  &  Dad  didn’t  always   know  best  and  to  trust  their  own  instincts  when  it  comes   to  raising  a  family. The  world  has  shown  Xers  that  f*cked  up  sh*t  happens   that  you  can’t  plan  for...but  you  can  prepare  for  it.  Sort  of. The  world  has  shown  Xers  that  winning  and  being  at  the   top  doesn’t  mean  much  -­‐  especially  when  it  can  all  come   tumbling  down.  Raising  a  unique,  independent  and   interesting  child  is  far  more  important. ARE BEING RAISED BY PARENTS WHO CAN’T, AND DON’T WANT TO DO IT ALL GENERATION
  12. 12. Gen  X  parents  realize  that  happiness  for   their  child  won’t  come  with  hand  holding,   giving  out  participation  ribbons  or  prizes   just  for  ‘trying’.  They’re  open  to  giving   their  kids  opportunities  to  experience   failure  and  to  learn  about  making  their   own  way  and  their  own  happiness Gen  Xers  are  teaching  their  children  to   begin  over  and  over  again,  take  chances  -­‐-­‐   but  also  learn  how  to  get  back  to  the   starting  line  on  their  own  if  they  go  off   course... Today’s  parents  are  stepping  back  from  a   feedback-­‐all  the  time  mentality,  and  letting   children  step  closer  to  the  edge. As  a  result,  Generation  Edge  is   emerging  as  cohort  far  less  focused  on   being  heaped  with  constant  praise,  but   rather  living  up  to  their  own  standards   of  accomplishment. NO MORE GOLD STARS "Whether  your  kid  loves  Little  League  or  gymnastics,  ask  the  program  organizers   this:  “Which  kids  get  awards?”  If  the  answer  is,  “Everybody  gets  a  trophy,”  Cind   another  program.” Ashley  Merryman  co  author  of  Nurtureshock" FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO LOSE
  13. 13. UNIQUE IS THE NEW PERFECT CRACKING THE COOKIE CUTTER “"For  many  Gen  Xers,  the  education  that  deBines  us  is  the  one  we  got  for   ourselves,  outside  of  school." Jeff Gordinier, Author, X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking Emerging  from  both  their  survivalist  and   rebellious  spirits,  Xer  parents  do  not   believe  in  raising  a  cookie-­‐cutter  child,   one  who  does  and  says  the  ‘right’  things. When  Gen  Xers  were  applying  for  jobs,  the   market  was  weak  -­‐  one  could  have  a   degree,  volunteer  experience,  and   connections  but  still  doors  remained   closed.  Lesson  learned.  Today  Xers  believe   it  is  far  more  important  to  raise  a  child   with  a  competitive  edge,  a  difference  in   opinion  or  unique  perspective. Ultimately  Xer  parents  are  less  attached  to   how  their  child  turns  out  but  rather     they’re  interested  in  the  varied   opportunities  they’re  children  are  having   today. As  a  result,  Edgers  place  far  more   weight  and  importance  on  being   different,  bringing  something   interesting  to  the  table,  and  standing   out  from  all  their  peers.
  14. 14. MORE THAN ONE WAY TO GET IT ‘RIGHT’ DIFFERENT STROKES, DIFFERENT FOLKS “I  have  decided  to  be  gentle  with  myself  when  it  comes  to   parenting  –  to  be  okay  not  knowing  exactly  how  to  handle  it.” Alison Slater Tate, Journalist, The Washington Post Xer  parents  are  recognizing  that  what   works  for  them  might  not  work  for  other   families.  In  recognizing  uniqueness  and   valuing  that  children  learn  differently,   this  has  lead  to  increased  tolerance   regarding  ‘parenting  differently’.   Xer  parents  are  empowered  to  talk  out,   have  an  opinion,  share,  and  decide  the   best  course  of  action  for  themselves  and   their  children.  Cue  the  explosion  of  the   ‘Mommy  Blogger’. Parents  are  empowered  to  raise  different   children,  well,  differently.  A  one-­‐size  ?its   all  method  doesn’t  need  to  apply. As  a  result,  Gen  Edgers  can  appreciate   more  disparate  viewpoints  or   approaches  and  feel  more   comfortable  charting  their  own  path.
  15. 15. SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  16. 16. STRAIGHT TALK Raised  on  a  diet  of  truth,  honesty  and   some  heavy  doses  of  reality,  Generation   Edge  expect  the  world  to  be  a  tough   place.  They’ve  been  taught  that  the   motivations  of  brands,  corporations  and   institutions  are  seldom  what  they  seem. Edgers  have  received  direct  and  adult   straight-­‐talk  from  their  parents  for   years.  Brands  that  pander,  condescend   or  rely  on  lazy  young-­‐person   stereotypes  will  not  connect. Engage  Generaiton  Edge  through   honest,  real  language.  Their   marketing  bullshit  meter  is  =inely   tuned  and  will  call  out  brands  that   don’t  talk  their  walk. BRAND IMPLICATIONS
  17. 17. PARENTS ARE NO LONGER THE ‘ENEMY’ Generation  Edge  appreciate  the  honest   and  respectful  relationship  they  have   with  their  parents.  In  addition,  their   parents  open  encouragement  to  be  their   own  unique  self  has  Generation  Edge   seeing  their  parents  as  trusted  allies. Don’t  assume  that  parents  aren’t   already  part  of  the  conversation.   Amongst  Generation  Edge,  even  some  of   the  most  sensitive  topics  (eg.   contraception)  are  open  and  out  on  the   table  with  their  parents. Consider  ways  to  engage  Generation   Edge  through  their  parents  and  vice   versa.  In  addition,  communications   that  attempt  to  paint  parents  as  the   enemy,  or  out  of  touch,  will  fall  =lat   with  Edgers. BRAND IMPLICATIONS
  18. 18. PACK YOUR OWN CHUTE Raised  by  parents  less  obsessed  with   winning  or  their  kids  obtaining   traditional  markers  of  ‘success’,  results   in  Edgers  focused  on  standing  out   rather  than  being  #1. Consider  ways  to  allow  your   message,  content  or  products  to   drive  the  individualism  or   competitive  differentiation  that   Edgers  crave. Consider  spokespeople  or  brand   representatives  that  have  broken   molds,  overcome  adversity  or  re=lect   empowered  uniqueness. BRAND IMPLICATIONS
  19. 19. UNDERSTANDING A NEW GENERATION WWW.THESOUNDHQ.COM THANK YOUinfo@thesoundhq.com
  20. 20. RESOURCES
  21. 21. RESOURCES COVER https://hrcktheherald.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/img_6318-2.jpeg SLIDE 5 http://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/22/us/health-psychology-studies-play-down-dangers-to-latchkey-children.html SLIDE 6 http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2014/08/27/generation-x-once-xtreme-now-exhausted-part-5-of-7/ SLIDE 7 http://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/gov-how-generation-x-shaping-government.html http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/08/generation-x-50-whatever http://www.salon.com/2013/08/11/generation_x_gets_really_old_how_do_slackers_have_a_midlife_crisis/ SLIDE 8 http://www.edutopia.org/generation-x-parents-relationships-guide http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/boring-playgrounds-deprive-kids/story-e6freuzi-1111113822631 SLIDE 9 http://www.statista.com/statistics/298762/united-states-generation-x-preference-organic-foods/ SLIDE 10 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/01/02/did-generation-x-cause-the-housing-crisis SLIDE 11 http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=11122 SLIDE 13 http://www.nurtureshock.com SLIDE 14 http://www.edutopia.org/generation-x-parents-relationships-guide SLIDE 15 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/09/29/parenting-as-a-gen-xer-what-its-like-to-be-the-first-generation-of-parents-in-the-age-of-ieverything/

×