Delving into parenting trends through the ages, the experts break down the generations in the United States, from the Silent Generation to the Post-Millennials and the Generation Z. They provide insight into who is who and how parenting has evolved over time, offering valuable context for modern families.
When millennials began having children (or parennials), and when Generation Z eloquently introduced the “OK, Boomer” phenomenon to show their distaste for their grandparents’ generation, it seemed like more generational labels were being thrown around than ever before. But what does each of these designations actually mean?
If keeping up with a slew of newly coined phrases wasn’t already difficult enough, figuring out the precise order in which generations occurred is also not straightforward. Although there is a general agreement among social scientists regarding the lengths of time that are associated with each generation, there is no single point in time that can be pinpointed as the moment when one generation comes to an end, and another begins. In other words, a simple Google search could return a dozen different date ranges for you to choose from.
However, understanding the approximate dates and events that define each generation can help us all learn a little bit more about ourselves as parents and our children, as well as why grandparents will never stop being baffled by “kids these days” despite the passing of time. Therefore, to get an accurate timeline of generations, we contacted various experts. The following is a timeline of the American generations since the year 1900, along with an examination of how the significant events of each generation influenced the children and parents of that generation.
Born Between 1901 And 1927, The Greatest Generation Is Also Known As The GI Generation
Who is the Generation GI? The Great Depression and World War II were experiences that this generation had to go through. Notably, they were responsible for popularizing jazz and swing music, but you shouldn’t be fooled by the wild antics that were popular in music during that era.
Who are these GI parents, exactly? When it came to parenting, parents of the GI Generation who had experienced the Great Depression placed a premium on characteristics such as perseverance and hard work.
Born Between 1928 And 1945, Members Of The Silent Generation
Who exactly are these Silent ones? They gained notoriety for being so compliant that they remained silent throughout the McCarthy era, which was characterized by widespread paranoia regarding the threat posed by communism to the United States.
Who exactly are the parents of Silent? The parenting style of the day was very similar to the parenting style of their parents; children were expected to develop a strong work ethic to earn their way through life.
Baby Boom Generation: Individuals Born Between 1946 and 1964
Who exactly are the Boomers? It’s possible that Generation Z views Baby Boomers as their out-of-touch grandparents (“OK, Boomer”), but the truth is that they had a wild youth that we rarely discuss. The Boomer generation got its name after their parents returned from World War II to find an exploding population in the United States. The members of the Baby Boom generation disobeyed their parents, participated in demonstrations against the Vietnam War, and initiated the “Summer of Love.”
Who are the parents of Boomers? Parents of children born during the baby boom era are credited with redefining what it means to be a parent. They were the first generation to consider how their children experienced growing up, and they also popularized the idea of holding regular family gatherings.
Born Between The Years 1965 And 1980, Generation X
Who are the members of the Generation X? Generation X experienced the AIDS epidemic, the rise of MTV culture, and a shifting cultural landscape that would eventually give rise to LGBTQ+ rights. Despite this, they are frequently called the “slacker generation.”
Who are the parents of Gen Xers? It’s common knowledge that the parents of Generation X were the pioneers of the “helicopter parenting” movement. Generation X parents tend to be more involved in their children’s academic and social development than their Boomer predecessors, who famously let them play outside until the streetlights came on. Both their immediate and extended families will benefit from this.
Millennials Or Generation Y: People Who Were Born Between 1981 And 1996
Who exactly are these Millennials? As the first generation to grow up both with and without the internet, millennials can speak with unique insight into the impact that the medium now has on their daily lives. They were alive during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and they remember when Amazon sold only books.
While Baby Boomers may view Millennials as self-absorbed and entitled because of their reliance on technology, this generation has shown itself to be highly involved in their communities and environmentally conscious; these values are being passed on to their children. Millennials have been accused by Baby Boomers of being entitled and self-absorbed because of their reliance on smartphones, but research shows that this generation is also among the most environmentally conscious in history.
Who exactly are the parents of Millennials, also known as parennials? There are a variety of areas in which Millennial parents excel, and one could argue that they excel more than their predecessors. They don’t have closed beliefs. They are using a variety of family structures to guide the development of their children.
“They are more likely than parents of previous generations to let their children freely express who they are, and they are leading the movement to assist gender non-conforming children in becoming content with who they are. Some millennial parents, who themselves were “helicoptered over” during their formative years, are adopting a more relaxed approach to parenting, in which they give their children more freedom to explore and create without providing an overbearing amount of structure or guidance.”
Born between 1997 and 2010, Generation Z (or iGen)
Who is Gen Z? Generation Z is the first to grow up with phones, screens, and tablets as their only means of communication. Generation Z kids are the first to have been born into a world where their generation has made its mark.
Who Will Be Next, Then?
As of the year 2019, Adage classified children and teenagers born after 2010 as members of Generation Alpha. They have a greater understanding of technology than any previous generation, which is a potent tool with the potential to improve people’s lives in countless ways. Generation Alpha children are the first to have grown up in a world without social media, making them the most technologically advanced generation to date.
Given how little we currently know about the Alphas, it might be premature to assign any particular characteristics to them at this point. Nevertheless, there are a few things about them that we are aware of: They are more diverse than any other generation, and they are more likely than any other generation to be raised by a single parent. They are some of the first generations to be born during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year that goes by, in the same way, it did for the generations that came before them, will mold the cultural perception of who they are. In the meantime, as parents, we have the privilege and the honor of assisting our children in making the most responsible decisions that are open to them.
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