Minding the generation gap

I have often wondered why children find it hard to understand why their parents are bringing them up the way they do.  I asked , “Why won’t they see that parents are doing things so that they may grow up to be the persons they ought to be?”  That everything is and always will be for their own good. Coming from a generation of baby boomers,  I  have also experienced these generation gap differences in matters of opinions, values and virtues, with so much younger friends, young enough to be my children. 🙂

After hearing one of our speakers in a planning session I attended, I realized, there is actually and there really is generation gap.  People grow with different sets of values depending on the generation where they belong to and the circumstances they are in.  Thanks to strategy planning workshops. 🙂

Though I sometimes rebel, now I understand why my parents brought us up this way with so much of the do’s and the dont’s. Though I want to see them play outdoor games like piko, sipa, patentero, taguan and habulan for strength and stamina, now I understand why the young stay glued to their laptops, ipads and ipods, androids and the likes. Though I prefer face to face communication or mailed letters and love letters, now I understand that emerging technologies are here to stay to make life more comfortable.

I’ve realized though that whatever generation one belongs to, one would always want to love and be loved in return; one would always want to go to a place called home; and one would want to do something to make a difference. 

I have collated here some articles around the net in order that we may comprehend the  generations better.

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The Lost Generation.   They are the ones typically born between 1883 and 1900.

The Greatest Generation, also known as the Traditionalists, is sometimes referred to as the G.I. Generation. T hey are those people born in 1914-1924, with 1925-1927 forming a bridge to the Silent Generation.

Below are a few common characteristics of Traditionalists.

  • Hardworking:  They have strong work ethics and consider work a privilege. This generation believes you earn your own way through hard work. They are willing put in long, gruelling hours to get ahead in their careers.
  • Loyal: Traditionalists are civic-minded and loyal to their country and employer.  They worked for the same employer their entire life and are less likely to change jobs to advance their careers
  • Submissive:  Traditionalists were taught to respect authority.  They are good team players and generally don’t initiate conflict in the workplace.
  • Tech-Challenged:  Traditionalists are slow to change their work habits.  Traditionalists may struggle to learn new technology and work processes.
  • Traditional: Traditionalists value traditional morals, safety and security as well as conformity, commitment and consistency.  They prefer traditional lecture formats to online, web-based education.

Silent Generation is to the generation born during the Great Depression and World War II, including the bulk of those who fought during the Korean War from 1925 to 1945. They are characterized as grave and fatalistic, conventional, possessing confused morals, expecting disappointment but desiring faith, and for women, desiring both a career and a family.

Baby Boomers are those born in the decade following the end of World War II (from 1946 – 1964.)

Some of the common characteristics of the Baby Boomer generation:

  • Work-Centric: Baby Boomers are extremely hardworking and motivated by position, perks and prestige. Baby Boomers relish long work weeks and define themselves by their professional accomplishments.  They sacrifice a great deal to get where they are in their career, and may criticize younger generations for a lack of work ethic and commitment to the workplace.
  • Independent: Baby Boomers are confident, independent and self-reliant. This generation grew up in an era of reform and believe they can change the world. They questioned established authority systems and challenged the status quo. Baby Boomers are not afraid of confrontation and will not hesitate to challenge established practices.
  • Goal-Oriented:  Baby Boomers are achievement-oriented, dedicated and career-focused. They welcome exciting, challenging projects and strive to make a difference.
  • Competitive:  Baby Boomers equate work and position with self-worth. They are clever, resourceful and strive to win.

Generation X  are those born between 1963-1980.  They are often labelled the “slacker” generation, uncommitted and unfocused.  They are the first generation to have experienced divorce on a large scale and are likely to have changed careers several times. The  Xers are considered more likely to want to keep their heads down than to change the world.

Below are a few common characteristics of Generation X.

  • Individualistic: Generation X came of age in an era were women were joining the workforce in large numbers.  They are considered latchkey kids  who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work, or a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours. They dislike being micro-managed and embrace a hands-off management philosophy.
  • Technologically Adept: The Generation X mentality reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives.  This generation is comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys and other technology employed in the workplace.
  • Flexible:  Generation X is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles.  They are ambitious and eager to learn new skills but want to accomplish things on their own terms.
  • Value Work/Life Balance:  Generation X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Generation X managers often incorporate humour and games into work activities.

Generation Y are those born between 1981 and 1994. Common put-downs include lazy, debt-ridden and programmed for instant gratification. They are portrayed as demanding and unrealistic in their career aspirations.  They have grown up at Internet age hence, the world to them is virtual and the possibilities are endless.

Some common traits that define Generation Y are:

  • Tech-Savvy: Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged-in 24/7. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
  • Family-Centric:  Generation Y wants flexible schedules and a better work/life balance and prioritizes family over work.
  • Achievement-Oriented:   Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. They want meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
  • Team-Oriented: They participate in team sports, play groups and other group activities and value teamwork as they seek the input and affirmation of others. Generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.
  • Attention-Craving: Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.

Generation Z , Generation I or Generation Next or The iPad Generation are those born 1995-2009. They are the first generation never to have experienced the pre-internet world. Accordingly are already technology-focused. To them, friendships are quantifiable by Facebook, Skype and Twitter.  Generation Z have grown up in a world that is all about connecting through technology.  They have redefined virtual communication way with family members and friends across the country, or even around the world, without being in the same physical space.

Some common traits of Generation Z are:

  •  Multi-taskers They are evolving to cope with the ever-increasing volume of media byproducts by becoming astutely skeptical and relentlessly discriminating. We do not need to defend ourselves or mask our intentions; we simply need to smartly compete for their fleeting attention.
  • Speed Demons. Growing up on the web, Gen Z lives in a world of instant gratification. They understand the implications of tagging photos and detagging others, and that endorsing products with a simple “Like” button can bring either scrutiny or praise.
  • Community-Organizers.  Since Gen Z has grown up with social communities, befriending and interacting with the online community is second nature. Accordingly, they use social media as a platform to mobilize efforts.

 Generation Alpha: This generation begins with those born in 2010. This ere marks the rise of the LGBTs. It has been predicted they will be the most formally educated generation in history, beginning school earlier and studying longer. The children of older, wealthier parents with fewer siblings, they are already being labelled materialistic.

With all the new technology sure to be at their disposal comes the risk of a sedentary lifestyle and with it, obesity.

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