If your child is born between 1996 and 2010, you might often observe them sitting only on their phones or laptops, watching web series on Netflix or just randomly scrolling the social platforms for watching random updates. Well, don’t worry. Be happy! Generation Z, as we call them, usually portrays such traits and are said to be very different from all the previous generations. A key point to be noted here is that in most families today, both the parents are working, which means that these children are either raised by their grandparents. Thus, their lifestyle and approach towards life can sometimes look similar to the people of Gen X.
A recent study published in Forbes states that Gen Z in the United States is the most ethnically diverse and multicultural generation in history. They seem to exhibit an evolved relationship with race, gender and ethnicity.
So, what are the traits of these Gen Zers? Let us see:
- They are great multitaskers. If you see a child sitting on his laptop playing a game, while texting his friend on the phone and watching a football match on TV, you can tell they are a Gen Zer.
- They can be called the true digital natives. Anything online that takes more than a few minutes to load can frustrate them, and they are bound never to visit that page again. So, consumer experience is a big thing for them, and they are upfront about their expectations, which is why they will only prefer brands who are loyal to them.
- The concept of owning and driving a car is not something that can amaze a Gen Zer; they are the kind who would prefer using ride-sharing or carpool as a mode of commutation.
- They are more entrepreneurial than any of the previous generations. They are early earners and are prudent in analysing where to spend money, where to invest and how much to save for the future.
So, you can understand that raising a Gen Zer is not a child’s play. Thus, the concept of Parenting 4.0. Experts call it the new wave of parenting, which is consequent requisite as a result of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 giving rise to the need for Education 4.0. This unique parenting style will provide a roadmap to the parents of Generation Z to help them fulfil their needs and aspirations. It will also enable parents to change their ways of parenting a Gen Zer by understanding their behaviours, expectations and life goals, which are supposedly way different from Gen Y/ Millennials or all the previous generations.
So, how to parent a Generation Z kid? Let us learn some ways here.
Encourage real-world interactions and activities
Generation kids are increasingly being considered a generation of loners. This is owing to the vast amounts of screen-time they enjoy rather than real-world interactions with actual people. It is essential for you, as a parent, to allow this while at the same time encouraging your kids to communicate with the outside world.
For this, you can engage your kids in activities that require interacting with people through phone calls or face-to-face interactions. Even routine tasks like buying groceries or ordering food can be done by them, and you can reward them for jobs they do so that it encourages them to take responsibility for these tasks.
Engage them in short family activities
Gen Z kids don’t really like to make a big deal out of family time. However, this does not mean they don’t want to enjoy family time at all. Create small family moments for your child so that they can stay connected with you and other family members like talking a walk with them downtown or spending time over meals, or just a dinner outing would be nice and welcoming.
You can also engage with your child through activities that they like to do such as online shopping or gaming or watching Netflix or other such online shows so that they feel that you are trying to understand their generation in their way. Showing the willingness to change yourself as per your child’s interests is a very good way to initiate communications and stay involved in their lives.
Integrate screen time with events
Gen Z is a generation of digital natives. Technology is something they were born with and now are used to experiencing it around them at all times. Here, it is essential for you as a parent to not force them to reduce their screen time, but to convert it into something fruitful. Encouraging your child to utilise their tech knowledge through internships, freelancing, remote working, online learning, workshops, etc., can prove to be beneficial. This way, they will not only do something productive, but might end up learning new skills while earning some extra income as well. It will also help them get exposure to the various career options available so that they can analyse and create their path to their careers.
Raising a Gen Zer is not difficult if you understand their psychology and how it impacts their learning capabilities. It can, however, be made easy by inculcating the concepts and techniques of Parenting 4.0. This generation is more diverse and distinguished than any of the previous generations, which is why parents must change their parenting style while also learning from their kids about their lifestyle, choices, preferences and thought processes.
A new generation is on the rise, and the first step to communicating with them is understanding that they aren’t just another Millennial.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What ages are Gen Z?
Generation Z is the newest generation and is born in and after 1997. They are way different than all the other previous generations and are considered to be more diverse, ambitious, having higher expectations, more entrepreneurial, better multitaskers, and much more.
When did Gen Z start?
According to the Pew Research Center, following are the birth years of all the generations:
- Baby Boomers: 1946-1964
- Generation X: 1965-1980
- Generation Y/ Millennials: 1981-1996
- Generation Z: 1997 to date
What are the characteristics of Generation Z?
Following are some of the characteristics of Generation Z:
- Their media consumption habits are higher than any of the previous generations.
- They prefer cool products over cool experiences.
- They are more entrepreneurial than any of the previous generations.
- They are the true digital natives, i.e., they are extremely tech-savvy.
- They are diverse and accommodating and want to create a co-culture.