It’s always difficult convincing an adult audience, that from a Generational perspective, the so-called ‘Millennials’ (Gen Y, Echo Boomers) are going to be more civic minded, more conservative (whilst being more aware), and focus on rebuilding the planet (amongst other things). Mostly because their example of a Millennial is often one of their own kids. And let’s be honest, what parent thinks their own kids are going to be some of those things? Their kids are teenagers, and generally speaking teens are going through a life stage in which pushing the boundaries and experimenting are part and parcel of what they have to do in order to develop into healthy contributing adults.
So it’s with a smile of satisfaction that I point you to some research coming out of Canada (Project Teen Canada headed up by Reginald Bibby, a University of Lethbridge sociologist) that shows that today’s Millennial Generation are reversing some trends that you probably wouldn’t expect them to. Sex, Drugs, Family Values, having children, smoking.
There are some thoughts about the role parents are playing in the reversing of these trends, but the article is summed up like this:
In the end, the kids will likely follow their own instincts. While they might be taking silent cues from their parents—and might even seek help in times of crisis—they’ve little time for adult authorities who worry about their futures. Jesse Lupini, the 17-year-old from Victoria, summed up the sentiment in a recent guest column for his local paper. “Adults have generated a number of teen stereotypes,” he writes. “Teens are irresponsible, untrustworthy, rude, sexually obsessed, loud, inclined to drink to excess, take drugs, eat badly . . . ” But how about the adults who lie, drive drunk and do drugs, Lupini asks? What about the corporations run by adults that market junk food and sexualized clothing to youth? What about the parents who buy that stuff for their kids? “Frankly,” he concludes, having worked up a rather adult-sounding rant, “it’s a wonder we’re coping as well as we are.”
TomorrowToday has been researching, exploring and communicating Generational Theory through our edutaining presentation ‘Mind the Gap‘ for 7 years now. We’re still as convinced as ever that it’s a framework every organisation needs to include in the multiple frameworks it uses to understand people dynamics and interactions.