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Gen X parents are raising Gen Z kids very differently than Baby Boomers raised Millennials

Bloomberg News recently wrote a feature story on Gen Z, and The Center for Generational Kinetics played a key role!

Gen X parenting Gen Z

Bloomberg News featured CGK’s research on Gen Z and Gen X

Bloomberg News recently wrote a feature story on Gen Z, and The Center for Generational Kinetics played a key role!

As Gen Z—also known as iGen or Centennials—age into an enormously influential group of employees, customers, and trendsetters, smart business leaders recognize that now is the time to unlock this new generation’s potential. But which Gen Z trends should leaders track most closely? According to Jason Dorsey, the leading Gen Z researcher and President of the Center for Generational Kinetics, one key trend to follow is parenting.

Gen X parents are a huge influence on Gen Z as employees and consumers

“Gen Z are not a more extreme version of Millennials,” says Dorsey. “Their habits and attitudes are very different, and that’s heavily influenced by parenting.”

Baby Boomers worked hard to build personal wealth and social progress so their Millennial kids could have easier lives. This approach conditioned behaviors and attitudes that fed into the modern Millennial stereotype of an overly entitled generation—a generalization that our research calls into question, especially since Millennials are splitting into two different generations.

Endless memes about Millennial entitlement have motivated Gen X parents—and many new Millennial parents—to move away from the parenting methods that they perceive as enabling entitlement. This is having a profound impact on Gen Z as they become adults themselves.

Gen Z grew up in the middle of the Great Recession

When the U.S. economy took a turn for the worse in 2008, many in Gen Z watched their parents stress over bills and make serious efforts to cut spending however possible. During some of Gen Z’s most formative years, Gen X parents became much more cautious around credit and careful with money. Gen Z also saw the headlines about housing foreclosures and Millennials unable to get jobs or having to move back in with their parents.

“Our research really emphasizes how much Gen X navigating the Great Recession has impacted the way Gen Z approaches money, debt, credit, and financial risk,” says Dr. Denise Villa, CEO of CGK. “They’re much more inclined to avoid debt—12% of the generation are already saving for retirement. That is a very high number, given the oldest age of study participants was 22.”

Unlocking the potential of Gen Z

Gen Z represents the greatest generational business opportunity of the last fifteen years. Understanding the influence of Gen X parents on Gen Z—and the resulting behaviors and expectations—enables business leaders to design strategies and solutions that will help Gen Z thrive as they become employees, customers, and ever-more-important trendsetters.

“Knowing why Gen Z has these unique behaviors and attitudes is incredibly valuable in helping them unlock their talent as employees and their influence as customers and brand advocates,” says Dorsey. “I have a ton of confidence in Gen Z. Now it is up to Gen Z and the other generations to rise to the challenge and opportunity this new generation presents.”

To learn how Gen Z and parenting trends could be a hidden driver in your business’ success, invite one of CGK’s acclaimed generational speakers to speak for you! Click here to learn more.

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