Parenting styles and approaches can vary widely within generations, and it’s important to recognize that there is significant diversity in the way individuals within a generation may choose to parent. However, there are certain trends and characteristics often associated with parenting in Generation X (born roughly between the mid-1960s and early 1980s) and Gen – Y (born roughly between the early 1980s and mid-1990s).
80% of today’s parents belong to either of the generations and it is commendable to note their parenting approaches. Some of the stark approaches which these generations adopt while parenting are briefed below:
Parenting by Gen – X:
- Hands-off approach: Generation X parents have often experienced a more independent and self-directed upbringing themselves. As parents, they may adopt a hands-off approach, encouraging their children to be more self-reliant and independent. They may not micromanage the children or not put pressure on them to excel in all fields of life: Study, Sports, Creativity etc.
- Balancing work and Family: Many Generation X parents had a front-row seat to the changing dynamics of the workforce, with more dual-income households becoming the norm. As a result, they may place a strong emphasis on work-life balance, and hence independence of children becomes the norm in many households.
- Skeptical and pragmatic: Generation X parents, have grown up in a time of economic and social uncertainty, may approach parenting with a more sceptical and pragmatic mindset. They may encourage their children to be adaptable and resilient. Though they are new to all technological advancement happening around, they have accepted it with open mind set and attuned themselves adapting with the changes and are trying to be in sync with the generation of their children.
Generation X, also called Gen Xers, grew up with minimal adult supervision, quickly learning the value of independence and work-life balance. They also appreciate informality, are technologically adept, flexible and highly educated as they did not have the liberty to use internet or google instantaneously.
Parenting by Gen – Y:
- Helicopter parenting: Gen – Y, in contrast, are often associated with “helicopter parenting,” characterized by a high level of involvement and supervision in their children’s lives. This may stem from a desire to protect and support their children in a rapidly changing world. The parents want their children to excel in all aspects of life and not limit themselves only with either academics or sports.
- Technology integration: Gen – Y are the first generation to fully embrace and integrate technology into their daily lives. This extends to parenting, with many Gen – Y using technology to monitor and engage with their children viz: Installation of Camera’s in residence, classes, school, allowing to use cell phone/smart watches etc. Tracking their progress in school on daily basis through school dashboards, what’sapp groups etc.
- Focus on positive reinforcement: Gen – Y parents may be more inclined towards positive reinforcement and fostering a child’s self-esteem. They often value open communication with their children and encourage a more collaborative parent-child relationship. Gen – Y parents do not have any apprehension in discussing or educating their children on topics of adult education, women issues and other subjects which were considered as taboo in the earlier times.
Generation Y are confident and ambitious. They are not afraid to question authority, are constantly seeking out new challenges and want meaningful work. Generation Y typically want to be part of a team, but at the same time they desire to be in the spotlight.
In conclusion, parenting styles within Generation X and Gen Y can vary greatly. Generation X parents tend to take a hands-off approach, emphasising independence and work-life balance. They are adaptable to technological advancements and encourage resilience in their children. In contrast, Gen-Y parents often practice helicopter parenting, using technology to monitor and engage with their children’s lives. They value positive reinforcement, and open communication, and strive to foster a collaborative parent-child relationship. However, it’s essential to remember that these are generalisations, and individual parenting styles can differ widely. Factors such as societal influences, economic circumstances, and personal experiences shape the approach to parenting within each generation. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting as each parent brings their unique background and values to the role.