8 Amazing Things You Need to Know About the Gen Z Kid You're Raising
Congratulations, Gen Z parents! You already know what the rest of the world is learning: Gen Z kids and young adults are a whole new brand of cool.
Generational parameters are not rigidly uniform, so you may see some competing date ranges about who qualifies as a Gen Z.
Gen Zs are also called the "pivotal generation" because they are moving away from the norms that defined their predecessors. There are a vast and interesting group, but if you've got one of two of them, you already know that.
Here's why they are positioned to take our world by storm.
They are many, and they are diverse
According to Kids Count Data Center, in 2012, 53 percent of American children under the age of 18 were non-Hispanic whites; by 2016, that figure was 51 percent.
This demographic trend continues. The Goldman Sachs report notes that it will solidify Gen Z's status as the first American cohort "to be majority non-white."
They are "digital natives"
Those terse conversations and impassioned negotiations that you and your kids have about screen time are not unique to this generation. But the fact that your 7-year-old has never known a day when the internet didn't exist and she's well-versed in its use, that's a digital native for ya.
While this may make for some challenges, it also hones communication skills and a global awareness.
Millennial speaker and generations expert Ryan Jenkins explains, "[A]s more of the world comes online, geographies will continue to shrink. Generation Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions, and relateability . . . Connectivity has reframed for Generation Z how effortless it is to communicate and collaborate across the globe. Generation Z will be a boundary-less generation."
They are ready to work hard and to earn their place
Gen Zs are not waiting around to be handed opportunities or success. They are eager to do their time to earn their place. In this way, their generation is reminiscent of their grandparents'.
Forbes contributor Jeff Fromm writes, "Earnest, hardworking, and driven by traditional views of success regarding money, education, and career advancement, pivotals resemble Boomers in their attitudes."
Gen Zs are future-focused and financially conservative
Gen Zs are making plans. Survey results compiled by the Lincoln Financial Group reveal that 64 percent of Gen Z are researching and discussing their financial plans. The study finds that these enterprising young people started engaging in this reconnaissance at an average age of 13.
The analysis also notes that kids are currently managing money: 64 percent of respondents own savings accounts.
The Gen Zs surveyed indicate that their top priorities are (in this order): get a job, earn a college degree, and build a bank of savings for the future. The Goldman Sachs report adds, "Gen Z appears acutely focused on the financial consequences of their decisions."
Love those priorities, kids!
They are realists
Gen Z kids understand what it feels like to struggle. This has shaped their world view. The Goldman Sachs report notes that these young people are being raised "during a time marred by economic stress, rising student debt burdens, socioeconomic tensions, and war overseas, these youths carry a less idealistic, more pragmatic perspective on the world."
They feel the pull of the gig economy
Have your grade schoolers tried to get you to back their slime business? Are they itching to sell their crafts or artwork on Etsy? Are they angling to amass a YouTube audience to showcase their gaming prowess, sports card collectables savvy, or creative skills? Gen Zs are interested in the gig economy, and they are eager to find ways to participate.
Jenkins describes why this typifies Gen Zs: "Indeed, members of this generation want their career roles and routes to be as diverse as their personal interests."
Gen Zs are planting those seeds now.
They relish face time
Gen Zs are stoppers-by and poppers-in. Jenkins explains that face-to-face communication is a welcome mode for this cohort and notes, "Generation Z is positioned as the ideal generation to finally strike the right balance between online and offline workplace communications."
They are fluent in the language of authenticity and inclusion
Gen Zs are eager to find their place in the world, and making room for others is a no-brainer in their world view. Gen Zs see diversity and inclusion as essential to social life. And they don't just extend this flexibility to others; they know that they deserve it, too. They have been coached to challenge socially constructed norms about ability, beauty, and body image and to accept themselves for the people they are.
These generational values are not just cerebral. Gen Zs also wear their cultural mores on their sleeves. Refinery 29 author Erin Cunningham writes, "[Gen Zs] gravitate toward brands that promote a diverse, gender-neutral, edgy, and above all, authentic, vision. The old rules that the fashion industry has lived and died by (like status symbols and mass trends) ring hollow to them."
Gen Zs are a deep, sincere, and hopeful generation; they are exactly what our world needs.