Two Fathers Share Important Lessons You Need to Know About Raising Gen Z

Two fathers, share important lessons you need to know about raising Gen Z. As parents and a society, we need to understand Gen Z and be aware of their position as the first true digital natives.

The LagosMums 7th Annual Parenting Conference themed Gen Z – Growth and Grit was all about understanding Gen Z. During the fireside chat with Mr Labi Williams, an investment executive, and Mr Praise Fowowe, the principal consultant for Praise Fowowe International; they discussed their understanding of Gen Z and their traits.

Read also Highlights from the 7th Annual Parenting Conference

Hear two fathers weigh in on Gen ZImportant Lessons on Gen Z according to Mr Praise Fowowe

According to him, this is the generation that has been sent to question everything. Unlike before when there were so many things we; the older generation; believed over time and did not troubleshoot. These beliefs were just slapped on us, installed by our parents that we couldn’t question; and whether those things were right or wrong, we did not know.

And furthermore, when we found out that some of those things were not right, we did not dare to confront them because the majority of the people practised it.

Mr Fowowe described Gen Z as the punishment that the divine power has sent to us for the inability to question our parents.

Gen Z is the punishment that the divine power has sent to us for the inability to question our parents. - Praise Fowowe Click To Tweet

Mr Praise Fowowe

How Genz Z is Different

He stated how we use gadgets as opposed to the fact that Gen Z was born with gadgets; therefore, we had to learn but it was somewhat a part of their DNA formation. This knowledge is important when it comes to raising Gen Z. 

Sometimes, Gen Z may come across as a misbehaving generation, but he thinks it’s just a generation that is fearless. He shared that part of the important lessons you need to know about raising GenZ is that they are a generation who want to work as collaborators. In addition, they want to be part of decision making and discussions; from what we eat as a family to the next vacation. 

Gen Z tends to wear parents out, and he stated that parents need to understand that you cannot be a child’s teacher, without first becoming a student. So you need to understand them, and realize that they are not being rude; if we embrace what they have come with, we will become better parents, because we will now begin to check what we have believed may not be correct.

And for the first time, they can get to the root of many of the things that had been slapped on us; and begin to embrace what is true and what is right.

Parents need to understand that you cannot be a child's teacher, without first becoming a student Click To Tweet

The Traditional Nigerian Gen Z vs digital native

He stated that we need to put it in a context that Gen Z is a descriptive word; meaning a typical 15-year-old in Sokoto state, for example, is not a 15 year old in Lagos.

For a child who lives in a village, in the north or south of the country, who has never seen a mobile phone, or made use of the internet; we cannot lump them into the same Gen Z description because their realities are so different. 

When it comes to the Nigerian context, we need to understand the influences and circumstances that our children from different classes and cultures face.

Age Orientation for Parents Raising Gen Z

There are certainly some important lessons you need to know about raising GenZ based on the age of your child. As a parent, there is a curriculum to follow as your child advances in age.

From ages 0-3

Parents with children in this age range need to be scouts. You need to observe what your child is doing and pick those signals. Your ability to interpret those signals accurately is key to understanding your child. However, unfortunately, not many of us can do that.

Ages 4 to 7

At this age, you are supposed to be a model. This is the age where you model competence, character, and values to your children. Additionally, you need to model to them through your lifestyle, because they learn from what they see you do.

From ages 7 to 9

At this level, you are to be an instructor. This is the age that you aggressively pump into their mind, the information that will enhance what you have observed from ages 0-3.

Ages 10 to 12

You are supposed to be a friend; that is the age many of us lose our children because you think they can take care of themselves. However, this is the age when parents need to be their friends. Where you’re talking about everything and when they should be free to learn things from you and you also learn from them.

From ages 13 to 18

You are supposed to be a coach; at the level of a coach you are no longer enforcing things, you are balancing perspectives. But if you don’t manage the transition from friendship to coaching, you are going to lose them because they won’t come to you.

From ages 19

The important lesson you need to know by this age is that you are now a cheerleader or technical advisor. At this age, your teenagers are no longer obliged to obey you and it is the past relationships you cultivated that will carry you through. 

your teenagers are no longer obliged to obey you and it is the past relationships you cultivated that will carry you through. Click To Tweet

Important Lessons for Parents with Online Safety

Furthermore, Praise Fowowe stated that parents need to ensure that they instil and teach the right values so that when they go online, their children have already mastered their identity. This is because, for Gen Z, everything they find online is a direct attack on their identity. All this information and content they are exposed to online is what is considered the new normal. 

As a result, they feel that they are being consistently judged, and can easily feel out of place when the majority of people are doing something, they are not. So, the most important lesson you need to teach is that because everyone is doing something does not make it right. Likewise, because you are the only one doing a certain thing doesn’t make it wrong.

You can encourage your child to create his or her own positive influence and become the ancestor of the new order of peer pressure. 

How to Ensure Grit in Gen Z

Furthermore, he described grit in a rather unfamiliar word, which is ‘sticktoitiveness’. It is the staying power, or the ability to stay in there till the goal is achieved.

Gen Z can be easily distracted, and parents need to make them understand, that even great people encounter failure and therefore they should learn to stick with their goals. So, grit is their ability to set a goal and stick to it, even when they don’t feel like it. This is because great people are those who have learned to stay consistent and persist when it comes to attaining their goals. 

So, grit is their ability to set a goal and stick to it, even when they don't feel like it. This is because great people are those who have learned to stay consistent and persist when it comes to attaining their goals. Click To Tweet

It is important for parents to leverage on some people who have become successful and highlight that they also failed several times. One such example is Thomas Edison, who failed many times but was persistent; this will help them to understand that failure is not bad.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work - Thomas Edison Click To Tweet

Mr Labi Williams’ Lessons on Raising Gen Z

He stated that Gen Z has a lot of access to information and sees what is happening at their fingertips. However, as a parent, we can do so much more to contextualize what they’re seeing. This places more responsibility on parents because you may not know; so you may also have to go out and do your research. Raising Gen Z today includes keeping in the back of your mind that Children today are exposed to a lot of information. 

Labi Williams

Teaching your child to cope with failure

According to Mr Williams, teaching children to handle failure positively is so important. In the book ‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth, the author shared a very interesting summary about having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.

Also, parents can unknowingly undermine their children, a bit more than, encouraging. The way you respond to your child can help them further develop a growth mindset.

Especially in his day and age where Gen Z can get distracted easily or give up when things are tough; comments such as “You tried your best”, “Don’t feel bad you can’t do it”, “It’s not your strength, don’t worry” can limit a child.

However, comments such as “what can we try next time”, and ” don’t feel bad if you can’t do it yet” are focusing on the growth mindset. This is because these are focusing on while they might not have achieved what they wanted, they can think about how to try something different later. It helps them to aim for higher standards and are concrete ways for parents to motivate their children. 

You can catch the replay of the LagosMums Parenting Conference stream here on the LagosMums YouTube Channel

This post was originally posted on 23 November 2020

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