The power of the generation Z cannot and should not be underestimated and this is the reason why we need to understand the Gen Z to be able to adjust to their needs and help nurture them as intentional parents.
Generation Z possesses character traits that are peculiar to only their generation and we need to recognize these traits to be able to effectively function as parents.
Characteristics of the Gen Z
- They want to be independent. This is the main reason why they like to be left alone at times and want to do things their way. Little wonder why the generation Z has a large number of independent entrepreneurs!
- Gen Z believes in having a seat at the decision table. In order words, they want to be part of the dialogue that affects society, and they want to effect change. It can be seen from the #EndSARS protests and movement that the majority of the protesters are from the generation Z!
- In the aspect of grit, only a few of the generation Z have it. The resilience to see a cause to the end and not want quick or immediate results is not one of their strong points.
- They sometimes question the curriculum in the educational system. They ask “why to learn all this when it seems outdated?” and they’re not mistaken. The jobs which the children of generation Z would do have not even been created yet. So, we have to teach them skills that will prepare them for the future, now.
- They are creative! From the writing sector to arts and cinematography, generation Z is creating new ways and ideas on how to do things.
Despite all these, generation Z are still misunderstood by their parents.
Understanding the misconceptions about the generation Z
- The Millenials think the generation Z are lazy and feel entitled. However, current happenings in Nigeria as regards the protests have shown that the reverse is the case.
- Also, they are misunderstood to only communicate online. This is not entirely true as the generation Z love to “hang out” with their peers. The physical protests for the #EndBadGovernance instead of just online protests are an indicator of this too.
- Furthermore, some of the older generations believe the generation Z are uncertain about the future. This is not entirely true. Most of the gen Z have their lives planned and when they believe in a cause, they stick to it.
- Generation Z thinks they know it all. This is also a misconception. Rather many gen Z are ready to learn, upgrade their skills, and become better at their craft.
- They have realistic dreams and aspirations, as opposed to what parents might think.
They are several other misconceptions and knowing them would help parents in understanding the power of generation Z and their growth.
How to understand the power of generation Z and help them grow
- Train them to enjoy learning and see it as a fun activity. If they grow up to be lifelong learners, they would be inclined to learn skills that would be useful to them in securing future jobs.
- Encourage them to consume passively. Since they spend most of their time on social media, it is important to help them consume only the relevant pieces of information.
- Parents should choose schools that have a clear vision for their students and a standard curriculum. Read here: The type of education children need for the future.
- Also, the need to identify their strengths and areas of interest is important. This will be of great help as the parent can guide them on what and what not to do regarding such interest. Afterwards, expose them to experts around the globe from whom they can learn.
- In addition, letting them explore is important too. Not all children will be able to identify their interests without enough exposure so that too is important.
In these troubling times, parents should make sure they discuss with their generation Z children on the need to stay safe even as they advocate for a better Nigeria. #EndBadGovernance
Read how to raise children who are lifelong learners.