TEEN TALK: Understanding how to effectively raise 'Generation Z'ers'

Understanding how to effectively raise 'Generation Z'ers'.jpg
Understanding how to effectively raise 'Generation Z'ers'.jpg
Posted at 12:55 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 12:55:00-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) - You've likely heard of Millenials, but what about Generation Z?

They're teens born in the mid-1990s and mid-2000s and one grandmother needs advice on raising her Generation Z'ers. Family Therapist Jane Marks joined us with some tips:

Question: I am part of a new generation of grandparents who is tasked with raising my teenage grandchildren. Their parents were unfortunately lost in a car crash and the good news is that we have been involved with these children all of their lives. However, please give me your sense of what this Z Generation means. I hear them talk about this all of the time. But I want to make sure that we are clear about what it means to be part of this generation. For us it is a learning curve, but we would be interested in your thoughts.

Answer: That's an interesting question. Most researchers now define Generation Z as that population born between 1995 and 2014. In order words, from the mid 90's to the early 2000's. Interestingly, this includes up to 25% of the US population making it one of the largest segments of the population to date. It is an interesting demographic. Typically, this is what we hear about the Generation Z characteristics:

1. Generation Z uses smart phones 15.4 hours per week, more than any other type of device. They consume approximately 13 hours of television, which means they spend more time on their smart phones than they do on TV. This is different for most grandparents who are monitoring TV viewing.

2. Generation Z differs from the past generation of Millennials in that they tend to be better multi-taskers, in school they will create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or their tablets while taking notes on a notepad. They can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play.

3. These teens tend to be less focused. They live in a world of continuous updates. Generation Z processes information faster than any other generation thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine, thus their attention span might be significantly lower than millennials. Grandparents need to be fully educated on Snapchat, Instagram and social networks like Vine. Teens tend to respond to these sites often and quickly.

4. Generation Z is a generation that is full of early starters. More employers predict that teens between the ages of 16 and 18 will go straight into the workplace opting out of traditional routes of higher education and instead finishing high school online.

5. Gen Z likes to figure things out on their own. They tend to be more entrepreneurial. Gen Z acts more from an entrepreneurial perspective. They desire more independent work, more independent work environments and as a matter of fact when you survey teens, 72% of them now say they want to start their own businesses.

6. Generation Z's were born social. In fact, nearly 90% of Generation Z has a digital footprint. Arguably, as a result of the celebrities and media they follow. Generation Z seeks uniqueness in all walks of life, primarily through the brands. So many teens are about the business of branding themselves.

7. Generation Z is more global. Millennials were considered the first global generation with the development of the internet, but this Generation Z have become more global in their thinking and their interactions. When you interview Generation Z they are very honest about not only their looking at the world in a global way, but they will also be more honest about their addictions to digital services, i.e., computer, smart phone. They say that that is truly a part of their lives and feel a tremendous loss when they are not connected in some way to the internet or their phones.

8. Research shows that Generation Z's students self-identity demonstrates loyalty, compassion, thoughtful, open minded, responsible and determined.

9. Generation Z tends to be extremely revolutionary when it comes to entrepreneurial prospects. And that is because they have access to social media platforms, website builders, 3D printers and drop shipping platforms that provide them with opportunities to start a business at a very young age. The internet has provided a store front for Generation Z to sell their items to people around the world, which is happening.

10. Grandparents need to be mindful of that Generation Z is prone to more loneliness because of their connectiveness to social media. So as grandparents, it is important that you put into place opportunities for church attendances, friendship building, experiences that nurture communication because it is such an easy access for them to use simply social media.