Parenting is a challenge in itself, no matter which generation it is. But the parents of Generation Z have to face very different struggles as compared to their parents. Those born in 1995 and onward are called Generation Z or Gen Zers. This generational cohort is the most populous one till now at more than two billion individuals.
About Generation Z
Gen Zers differ from millennials a great deal. They are not growing up as fast as their counterparts from the 80s and 90s. If you have a child who is born between 1996 and 2010, you would always see them immersed in their world of laptops, phones, and binge-watching web series on Netflix or just scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram newsfeed.
Also, they are a lot less interested in working part-time, hanging out with friends, and even driving. Technology plays a significant role in this behavior. Most Gen Zers, regardless of their age group, prefer screen time over face-to-face social interaction. 80% of middle and high school students have smartphones, and they use them to the maximum extent.
An important thing to notice is that nowadays both the parents work to make ends meet. So what many parents are doing is resort to remote parental control monitoring software such as XNSPY to keep an eye on their children’s online activities, see what they are up to on the internet, and check their location from work.
Traits of Gen Zers
Forbes’ recent study has found that Gen Z is the most multicultural and ethnically diverse generation to ever exist in the United States. They demonstrate an evolved link and connection with ethnicity, race, and gender.
Here are a few traits of Gen Zers you should know:
Technology Comes Naturally to Them
You could name Gen Zers as true digital natives because they were born into a time when technology and smart devices rule pretty much everything from homes and schools to businesses and industries. So, if anything takes more than a few minutes to download, they would leave frustrated never to visit that page again.
They are Extremely Brand-Conscious
Gen Zers expect a lot from brands and are straightforward about what they expect from them. Consumer experience is important to them, and they only purchase from the brands that are loyal to them.
Gen Zers are pretty good at multi-tasking. You would see a child playing a game, texting, and watching a game on TV – all at once.
They are Money-Conscious
Compared to the previous generations, Gen Zers move forward with a more entrepreneurial mindset. They are prudent and take their time in deciding where they should spend and invest their money. They also analyze ways to save money for the future. Also, they are early earners.
They are Not Big on Owning Cars
In the previous generations, getting your car was a big deal. Now? Not so much. Gen Zers are not particularly thrilled by the idea of owning and driving a car. They would probably opt for carpool, ride-sharing, or getting an Uber to go to places. They want to do what’s good for the planet and the environment. They feel owning a car would cause unnecessary pollution, so they try to carpool and save some money in the process too.
So, raising these Gen Z tech-savvy children is no easy feat and calls for Parenting 4.0. According to experts, it is the new wave of parenting. This parenting style serves as a guideline for the parents of Gen Zers so that they could fulfill their aspirations and needs. Also, it will allow parents to better understand their behaviors, expectations, and life goals and know that Gen Zers are different in many ways from all of their predecessors.
Here are a few tips for you to parent Gen Z efficiently:
1. Indulge them in short family activities
As a parent of a Gen Z, you are aware that these kids don’t like to make a big deal out of quality, family time. Although it doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy it, they just want to keep things low-key. So, you can create small family moments exclusively for your kid so that they stay connected and develop a bond with you and the other family members.
These activities could be running an errand together, taking a walk, cooking something together, going to the beach, eating meals together, or something as simple as lounging around on lazy weekends. Also, these activities don’t necessarily have to be decided by you. Take time to do some activities they are into, such as playing games, shopping online, and watching Netflix. They are going to appreciate that you are trying to understand them. Showing the flexibility to change a few things in you according to your child is going to go a long way and initiate a strong and communicating relationship.
2. Plan a few tech-free activities for the real-world
A widely accepted notion is that Gen Zers is a generation of lazy loners. This is due to the massive amount of hours they spend with their screens instead of interacting with other people. As a parent, it is critical that you also encourage a few hours away from their laptop and mobile screens. Teach them how to communicate and interact with the real world without using the shield of their mobile screens.
Engage your children in activities that involve interacting with people and require talking to them. These can include random tasks such as ordering takeaway or anything else, or it could include some part-time job that requires them to be among people. The first thing to do so is limit screen time yourself. Plan such activities where no phones are involved, and you have to go outside and do something rather than sitting and staring at the screen.
Limiting screen time used to be a major hassle. Kids just did not want to give up their phones no matter what the circumstance. Their whole lives reside on that thing. Luckily, with the popularity of parental control monitoring software, limiting Gen Z’s screen time has never been more simple.
Parents may view their child’s social media history and how much time they spend on each site with software like XNSPY. They can then take the appropriate measures to limit their children’s phone usage if they feel their cell phone usage has become excessive. Instant messenger tracking and remote screen recording help parents view their kids’ phone activity and their conversations on popular instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp.
While planning outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, your children might become overstimulated and get lost in the moment, literally. No need to sound the alarm just yet. You can use XNSPY to locate the exact location of your kids in real-time. The app helps in keeping tabs on the whereabouts of your kid via its geofencing feature. The service sends you an alert when your kids enter or exit a geofenced location. You as parents have the option to set the geofencing parameters via the app’s online dashboard.
3. Integrating events with Screen time
As stated earlier, Generation Z was born in digital times. So, you cannot expect them to give up screens completely. Screens have been around them since they were born, so you can take some time out, but you cannot cut them off of their gadgets and phones. What you can do is plan things and make them work around screens. Urge your children to use the screens not only for entertainment but to gain knowledge and increase their learning.
Rather than reducing their screen time, you could transform it into something useful that they can benefit from. Your child could utilize their tech knowledge via freelancing, internships, remote working, distance/online learning, workshops, and a lot more. You can encourage your child to join informative groups and communities that could help him in his studies in the future. They end up using technology for learning new skills, and even making some money on the way. Also, they get exposure to different career options that are available to them. This way, they can analyze and create a path for themselves.
4. Listen to your Children!
You are the best example your child can have. They learn from you every single day and more so by what you do rather than what you teach them or ask them to do. So by setting a positive example of how you act, the way you behave, speak, and use screens, your children are going to follow suit. It is the best way to keep your child’s screen time and technology use in check.
By using hands-on methods to communicate effectively with them, parents may help their children if they are victims of bullying. This way, they can help a child’s mental and social development by teaching them good life values. It wasn’t possible earlier because parents couldn’t always monitor their children’s online activities and what they said or did. It’s now possible thanks to the monitoring software for parental control.
5. Respect their decisions
According to several social studies, Gen-Z is the most creative, independent, free-thinking generation there is. Gen-Z wants its ideas to be respected and they want their thoughts to matter. As parents, it is your duty to let them indulge in their free-spirited nature and let their ideas run wild. You should encourage them to openly discuss what their values and beliefs are and how you can let them explore these ideas practically and safely.
If you understand the psychology of Gen Zers and how it affects their learning abilities, you wouldn’t have a tough time raising and parenting them. You could certainly make it easy for yourself by using the tips and techniques of Parenting 4.0. Parents need to change their parenting style and learn from their Gen Z child’s choices, lifestyle, ideas, and thought processes as Gen Z happens to be more distinguished and diverse than any of the previous generations.
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