Obviously, Boomers do not see the world as Gen Z does. Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to present and interact with a group of 10-12th graders.
I opened and closed giving Gen Z loving and well intentioned life advice from Boomers. Although I had not directly asked what advice they had from Boomers, I walked away clear that they have some advice for us as well.
The students and I spent significant time discussing implicit bias and prevalent Boomer biases on gender, clothing, piercings, and tatoos.
Like fellow Boomers, I inherited my parents’ “Because I said so” attitude and demeanors. Our parents did not have or make the time for explanations. “No” was for our protection as we sought to assimilate and conform in a patriarchal and emerging industrial society.
Gen Z got how we Boomers were handed down some beliefs and traditions without question but they also peeked how fear and prejudices drive many of the strict, rigid, exclusionary prohibitions, rules, and expectations that still exist today.
The world has changed and what was a perceived threat back then is not a threat today. In fact, most things have changed since our traditionalist parents were kids. Life has evolved.
Gen Z has the benefit of that evolution. For them, self-expression and equality do not yield to senseless and harmful norms and rules.
Gen Z’s advice is that we examine our rules and update them and eliminate the unnecessary ones.
Does hair color make a difference? If the goal of playing is to have fun, why do we restrict who can play with certain toys? Why restrict clothes or who people date?
Boomers, it’s time we go through our rules like we spring clean our closets. Toss out our favorite sweater which is now a moth eaten rag and pass down the few valuable items that withstand time. Need help? Text a Gen Z’er.
Additional Resource: Read Poorvi Adavi’s What We Can Learn from the Gen Z Generation at https://www.criticalmention.com/blog/marketing/what-we-can-learn-from-the-gen-z-generation/