This article discusses how to better understand members of the Silent, Baby Boomer, X, Y, and Z Generations. More and more people, for reasons such as economic need, are living in extended families. These people can learn how to better understand the different generations among their family members and, in doing so, they can avoid needless family friction.
Members of the Silent Generation were born approximately between 1922 and 1943, and they number about 49 million. World War II taught them to be patriotic. Military service during the Korean War and careers in government and corporations trained them to be disciplined conformers. After having experienced the great depression, they were loyal to their government and to corporate employers who compensated them well. They are not as comfortable as younger people are with ambiguity, change, and technology. They have, however, vast amounts of wisdom, talent and skills, and they expect to be treated with dignity. They make excellent mentors, especially for Generation Y members.
The Baby Boomers were born approximately between 1944 and 1960, and they number about 80 million strong. By sheer force of their number, and their teamwork, learned in overcrowded public schools, they continue to remake American culture. This was the first generation that grew up with television, which made them aware of issues such as world poverty. Through the organizations such as the Peace Corps, they made their contributions.
Those in Generation X were born approximately between 1961 and 1980, and they number about 46 million strong. Events like Watergate made them skeptical of authority. As latchkey children of working mothers, they developed independence, and a desire for a work/life balance. The rapid increase in the use of computers early in their lives made them techno-literate, but they are less adept in people skills.
Members of the Generation Y, sometimes called the Millennials or Generation Next, were born approximately between 1981 and 2000, and they number about 70 million strong. As a result of the internet and cell phone explosion so early in their lives, they are the most techno-literate workforce generation. Because of social media web sites such as Facebook and Myspace, they are strong social networkers. As a result of the layoffs of earlier generations and scandals like Enron, they demand a work/life balance and have little loyalty to employers. Their limited work and life experiences, however, make them somewhat naïve and in need of mentors.
Members of Generation Z were born approximately from the year 2000 onward. Although this generation is not yet old enough to be described well, especially in terms of how many millions are in it, there are a few ways to portray them. There is widespread usage among them of the internet, and especially of social media web sites. Also, the Great Recession has left them with feelings of insecurity.
This article has given only a brief description of the five generations. World events affected the people in these generations during critical periods of their lives, Preppers would do well to further research the history of how their different family members became the people that they are today.