Understanding Generation Z
Today’s teens need different things from their parents — and their activities. The CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs has some advice for decoding these kids.
Stretching back decades, parents and kids have regarded one another as alien beings. But today’s teens — Generation Z — really are dramatically different, according to Steve Robertson, CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs.
“They’re growing up in a world that’s never existed before,” he said. “This is the first generation we’ve ever seen that is being mentored entirely by their peers around the world and not by the generation that came before them.
“It’s really exciting — and really scary, because the mentoring and the guidance that previous generations have offered is no longer there.”
Generation Z (roughly defined as those born from the mid-1990s through the mid-2010s) is different from the Millennial cohort. They grew up with uncertainty and upheaval, from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.
As a result, they’re cautious, with a mindset that’s more like your grandparents’ than your own.
They’re the smartphone generation, always ready with an Instagram update. But they’ve also turned inward, Robertson said, skipping getting driver’s licenses or going out to the high school beer bash.
While that might make parents feel safer because their kids are at home, Robertson said, all that isolation can be dangerous.
“This is the loneliest and most depressed generation, with the highest suicide rate we’ve ever seen,” he said. “Parents are not yet aware how to bridge that gap.”
So, what can parents do? Robertson’s advice: understand that Generation Z kids are creative self-starters who crave experiences to help them find what they’re most interested in.
“Once they get past that first experience and find something they’re passionate about, they really will dig deep,” he said. “They don’t need the dad or the mom or the teacher or the professors to tell them what to do, because while you’re talking, they’re going online to find out if what you’re saying is true.”
Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs, which operates at locations all over the Philadelphia region, is re-engineering what it offers to be more collaborative and reach Generation Z where they are. Parents need to “look under the hood” and do the same thing, Robertson said.
“Parents need to download the latest update on parenting,” he said. “They really need to understand who these kids are, and how they tick, in order to be impactful in raising them up.
“Deliberate parenting done right with some of this understanding brings about fantastic results in this creative, entrepreneurial generation, so do it!”
Want to know more about what Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs has to offer? Call 610-265-9401, or visit us online for more information.
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Photographs courtesy of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs.