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How to Raise and Understand Your Child with Gen Z Characteristics

How to Raise and Understand Your Child with Gen Z Characteristics

Your teen has been glued to her phone all day. And no matter how many times you try to ask to put it down and engage with people in the house, she just keeps on coming back to it. When you try to confiscate it, she has a tantrum. Do these Gen Z characteristics sound familiar to you? How do you raise a Gen Z child?

If you are worried or frustrated about your Gen Z child, you’re not alone. What do these Gen Z characteristics tell you about how to raise them? And how can they help you to understand them? Let’s find out more about it here.

Bridging the Gap Between Generations

Categorizing people based on their age bracket, or defining them in generations, allows us to better understand them in terms of life stages. Whether a person is a young adult, a middle-aged parent, or a retiree, each one plays a significant role in the society we now live in.

These generational cohorts from previous studies provide researchers with a tool for analyzing changes in attitudes and characteristics over time. It caters to some level of understanding of different formative experiences and shifts, which help mold people’s worldviews. Moreover, it serves as a guide in examining how older adults and younger ones feel towards a certain issue. This enables finding a descriptive fit on how views may differ among generations.

The most common generations identified are:

  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • Generation X (born 1965-1976)
  • Millennials or Generation Y (born 1977-1995)
  • Generation Z (born 1996 – present)

Many people tend to differentiate Gen Zs according to differences in digital technology. But, understanding generations entails more, such as acknowledging how societal changes influence individuals. And, as the world changes at an increasing rate, people must keep up with this understanding.

Dividing groups of people into generations is not meant to polarize people. However, by understanding how past experiences influence today’s perceptions, everyone can interact more effectively and compassionately. This works the same with parenting a child with Gen Z characteristics.

Who Are the Gen Zs? What Are Core Gen Z Characteristics?

Generation Z, or Gen Z, refers to those born from 1996 onwards. Currently, they are preteens, teenagers or young adults. Gen Zs are mostly known for being the most diverse in both racial and ethical terms. In addition to that, they are also on track to be the most educated.

Kids often project different Gen Z characteristics, foremost their knowledge of the world wide web.

They Are the First Digital Natives

One of the most notable Gen Z characteristics is their natural and organic use of technology. While the Millennials are the “digital pioneers” who witnessed the explosion of technology and social media, Gen Zs were born into a world of peak technological innovation — a time when information was always instantly accessible and social media was already a dominant form of communication.

These technological advancements have both positive and negative effects on this particular generation. For one, a huge amount of information is now available right at their fingertips. This allows them to widen their knowledge and be proactive in their learning. The flip side to these benefits are feelings of isolation and underdeveloped social skills brought about by excessive screen time.

They Are Pragmatic and Financially-Minded

Another key Gen Z characteristic is financial awareness. Several Gen Zs grew up witnessing their parents suffer significant financial losses during recent recessions. As a result of this, they find motivation in pragmatism and security.

They Are Clever and Media-savvy Consumers

Because of their profound knowledge of the technological world, they use it to their advantage in making informed purchasing decisions. Their pragmatism translates them to investigate and assess a variety of options before settling on a product of choice.

Similar to how they use social media to curate their own “branding,” they view their consumer choices as an expression of their values and identity.

They Are Most Likely To Have Poor Mental Health

Unfortunately, mental issues also take up a portion of the list of Gen Z characteristics. Some people may refer to this as the “loneliest generation” with 27% reporting fair or poor mental health.

Other distinct Gen Z characteristics include:

  • More self-sufficient
  • More business-minded
  • Better communicators
  • More competitive

Moreover, they also exhibit some kind of motivation in their professional and financial objectives, all while having that sense of security.

How To Support Your Child with Gen Z Characteristics

You may find Gen Z kids to be quite overwhelming, especially with how generational differences come into play. But, there are practical ways to show your support to your child. And at the same time, these behaviors can help you to raise them well.

1. Be With Them

Do not allow your work to take away too much of your time to be with your child. Make time to bond with them and enjoy the activities they also love doing.

You may set a weekly play date with them and your partner to promote family bonding and keep the relationship strong. Try board game nights, or cooking together, away from laptop or TV screens.

2. Learn Their Language

To be able to have better communication with them, it may be best if you learn some Gen Z terms. It would also help if you update yourself with the latest trends and topics so you can find something to discuss. Are you being sus or cheugy, mommy? Time to yeet that behavior!

3. Take Time To Listen

As mentioned earlier, Gen Zs may need more of your understanding and support as they grow older and face challenges in life. Listen to their most random thoughts, rants, and stories.

It may take a while to understand where they are coming from. But, it is far more important that they know you are there, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.

Key Takeaway

In many ways, Gen Z differs from millennials. They may present themselves differently from how you are accustomed to, which you may find difficult to adjust to. But, you need not worry as you will slowly learn the art of parenting a child with Gen Z characteristics.

Learn more about Parenting here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Different Generations: Where Millenials End and Generation Z Begins, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/ Accessed December 28, 2021

Gen Y, Millennials, and Gen Z: Do You Know the Difference? https://www.kent.edu/yourtrainingpartner/gen-y-millennials-and-gen-z-do-you-know-difference Accessed December 28, 2021

On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far, https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/05/14/on-the-cusp-of-adulthood-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far-2/ Accessed December 28, 2021

Stress in America: Generation Z, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf Accessed December 28, 2021

What Are the Core Characteristics of Generation Z? https://www.aecf.org/blog/what-are-the-core-characteristics-of-generation-z Accessed December 28, 2021

Who Is Gen Z and How Will They Impact the Workplace? https://www.wgu.edu/blog/who-is-gen-z-how-they-impact-workplace1906.html#close Accessed December 28, 2021

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Written by Via Roderos, MD, MBA Updated Mar 30