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Understanding Millennials

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Kelly Bryant

on 6 November 2016

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Transcript of Understanding Millennials

Each new generation will correct the perceived "excesses" of the current midlife generation
(Howe & Strauss)
Who's in the room?
The Millennial Mindset
Favorite childhood cartoon character
Type of phone(s) used when you were growing up
Most popular music artist/group from your teens
Memorable national or global tragedy that occurred while you were school-age
Most advanced technology on your college campus
Who are the Millennials?
Born between 1982-2000; their current age is 13-31.
Close to parents and conventionally-minded
Ethnically diverse and tolerant
First generation of "digital natives"; also knows as the Net Generation and MTV Generation
Experienced 9/11, Columbine, Clinton/Lewinsky, O.J., and the first cloned sheep
Famous Millennials: The Olsen Twins, Paris Hilton, Lebron James
After this session, you will be prepared to:

Describe generational differences between the current living generations.
Respond to Millennial youth based on the knowledge of 7 core traits.
Practice the 4 skills of relating to teens based on developmental psychology.
Generational Comparisons: Baby Boomers
Communication across the Gap
What made the Millennials?
The Making of a Generation
Generational Comparisons: Generation X
Are we ready for Millennials?
"It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a society to raise a generation"
Economic & Political Conditions
Societal Norms
Major Crises
4 Options
Ignore it.
Resist it.
Ride it.
Lead it.
Howe & Strauss, 2007
7 Core Traits
The psychology of relating to teens
What is a teen?
4 Skills for Relating to Teens
Generational Comparisons: Generation X
The Trouble with Assumptions
Ignores individual differences
Based on middle class norms
Minimizes confounding influences of race, gender, acculturation, etc.
"People don't mind being led when they are led well" (Jacobs et al., 2012)
Until the 17th century, there were only 2 recognized stages in life: infancy & adulthood

Education -specifically age-related grading and the invention of the printing press- led to the recognition/invention of adolescence

Since the 1960's, children have been considered individuals protected by the Bill of Rights (In re Gault, 1967)

Today's teens trade adult freedom and privilege for extended support and nurturance
(Jaffe, 1998; Henderson & Thompson, 2011)
Each generation looks at the next generation skeptically. "These kids today..." (Howe & Strauss, 2007)
Generational Comparisons: The Silent Generation (Traditional)
Grew up in a "do without" era
Comfortable with hierarchy
Uncomfortable with ambiguity and change
Sacrifice and savings (delayed gratification)
Major events: Great Depression, The New Deal, Pearl Harbor
Famous Silents: JFK, Malcolm X, Shirley Temple
Grew up in one of the healthiest economies
Defined by job
Love-hate relationship with management
Vocal and liberal
Major events: Civil Rights Movement, Women's lib, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis, Moon landing, Assassination of JFK and MLK
Famous Boomers: Oprah, Jay Leno, Madonna
Grew up when national institutions were coming under question
Self-reliant, latch-key kids
Cynical but open to change
End of lifelong employment
Major events: Energy crisis begins, massive corporate layoffs, AIDs
Famous Gen X'ers: Barak Obama, Michael Jordan, Jennifer Lopez
Marketed to since birth
Computers are not technology
Reality is no longer real
Staying connected is essential
Consumer/creator lines are blurred
Self-expression valued over self-control
Need and expect feedback; silence=disapproval
Identify the gaps
Identify the Gaps
Be aware of your own attitudes and beliefs.
Educate yourself on adolescent development (particularly brain development)
Communicate in the "adult voice" (Payne, 1996)
Ask; don't assume.
Teens like to talk about themselves. Listen.
Accept their reality and values; creatively use them in helping.
Prepare for the dynamics of difference.
Make programming interesting.
Adapt your skill set. Don't try to adopt theirs.
Teach the skills the current generation "missed"
Use vs. Integration
Assumptions of Digital Natives
Membership is age-based
Possess greater technological skill and knowledge
Good at multi-tasking
Dr. Bob Hobgood, NC State
(*As compared to digital immigrants)
Forever Young?
What made the Millennials?
Average age of parents higher than before

Most parental education of all living generations--1 in 4 families have at least one parent with a college degree

Smaller families; 10% of families have only one child

Although over half of American families have divorced parents, more time is spent with children than ever before
Millenial Parents:
Societal Influences:
SRU Enrollment Services, 2010
SRU Enrollment Services, 2010
SRU Enrollment Services, 2010
Digital Natives Scenarios
Does the teen in your scenario fit the expectations of today's learners? Why or why not?

What resources or skills does the teen in your scenario lack?

How can the teen access the missing resources or skills?

Imagine this teen is enrolled in your program. How would you support them?
Does this describe today's youth?
"Youth annoy and contradict their parents."

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.

"Youth carry everything too far: they love to excess, they hate to excess- and so in all else. They think they know everything."

Jaffe, 1998
Contact Information
Kelly Williamson
Senior Case Manager, Safe Journey Program
Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg
And what about Generation Z?
Born between 1995-2009
Strong work ethic resulting from more mature parents and the economic downturn
"Careful" mindset
Creative and innovative
"Normal" users of technology
Hyper-connected and "in the moment"
Most home-schooled generation
Full transcript