Preparation X

A Survey and Review of Attitudes and Beliefs of Generation X Pharmacy Students is one article I came across in a lookup I am doing. When we talk about Twixters we are talking about this Gen-X. I was interested in this due to some of the sermons I heard over the time of the conference.

I. myself have two separately generation-designated groups of children in my family, due to the fact that I broke the mold on having 2.3 or whatever children. For me as a parent I knew that I had two sets within one family and that while all my friends moved onto a different stage of life, I found myself thrown in with women one or two decades younger than myself… in life dynamics. Now that my Gen-X’ers are on their own I thought I would compare notes with others observations.

(1)”his students who seem to be motivated by, among other characteristics, a sense of entitlement.”

This was a strong influence in a backward way, for us. My kids felt very denied because I insisted on oldfashioned values of working hard and you don’t get everything you want, etc. I, myself, traded materialistic gain for that of having the number of children I did and for having the things I thought would be important for them. None of which was designer labeled.

They felt denied. They also expressed anger that I wasn’t like all the other moms -who worked. Like being with griping kids who vomit, and tattle and need training isn’t work… but yeah, I was the only SAHM on my block.

So this was one characteristic within the culture for that generation- and those who facilitated that did these kids no favors. Because as we all know, the nineties bubble of yuppism burst, and left all those entitled kids out on their own -trying to make a living.

Ok. That’s is all for now; I will try to take it up in coming posts.

[Gen X] have long existed in what I call a Lord of the Flies World in which, without adult intervention and engagement, they create their own rules and live with more danger than we might imagine. ( MIT admissions staff,Marilee Jones, on observations of the generations @ MIT)

She brought up the newer generation, the Millenials or the “Abercrombie Generation”.

There have to be better names than that, right?
I suppose it comes from here:
as Penny Rue writes….
Howe and Strauss identify seven distinguishing characteristics for the Millennial Generation:

* Special—It has been communicated by the culture to the Millennials that they are special and vital to the future of the nation. They are also central to their parents’ sense of purpose. Many of their Boomer parents delayed having children until they were financially secure, and a rising proportion went through extraordinary measures to conceive. Unlike the latchkey Gen-Xers, these young people know they are special.
* Sheltered—Since the 1990s, there has been a major youth safety movement. We now see kids decked out in helmets and pads to ride bikes and strapped into elaborate car seats that would survive a nuclear explosion. Baby on Board signs and Tot-finders stickers were created for this generation. The Boomer parents of Millennials tend to be over-protective.
* Confident—Millennials have a high level of trust and optimism in comparison to previous generations. They are hopeful of the future and enjoy strong connections with their parents. It remains to be seen whether the September 11 terrorist attacks and recent economic downturn will significantly alter this characteristic.
* Team-oriented—The Millennials have spent much of their time working and learning in groups. As such, they have established tight peer bonds.
* Achieving—This generation may well become the best-educated American generation. They are goal-directed and achievement-oriented, with even sixteen-year-olds creating resumes for themselves.
* Pressured—Millennials are pushed to study hard and avoid personal risks, pressured to succeed. This generational characteristic is exacerbated at U.Va., where most of our students have enjoyed success in literally everything they have undertaken up until now. A first B on an exam can throw them for a loop.
* Conventional—Millennials, as a generation, will support conventional social rules and standards of behavior.

Well, that is supposed to be the later group, but back to Gen X and how different these groups are. My experience says, yes, they are different… but I am not entirely sure why, or that the reasons given are all that accurate. Anyway here is an eloquent quote:

I think there was a trade-off somewhere along the line. I think the price we paid for our golden life was an inability to fully believe in love; instead we gained an irony that scorched everything it touched. And I wonder if this irony is the price we paid for the loss of God.

But then I remind myself we are living creatures, we have religious impulses, we must, and yet into what cracks do these impulses flow in a world without religion? It is something I think about every day. Sometimes I think it is the only thing I should be thinking about (Coupland, 1994: 272-274 Generation X).

One of my own observations is that they really don’t like to be classified. It is human to want to be ‘unique” … but among the GenX there is resistance to the idea that someone outside your experience can know about you. And this from one of the most peer-oriented of groups. I have to laugh when one of my GenX children tries to motivate one of the younger ones with the peer-orientation that worked so well amongst their own group. It doesn’t have the intended effect. Withdrawing peer approval is high motivation for them, but they are surprised to find it doesn’t have universal effect.
Welcome to my world, where my high idealism fell upon flat expressions.

5 thoughts on “Preparation X”

  1. The January issue of Time magazine (one good thing about visiting the dentist?!) included a cover article regarding these stunted young people—they were dubbed “Twixters” there. My older children have thanked us for not spoiling them in this fashion. And–I suspect that you know this blessing well, Ilona–they encourage us to stay on course with our little ones and they articulate to our babies the importance of moderation, going without, delaying gratification, and valuing people over things.

  2. Actually, my children are recently coming to appreciate their upbringing. They’ve been making their lives in the world now, and seen some of the outcomes. I would have spared them that, experience is a hard teacher…


    Do you fit any of these situations? Do you have a different situation you want to share? If so email me a current photo along with your contact information.


    Is your grown child (20-something’s only) still living at home and YOU think it’s time for them to move out? Are you tired of paying their way? If you want them to finally grow up and need some help.


    My boyfriend’s mom wont let him move out or I’m upset that my boyfriend refuses to move out.


    He lives at home because his mother does his laundry and cooks for him.


    No reason the he lives at home he is just too lazy to move out.

    Email me your story

  4. Ian- you wouldn’t happen to front for Jerry Springer by any chance, would you?

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