Most of us are familiar with the major 20th-century generations like Millennials and Generation Z, and a lot is known about their personality traits and aspirations. Another new generation that has emerged in recent times is the Generation Alpha. This generation generally consists of Millennials’ off-springs, with the oldest of this generation still in their school years. Generation Alpha represents all those children born between 2010 and (until) 2025. This generation has already influenced the technology, politics, and marketing trends of the present world. Unfortunately, they have also been subjected to the unprecedented trauma of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Before we jump into the cut-and-dry of this new generation, let’s take a look at the previous ones. Here we can see how the times, lifestyles and expectations have changed in a few short decades:
Moving forward, we see how technology, the media and globalism have shaped the world of Millennials:
Moving onto Generation Alpha, the slow transition seen in the earlier generational shifts is skyrocketing toward realms unknown to many of us. The website GenerationAlpha.com delves deep into the impacts of Covid and lockdown restrictions for emerging generations. Generation Alpha is well explored in the latest book from renowned social research experts Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell (summarised in the infographic below).
Basic characteristics of Generation Alpha
- Technologically connected: The kids in this generation were born into the technology era, with artificial intelligence and voice recognition becoming commonplace. They are highly adept at handling the latest technology. There is speculation that Generation Alpha would be faced with ethical decisions surrounding robots and sentient beings in the future. Issues like transhumanism and bioethics will be important for them.
- Single children: This generation comprises around two billion of the world population, and most of them are single children.
- Many of the children from this generation would be having careers and jobs that do not even exist in the world today.
- Generation Alpha is expected to be the most educated, wealthiest, and also the longest-living generation in the future.
- Covid Era: The children from the generation have also witnessed COVID-19 lockdown, which emerged in 2020. They have struggled with the coronavirus quarantine, which had resulted in the closing down of schools, parks and outdoor activities. As a result of this, they were confined in their homes. Most of the older children from this generation have had to complete their education through the homeschool system.
Tips for Millennial parents to (re)connect with their kids
Now that we have explored the key characteristics of this generation, it is important to look into ways in which Millennial parents can connect better with their kids.
- Since technology is a big part of the lives of Generation Alpha, it is important for you as parents to embrace it. However, before introducing the children to a new social media platform, it is important to tell them about its downsides as well. Millennial parents should also lay down the rules for a set gadget/screen time.
- To ensure positive child development, you should try to ensure that you have one-on-one communication with them. Establishing a personal connection with each child is important to bridge the gap between the generations. See our article on how to reconnect here.
- As many of the Generation Alpha kids are being given online education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the way they interact with the world is going to change. As parents to this generation, it is important to concentrate on the key aspects of social and emotional intelligence.
- Try to be positive role models for them so that they can emulate you.
- Since this generation will be immersed in technology, it is important to arrange group activities and social events for them so that they are able to develop friendships.
Ultimately, it rests on us parents to build a good rapport with Generation Alpha children. Although parenting in this era of high-technology seems tough, by establishing open communication with our kids, the generation gap can be bridged. Though it may sound cliched, our children are the future and we need to help them build a better one for everyone. If Alpha is just the start, we must ensure the Beta arrives in good shape.