Gen Z Kids Talk About What It’s Been Like To Be Raised By Gen Xers


Most parents want to raise happy and healthy kids. Many parents take cues from the generation that raised them and often opt to change things up a bit to ensure their children have a better life. But how do those kids really feel about how well their parents have raised them? Now that Gen Zers are teenagers and young adults, they’re opening up about what it’s been like to be raised by Generation X.

As Gen Z enters the workforce and even the political arena, those born from 1997 to 2012 have much to say about their parents. In a recent Reddit post, Gen Z was asked to chime in on how they feel their Gen X parents have done at raising them. Although answers varied, there was certainly an overall theme. Turns out, the kids of Gen Xers are generally happy with the parenting they have received.

Gen Z Appreciates Their Gen X Parents

Overall, Gen Z, also known as Zoomers, appear to be more than content with having Gen X parents. In fact, many Gen Z Reddit users shared how their parents did a “decent job” at raising them, provided them with “care, food, clothing, a roof above [their heads], and good education,” and gave them freedom.

However, the most common sentiment that Zoomers shared was about growing up as digital natives. Even for older Zoomers, the online world has simply always existed. This has led to some big differences between the generations. In fact, the kids of Gen Xers say that their parents just don’t understand. 

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As someone born in 2004 put it, “I feel my relationship with my parents is diminished because so much of my childhood was just playing video games and going on my phone. Like 50% of all my time existing has just been looking at a screen.”

Another person born in the same year agreed that their parents “really don’t understand the profound effect the internet has had on us as a generation.” The user explained, “The internet can almost replace parts of the developmental phase of a youth’s mind. You can form opinions and values, gain interests, sexuality, habits, etc. quickly and easily from the internet.”

This has also made many Zoomers feel like their worldview has been shaped primarily outside of their family. As one person born in 2003 shared, “My worldview is shaped very little by my family and a lot by countless other people I encountered online and offline while left to my own devices.”

The Latchkey Generation Is All About Freedom

Even though Gen X parents may not fully understand the impact of growing up online, Gen Z does appreciate that their moms and dads have provided a lot of autonomy. In fact, many Zoomers shared how their parental units allowed them to try many things and learn from their mistakes.

As a commenter born in 2000 said, “[My parents] taught me independence and self-sufficiency. I felt confident entering adulthood and I’ve been managing fine so far. My sister and I have both had the freedom and opportunity to pursue anything that interests us.”

This sentiment was shared throughout the Reddit thread. In fact, another person born in 2000 remarked that her parents “did a pretty decent job at letting me try (almost) everything and making me feel loved.” 

Parenting Styles Across The Generations

With Gen Xers providing freedom and love to their kids, could Zoomers ask anything else from their parents? Turns out, they do have a few concerns.

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Some Gen Zers think that their parents are becoming more like Baby Boomers every day. As one person born in 1999 remarked, “[My parents] also are starting to sound like boomers sometimes because they can’t accept things are changing in society for marginalized groups.” 

However, Gen Z realizes that their parents didn’t have it easy being raised by Boomers. Several Reddit users shared that their grandparents were much more strict with their parents and even borderline neglectful. As one person born in 2004 shared, “I love my grandparents, but the way my parents grew up with emotional neglect, physical punishment, and stricter rules being a reality would have hurt me really badly.”

Even as Gen X’s parenting styles vary from Boomers, a few users jumped in to share about their Millennial parents. For Gen Zers concerned about mental health, they find that Millennials are much more prone to support their mental health journey. As one Reddit user born in 1999 said, “I feel like my parents don’t understand that things are not easy for people in their 20s and 30s or understand how valuable mental health is like Millennials and Gen Z parents will.”

Even so, Zoomers recognize that for the most part their Gen X parents are doing the best they can. As one Reddit user born in 2000 recognized, “Parents are never perfect.” She went on to say that her parents are “wonderful,” have acknowledged that they have “messed up a lot,” and have even apologized. If that’s not good parenting, we don’t know what is.

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