The current pandemic has an affect on everyone. A life-changing event such as this tends to bridge the gap between the generations, but there are some distinct differences in the way each generation reacts to the challenges they face.
The Silent Generation
Most of the Silent Generation, born from 1925 to 1945, remember the Great Depression, or at least its after-affects. They have endured economic hardships and war. They’ve been named the Silent Generation because they didn’t take part in protests, and they rarely complained. They are the most susceptible to health complications from the virus. Many who are living alone are in a difficult position, since they may need to rely on outside help for basic necessities. They are a strong bunch, however, and don’t usually dwell on the negative.
Those born between 1946 and 1964 grew up in the optimistic post-war era, when prosperity was in full bloom. They had the time and the gumption to protest the war in Vietnam, and to celebrate the age of flower power. As they have aged, Boomers typically are more interested in their legacy than their own health. They are worried about how their kids and grandkids are faring during the crisis. Most Boomers don’t take lightly the responsibility they have in keeping their community safe. For those retired Boomers receiving social security and Medicare, their money concerns may not have changed since the pandemic hit.
The Gen-X group, born between 1965 and 1979, are still working. Since the older ones are nearing the age of retirement, being laid off right now is of great concern to them. They don’t want to dip into their 401K and they are worried about losing their healthcare. They may still have mouths to feed at home and a mortgage to pay. They also may have elderly parents to worry about. As the “sandwich generation”, they are dealing with stress on both ends.
Born from 1981 to 1994, Millennials are facing several challenges during this pandemic. They are concerned about paying the bills and they’ve had to cut back on spending in preparation for a possible recession.
Older Millennials, who have young children at home, are currently home-schooling their kids while working from home. Eyal Gutentag has some great suggestions for parents struggling to teach their kids during this difficult time.
- Create an area designed specifically for schoolwork. If possible, the workspace should be set up in a quiet location, so that the kids can focus on homework. Letting them help to design the space will keep them interested in spending more time there.
- Set up a routine. Let the kids help plan the activities for the day, so they are more invested in making it work.
- Take snack or exercise breaks to let the kids reset between subjects.
Kids are experiencing anxiety in these uncertain times, so parenting tips during covid can help moms and dads keep their sanity while helping the kids cope. It’s important for parents to realize that kids may lash out in frustration for having their world turned upside down. Just being there to support them can go a long way in easing their frustrations. Letting them stay connected with friends over Zoom or Facetime can help as well.
This group was born from 1995 to 2012. Many of the Gen-Zers are still in high school or college, and they’ve had to put their lives on hold. They have postponed huge life events, such as graduations and proms.
While everyone is affected by the current pandemic, it certainly has impacted some people more than others. Money and health concerns can affect any age group. We need to respect each other and always consider how our actions can affect those around us.