Hi everyone! I wanted to try something new this month. As you know I talk about generational differences – and given my age and propensity to SnapChat emojis (which I’m not really even sure is a thing), I’m normally talking from the stance of a Young Person in our battle against the crotchety Old People. It’s not that I don’t love the Old People – I do. I love everything about your fear of Internet commerce and how you single-handedly keep checks in circulation (despite the fact they actually have your full account number printed right on them, which seems easier to steal, doesn’t it?) I also love how you still keep coins in your pocket, saving them for that rare moment someone is in need of a nickel to settle a dispute with a good “heads or tails” flip of fate. Ah yes, I love my Old People.
And today I want to be one. I want to be an Old Person. In fact, I’m slowly turning into one. I feel like I’ve learned a little bit about some of our differences – and similarities – simply through my daily life of helping raise our two children. So today I’d like to share with you two things my children have taught me about better understanding the challenges we face when it comes to generational differences.
(Obligatory up-to-date photo of my children – because that’s what parents do. Avery (left), Emersyn (right). Or the other way around. I don’t know. I can barely keep the two of them straight.)
Here we go!
1. Change is hard when you’re not the one in control.
I rarely get married to ideas, a certain way of doing things, or a way to think. And generally speaking, the same is often said for the younger people in our society. They’re “Change Champions” and this willingness to pivot onto the next idea is often the source of frustration between the generations. But now for the first time, I’m on the other side of the coin and my kids are teaching me every day that change CAN be hard! Case in point – naps! Every parent has gone through the cycle of two naps a day, down to one, and finally down to none. My situation is compounded by twins – so that’s four naps, down to two, then none. These kids have zero sympathy for the fact that their naps are critical to the sanity of their parents. Pretty much overnight they have decided naps are optional. But you know what?? I NEED THEM TO NAP!!! Please, give me 30 minutes of silence and a break from picking up every toy in the toy box after they’ve tornadoed across every room in the house. PLEASE!!
My point is that I’ve gotten used to the way we do things in my household. I’ve gotten used to our routine – and I liked it! But now, for reasons unbeknownst to me, my kids have decided they’ve got other plans and I’m actually outnumbered on the vote. That same feeling can sometimes be the issue when it comes to change in the workplace or at home. Both sides of the generational divide need to understand what the other party is going through and how they can work together through the transition. Because trust me – the transition feels like your world is collapsing, one nap at a time!
2. Loyalty is something which must be earned and nourished.
This is something we talk about in Us vs. Them! Nobody is instinctively loyal. If you want your younger co-workers or colleagues to be loyal to your team or company, unfortunately that means you’ll have to go out there and earn it! I’ve been saying this to audiences for years – but now I’m experiencing it myself in a powerful new way. And what I’m learning more than ever is that loyalty runs deep, but it also must be nourished constantly. My kids love my wife and me unconditionally. We’ve earned that after three years of consistently feeding them. But that loyalty all but disappears once Grandma and Grandpa come around. As far as my kids are concerned, we might as well not exist in those moments! That’s a large part of the reason we keep feeding them, so that they’ll love us again once Grandma and Grandpa have gone back home. It’s proof that you have to continue to earn the loyalty you’re seeking – whether that be consumers to your brand, colleagues at work, or even the love and affection of 3-year olds.
There you have it! I’m sure there are more things, but literally, the lack of sleep I’m getting with these little yahoos running around and learning to use the potty is frying my brain. I’m barely functioning. Putting articles into complete words is diccifult.
Until next time!