Does this sound like you or your spouse? Do you agree or disagree with these statistics?
- Gen Xers consist of “41 million Americans born between 1965 and 1979 plus the 3 million more in that age group who have immigrated here.”
- Gen Xers are serious about life. We don’t just take life as it comes, but give great consideration for critical decisions about our present and future. And when it comes to parenting, we want to know how to do it right. We take parenting seriously because we remember the latchkey existence with too much free time and too little parental involvement, and we want to give our kids more.
- Yet Gen Xers are also stressed out. We want to do it all … now. And when we do, we often find ourselves overwhelmed. Work, family, techno-stress. We’ve bought into following our dreams, and finding our purpose. And to do it all, we struggle as we balance kids, ministry, work and service. (We love to volunteer, to give, to help, to see we’re making a difference!)
- In addition to that Gen Xers are self-reliant, yet high spiritual. We’re skeptical, yet what we do believe, we want to apply to everyday life. We’re realistic, not idealistic. Our faith has to be true lived-out, or we don’t buy into it.
- According to George Barna, only 28 percent of Gen Xers (ages 20-37) attend church compared to 51 percent of Builders (58+). Yet, according to a Special 2001 edition of Newsweek, “Eighty-one percent of Gen X mothers and 78 percent of fathers say they plan eventually to send their young child to Sunday school or some other kind of religious training.”
- Finally, because of the loneliness and alienation of splintered family attachments, “experts” have claimed that the strongest desire of our generation is acceptance and belonging. Unfortunately, as parents we often don’t find the companionship and acceptance we long for. We believe in giving the best to our kids, we really do. Yet we question we we’re doing it right, question if we can do it at all. Is something wrong with us if we don’t follow our parent’s parenting footsteps? Is it okay to do it our own way?
According to Reach Advisors’ 2003 survey of 3,020 parents (supplemented by their analyses of government data) they found that twice as many Gen-X mothers as boomer mothers spent more than 12 hours a day “attending to child-rearing and household responsibilities.” Roughly half of Gen-X fathers devoted three to six hours a day to domesticity; only 39 percent of baby-boomer dads could say the same. Who would have guessed that the supposed cynical drifters of the 1980’s would be complaining about too little time with the children?
Breaking It Down:
Gen Xers are great parents, who provide tons of time with their kids, yet the problem arises when:
- They’re overwhelmed, wanting to give their children everything now.
- They’re tired of trying to do too much.
- They’re unfocused, wanting their children to experience everything . . . instead of focusing on their child’s unique personalities and gifts.
- They’re on their own—many times living hundreds or thousands of miles from family support.
- They are curious about spiritual matters, but often don’t know how to connect.
In Their Own Words:
“I feel most parenting books or articles give unrealistic steps that promise perfection, if only I’ll follow their exact formula. I’ve realized I won’t hit ‘perfect’ this side of heaven and the guilt from those parenting books is something I don’t need. I would like to see parenting advice that encourages me to deal with my heart and my child’s without unrealistic steps that seem to promise perfection. It’s so discouraging to be given two or ten steps that I don’t understand how to apply, and then to be told how well the steps work if I’d just do them right and on a consistent basis.” Amy Wallace, born 5-21-1970
Do you relate? Which of these statistics struck a cord in you?