Monthly Archives: January 2008

Why Generation ‘Me’ is Going To Work For Us

There’s been a lot of writing lately regarding the new generation that’s crept into their Twenties and are now seeking their own slice of the American Pie. Words like ‘narcissistic’ and ‘most self centered’ are used fairly liberally towards this new crop of kids. What I also keep hearing is that this generation was brought up with ‘trophies’ and ‘adulation’ and the inability to be told ‘no’ to. I’ve heard from teachers that it was difficult dealing with their parents, who treat their children like little Messiahs – and when there’s a problem at school, it must be the teacher’s fault. Sounds pretty terrible, huh?

Well, let me share the upside of all of this: This new generation of kids are inevitably going to affect more family work balance than ever before? Why? Simply put, because in the next few years, when they start settling down and having kids and wanting to spend more time with them, they are going to DEMAND to have more work/family balance; and there are so many of them that companies are going to cede to these demands, change their policies, in order to maintain a better worker pool.

I think USA Today spelled it out fairly accurately in an article they published a little while back:

“They’re young, smart, brash. They may wear flip-flops to the office or listen to iPods at their desk. They want to work, but they don’t want work to be their life.”

Keep reading that last part of the quote. It goes straight to the heart of things.

I used to think that my Generation (X) was going to be the one to shape things up (and doesn’t that fall in line with most generations and the marketing campaigns that push it along:) But now, of course, I have a clearer perspective. There might be company policies about paternity leave, more flexible schedules, etc, but it’s fairly irrelevant because for most of us Gen-X dads (and some moms, too) it doesn’t even occur to us to ask – or if it does, making such a request is so looked so down upon by the powers that be that few dare to make them.

My prediction: not so with Generation ‘Me’. They are going to ask big time because it’s in their lexicon of desire for self-fulfillment and because for many of them, they remember all too well growing up under the auspices of daycare and full time nannies since their parents were too busy (warranted or not) to be around too much. Remember the cultural creation of ‘quality time?’ My theory is that it was created sometime in ’80’s to make working parents feel better because they weren’t able to give their kids what they really need: quantity time.

So, keep an eye on this new Generation that everyone older seems to be up in arms about. They’re going to change family/work balance in ways previously inconceivable – and then just wait until they are in their forties and now hold the reigns of management. Take a guess at what kind of work/family precedent they will then be beholden to when the toddlers of today march out of college? The Evolution of Dad will be something else altogether and I can’t wait, as a granddaddy, to see it.

Evo Dad out.

Househusband Macho!

Mike Nobel, a songwriter from Maine recently sent me what he calls a ‘Stay-at-home Dad anthem’ and I think he might be onto something. Check out Househusband Macho! Besides being hilarious, what I really like about the song is that the husband is going to ‘get lucky’ that night. Works well with my research findingsContinue Reading

WANTED: Working Dads Seeking More Family/Work Balance

As you may have read from a previous post on Daddy Wars, I believe the sparks of battle are beginning between working dads who want more family/work balance and management. As such, I’m putting on my war correspondent cap and am seeking any working dads who fit this. If you are such a dad orContinue Reading

Opening Up The Daddy Dam

My hope has always been not just to make a movie about dads but to spearhead a movement of fathers (and moms, too) finding creative ways to better balance work and family. From going out onto the streets and interviewing people it’s so evident how many suffer because of the poor relations they have withContinue Reading

The Evo Dad View On Maternal Profiling

Reading the stories by so many moms about how they have been discriminated against at the workplace is unsettling at best and horrifying at worst, but it’s not surprising. First, I think what companies are doing is very typical of ego-oriented human behavior. We all like to think that we’re important, that what we’re doingContinue Reading

The Love That Binds

Hey out there. The holidays are over. The New Year has begun and the Evolution of Dad marches onward. There’s really so much to do. I had the greatest luck while in Boston to go to a Celtics game and not only watch the team trounce its rival but also that I happened to beContinue Reading