28 Jul Parenting The Cyber Generation
I am an Invisalign Teen® brand spokesperson and all opinions expressed are my own.
Have you ever noticed how much more independent your teen is compared to you and your friends at their age? Do you marvel at how quickly they can navigate new technologies? Are you often surprised at how they know what’s trending before you have even heard of it?
Welcome to parenting Generation Z, also known as the Cyber Generation. Your teen is a sophisticated multi-tasker who can do homework, upload pictures, text their friends, all while having a conversation with you. While parenting our teens may seem like a voyage through unchartered waters, some things never really change. No matter how many new parenting challenges come our way, we still need to raise happy, healthy, self-confident teens. So, I want to talk about the the world of Gen Z, what they are experiencing, and how you can boost their confidence in a world that’s moving faster than we are.
Who Is Gen Z?
Generation Z (ages 5 – 19) is the first generation that can’t remember life before smart phones. They are completely addicted and barely look up when you are talking to them. What this tells us, is that our teens are actually just as insecure as we were if not more. They have anxiety if a text is not returned immediately, if they have not checked their Snapchat, and especially if they have posted a picture and have not gotten likes. On the bright side, they are motivated and less likely to make as many mistakes on social media as the millennials. So, how do we strike a balance between being a parent that gives our teen boundaries, but still understands the challenges they face?
According to the Invisalign Teen® confidence survey, 90% of teens feel judged by their peers. And why wouldn’t they think so? Every day, there is peer pressure to post cool pictures. When we were growing up, we did not have to take selfies every day, so if we had a blemish or a bad hair day, it was not documented on Instagram. Now, everyone can see how you look every day and they can also see if people like or don’t like your pics. So, it is no surprise that looks are really important to our teen’s feeling of self-confidence. As a mom, I believe it’s so important to help your teen look and feel their best. Instead of metal braces, opt for a more modern approach to straightening teeth. Invisalign Teen clear aligners can handle even the most complex teeth straightening cases without unsightly metal brackets and wires. If your teen can get through these formative years smiling in their selfies, it can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves.
Gen Z is all about multi-tasking. Everything they use has to do more than one thing. When my son and I went for a consultation at our orthodontist, he had no interest in old-fashioned braces. He had friends who had Invisalign Teen treatment, and like them, he wanted to keep his teeth clean and healthy, smile for selfies, and straighten his teeth all at once. Like everything about Gen Z, Invisalign Teen is the ultimate multi-tasker. It’s like a smart phone for your teeth.
Being a Leader
The teen confidence survey found that 94% of teens think their appearance has an impact on their popularity. Most teens strive to be popular and when they are rejected by their peer group, they immediately go to something concrete like their looks. As parents, we can and should help them look their best. But, we also need to help them work on themselves. While they may not think its rude to text while someone is talking to them, its important you tell them otherwise. It’s hard to have friends if you don’t make the people around you feel special and important. Teach them to take interest in others rather than only thinking of themselves. Encourage them to give back to their community. This will make them a more complete person and someone others will want to be around.
To learn more about Gen Z, the teen confidence survey and practical parenting tips, go to UnbraceTeenConfidence.com