Gen Z Intricacies

Generation Z, consisting of individuals born between 1997 and 2012 (twelve to twenty-seven-year-olds), is the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age. This unique upbringing has significantly shaped their experiences, values, and outlooks.

Parenting & Gen Z – The “Gentle Approach”

An area where Gen Z’s influence is becoming increasingly evident is their parenting style. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z parents embrace a more empathetic and understanding approach to raising their children. Trust forms the cornerstone of their relationship with their kids, with many opting for ‘gentle parenting’ over authoritative styles.

According to various sources, Gen Z parents view parenthood as a source of meaning, purpose, and motivation rather than a compromise to their identity. They see it as a new layer that enhances their personality and try to integrate their children into everything they do. They have a sense of shared responsibility, which carries over into family life.

Interestingly, most Gen Z pregnancies today were unplanned. While 78% planned to become parents at some point, only 40% were actively trying to get pregnant when they did. Regardless, they embrace this unexpected turn and choose to see its advantages. For Gen Z, the top benefits of being a younger parent revolve around being a better parent to their child.

While they respect their parents’ child-rearing efforts, fewer than half of Gen Z parents (47%) named their parents as the number one parenting style they emulate. Instead, their parents seem to model behaviors they want to avoid. 

This generation also struggles with high levels of stress and anxiety, more so than any other demographic. The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2020 Survey noted that Gen Z adults reported an average stress level of 6.1, indicating significant stress levels.

Workplace stress, fueled by the shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has further exacerbated these issues. Despite these challenges, Gen Z shows a proactive approach toward mental health, seeking therapy and using online resources to manage their well-being.

Even as parents, Gen Z’s digital skepticism influences their parenting choices. Many limit their children’s exposure to digital platforms, promoting real-world interactions instead.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Various studies suggest that while Gen Z may drink less alcohol than previous generations, they run a higher risk of developing a substance abuse problem. This could be due to exposure to different societal pressures, increased access to various substances, and the influence of social media platforms like TikTok, which have been linked to promoting risky behaviors such as the Benadryl Challenge and other drug-related trends.

One of the reasons Gen Z might be at a higher risk for addiction is the close link between substance use and mental health issues in this generation. Poor mental health, including anxiety and depression, is more likely to coincide with substance use and antisocial behavior among Gen Z teens compared to millennial teens. This connection might be exacerbated because Gen Z individuals report feeling lonelier and are more likely to seek therapy.

However, there’s a silver lining. Gen Z appears to be more open to seeking help for their struggles. They are more likely to utilize resources like family therapy in their recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. In addition, there’s a noticeable trend towards healthier living among Gen Z individuals, which could play a role in mitigating some of these risks.

Support

As we continue to support families navigating mental health and addiction issues at All About Interventions, we’re committed to staying informed about these ongoing shifts in our society. Recognizing and addressing the unique struggles that Gen Z faces, especially regarding stress, anxiety, and parenting, is crucial in providing the best support possible.

If you’re worried about a loved one’s struggle with addiction or mental health, don’t wait any longer. We’re dedicated to helping individuals and families find the healing solution they desperately need. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to seek help. Contact us today and start the journey towards recovery. Your loved one’s health and well-being are worth fighting for. Let us help you navigate this challenging path. Call now!