5 Things Next Gens Wish they Heard from their Parents 

by Veronia Lowther | Jan 23, 2024 | Family Dynamics

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In our work with Next Gens we have learned they care deeply about their relationship with their parents. It’s one of the most common things they talk about. But many Next Gens feel there is a lack of understanding between them and older generations. Sometimes, this is aggravated by conflict. But even in healthy relationships there can be communication gaps.

Drawing on our time with Next Gens and their input, we’ve pulled together the most common things Next Gens wish they heard from their parents. Each may be symptomatic of a burden that the young adult is carrying, whether that be fear of disapproval or loneliness or distrust. Looking into the motivations behind each can help us understand a Next Gen’s world better.

  1. “I’m proud of you.”

Many parents think this, but surprisingly few verbally express it to their child. These words are so influential, especially if the Next Gen has gone through a season of disruptive or rebellious behavior. Many who have a past they are ashamed of are keenly aware of their parent’s displeasure and disappointment. And they can carry that weight long after the parents have moved on. Most Next Gens are also highly mindful of their privilege, which can make them feel even more undeserving or guilty.

2.   “How do you think we could build a healthier family culture?”

Next Gens are often very concerned about their family and are highly in tune with the health of the culture. Many of them believe excessive wealth is the source of conflict and infighting. They’re eager to have trusting relationships and unity, but they can’t do it alone. Being receptive to conversations about how to improve things demonstrates care and willingness to hear from the Next Gen, which establishes greater trust, which is essential to having a healthy family culture and better communication.

3.   “How can we better support you in thriving in life/your career/your growth?”

Next Gens feel a lot of pressure being a part of a family with significant resources, and it may not be coming explicitly from their parents. Whether internally or externally constructed, these expectations are strong forces in their lives. They influence, positively and negatively, how Next Gens live. Expressing support in their personal growth can help your Gen Z and Millennials grow in confidence and courage to pursue purpose.

4.  “We’re here for you.  We know (or affirm) that being a part of a family wealth story is complex.”

Being a Next Gen is isolating. Growing up surrounded by resources many others don’t have can create a sense of otherness. Many Next Gens feel ashamed of their wealth and internalize that rich=bad. And in the loneliness, they are isolated from trusted friends and a safe community. Very few Next Gens have peer friends they can talk openly with. So having support from parents can mean a lot.

5.   “What would you like to know about the family wealth/business/history/our story?”

Many Next Gens know very little about their inheritance and/or wealth situation. Some families feel it keeps the kids humble or prevents entitlement. But instead it can send message that they are not trustworthy and/or important enough to know. Often Next Gens are eager to understand their position so they can be responsible and prepared, and even partner more effectively with the family.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it is illustrative of the internal world of Next Gens. They are often navigating challenges their parents never experienced and may not be aware of. They desire their parent’s support and encouragement. Overall, the Next Generation aspires to have a healthy, honest, supportive culture in their families. They want to collaborate with their fathers and mothers to create that space. The more each generation works towards understanding the other, the closer they will get to achieving it.
To learn more about how you can help encourage and build understanding with Next Gens, reach out to us at info@koreventure.org to set up a call. Or you can visit us at koreventure.org.

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Veronica oversees communications and co-facilitates experiences for KORE Venture, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Next Gens (ages 21-35) of UHNW families thrive. Over the past 4 years, she’s worked with KORE Venture to help encourage Next Gens in their identity and well-being as they navigate the complexities and joys of abundant wealth.

About the Author

Veronica oversees communications and co-facilitates experiences for KORE Venture, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Next Gens (ages 21-35) of UHNW families thrive. Over the past 4 years, she’s worked with KORE Venture to help encourage Next Gens in their identity and well-being as they navigate the complexities and joys of abundant wealth.