Friday, July 17, 2015

Traditionalists or Baby Boomers?

My brother-in-law was here this past week and he got to talking about the generations. Apparently he had heard a talk recently where they described the different generations from the Traditionalists to the Baby Boomers to Generation X (Baby Busters) to the Millennials (or Generation Y). This is some of the info he passed on to me.

I know there are books about this, but I haven't read any. However, it is interesting. Since we were born in the summer of 1945, DH and I actually fall right between the Traditionalists and the Baby Boomers. And as we were infants in 1945, we consider ourselves Baby Boomers since we really grew up during that period... (1946 - 1964) graduating from high school and starting college in 1963-64.

The following information shows the events and experiences that formed these groups... as well as the characteristics that became a part of each. 

I found it interesting reading. Thought you might also.

Find your generation:

1. Traditionalist – Born 1922-1945

2. Baby Boomers – Born 1946-1964

3. Generation X or Baby Busters – Born 1965-1979

4. Millennial or Generation Y – Born 1980-2000

Events and Experiences of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Great Depression
New Deal
World War II
Korean War

Events and Experiences of Baby Boomers : (1946 - 1964)

Civil rights
Sexual Revolution
Cold War
Nuclear Bomb Drill in School
Space travel

Events and Experiences of Gen Xer’s: (1965 - 1979)

Fall of Berlin Wall
Women’s liberation
Desert Storm
Energy crisis

Events and Experiences of the Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Oklahoma City Bombing
Bill and Monica
Columbine Shooting
September 11, 2001
Child Focused World

Characteristics of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Resourceful Savers
Pay With Cash
Face to Face
Family Traditional 
Hard Work Obligation 
Duty Before Pleasure
Survival Mode

Characteristics of Baby Boomers: (1946 - 1964)

Wealthiest Generation
Work Hard-Earn Reward
Call Me Anytime
Television Generation
Information Delivered
Justice for All
Civil Rights
Life is an Adventure
Time to Ponder

Characteristics of Generation X: (1965 - 1979)

Grew with Technology
Service Economy Accepting
Over 60% Attended College
Achieve 'On Their Own Terms'
Cherish Time with Family, Friends
Don’t Like Structure
Hands Off
Values Freedom
Self Sufficient
Less Team Oriented

Characteristics of Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Achievement Oriented
Pampered by Parents
High Expectations
Question Authority
Daily, Instant
Tweets, Blogs, Facebook
Smart Phones
Merged Families
Most Accepting Group
Family Centric
Work/Life Balance
Flexible Schedules
Tech Savvy * (first digital natives)
Attention Craving
Team Oriented
No Child Left Behind
Seek Input 

As I go back and read through these, I tend to look for the characteristics that stand out in DH and I,  our children, and grandchildren. Not all experiences and characteristics stand out in every person of each generation, but certain ones seem clear. 

For DH and myself (Baby Boomers), growing up in the South (New Orleans) civil rights was a prominent issue. I remember the Beatles (although personally I was more an Elvis fan), duck and cover practiced in the classroom, the space program, and the assassination of Kennedy.

We believed in a healthy work ethic, remember the first TV's, and believed that life was an adventure (still do).

Our kids (Gen X) experienced dessert storm and grew up with technology.They all went to college, and achieved on their own terms.

Now our grandkids (Millennials) experienced the bombings, shootings, and 9/11.  They are pampered, definitely 'connected', and tech savy (digital natives).

It's 2015 now and the next generation (2001 - ?) is here... and on their way to adulthood. What experiences and characteristics will they hold. Technology is continuing to explode. Communication is all powerful. School shootings, ISIS, and climate change seem to take top news these days. How will history document this generation? I wonder...  


  1. I'd read much of this before, as we've had training that focus on the differences, in the hopes that we supervisors will be able to acknowledge and manage the needs of each generation all while getting the work done. We're having some struggles with it as our management are mostly Baby boomers, who believe in working hard and the youngster's need for work/life balance is often seen as lazy. Although I'm a Baby boomer too I've learned to appreciate (and want) more time with family and friends. Work won't always be there.

    1. Eileen, the info on the generations my brother-in-law shared was part of a training program also. Times change and with both partners working these days, I can see why balance between work and home is more important now than ever.

  2. what an interesting post, I'm a boomer, some how the wealth seemed to escape me. Ha.


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