Beyond Boomers and Millennials: Do You Remember When? (Part 2 of 2)

Beyond Boomers and Millennials: Do You Remember When? (Part 2 of 2) July 20, 2018



In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed the changes taking place between Boomers and Millennials in our society. Part 1 of this two-part blog can be found at the bottom of this blog.

When I was a special education teacher, who taught the profoundly emotionally disturbed in a special “last resort” school setting one of the most difficult things to teach my students was working for their success. Waiting to reap the rewards DUE to them. No one got a trophy for just showing up. However, rewards were many while the students adjusted to the idea that they must first perform, not with tantrums but with work ethics, to get a reward.

The big change came in these students when they no longer wanted immediate stars on their papers or the reward of trading in accumulated stars for a bigger reward at the end of the week. The change came when the reward was knowing they could do whatever was required of them without immediate gratification. They emotionally matured, began to interact with others in a positive way, and were ready for the regular classroom, which is the precursor to the future work places.

These maturation characteristics are something most Millennials do not understand, and most Boomers take for granted. It appears the new thought form is, “Why should I wait when I can demand it now, and my polite parents (who do not want to be embarrassed in public and are afraid of the consequences for disciplining me) will give it to me if I persist.” Have our children trained us? Have they learned how to train us from “facts concerning their rights” on the internet?

Young Boomers interfaced with many people to uncover opinions and will use multiple avenues of research to find the facts. Young Millennials google for online facts, many of which are just commentary.

Boomers learned how to use their imagination for entertainment and check their emotions when playing unsupervised sports. Boomers played outside on their own with limited if any supervision.

Millennials have regulated playdates, sports, and hobbies. They are seldom left outside unsupervised or to their own devices. Is it because they have not learned the social skills necessary to survive in this world. Have they not learned never to talk to or take candy from a stranger, or to wander off from the group. Do they not have Best Friends who are always by their side? Has their group not learned to stay together and watch out for each other? Have they not learned there is safety in numbers?

These are survival skills learned from peer social interaction, and family values, not from books. 

Those people who were born from the 30’s to the 60’s will be the last generations who played in the street after school, on the weekends, or during the holidays. During their childhood, they got “exercise” not from a gym, but from playing outside or on playgrounds. They played until they were tired, not until their hour of supervision was up.

Boomers will be the last generation to play “hide & seek” outside at night with no worries or fear of anything bad happening to them.

Yet, Boomers are also the first generation to plug into the internet. Yes, they actually started it all.

It was the Boomers who first played video games and the last to record songs off the radio onto a cassette tape. The generation of Tom & Jerry, Looney Toons, & Captain Kangaroo was the first to learned how to program a VCR before anyone else and the first to move from playing Atari to Nintendo.

The Boomers traveled in cars without seat belts or air bags, lived without cell phones and caller ID.


When they were growing up, Boomers did not have fax machines, flat screens, multiple televisions through the house, surround sound, I pods, Facebook, Twitter, computers or the Internet. Yet, they had a great time.

The Greatest Generation pushed their fledgling Boomers out of the house and into jobs.

Boomers knew that without a job there was no money. No money meant no place to live or food to eat. They knew their government would not take care of them from the cradle to the grave. It was called tough love. Some sored to great heights.

If the Great Depression parents of the Boomers are remembered as the “Greatest Generation” will the Boomers be remembered as the “Polite Generation” or, perhaps the “Accommodating Generation” who accommodated their children beyond adulthood?

I move that Boomers be remembered as the Explosive Generation because they were the trail-blazers who started the world-wide Internet Explosion while still remaining human-interactive. And, now they are dealing with the internet-family fall-out. What is a Boomer to do?

Boomers, are your millennials living in the basement? Send them outside to play!  You survived. So will they.

Part 1-


About the Author: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos authored Dreams That Can Save Your Life, is a three-time cancer survivor whose dreams diagnosed her illness as seen on Dr. Oz, The Doctors, NBC News, American Express Open, in Newspapers and magazines. She’s a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul, TV/Radio Host/Producer- Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™, the Kat Kanavos Show, Internationally Syndicated Columnist in BIZCAT360, and Dream Expert Columnist in New Earth Chronicles, Keynote Speaker and Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and Spiritual guidance.


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Blog Research:

The 4 Stages of Cognitive Development; Background and Key Concepts of Piaget’s Theory

Simply Psychology; Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development,

Erik Erikson’s Stages of Social-Emotional Development;

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