Not Welcome At the Kids Table

Posted by: | May 31, 2011

I have been thinking a lot about generations and generational differences lately.  I attended an HR retreat last week which spoke about the generational makeup in the workplace and how to understand the political, musical, societal and social elements that influence each age group to produce their current value set and work ethic.  Differing generations not only play a role in the workforce but also within families. I was lucky enough to be at a baby shower last weekend comprised of women from three generations of my family.  There were also 5 sets of sisters there which was pretty impressive in itself.  This gathering however, was different from those I remember from my childhood because somewhere along the way, my place in the family’s generational paradigm has shifted. 

As I looked around the room, I noticed that my mother and aunts have taken over for my grandmother and her sisters as the oldest generation.  It is funny to hear your aunt being called “granny” and to notice the grey hairs that have multiplied since the last time you all met.  There is also a certain amount of power that comes with such positions, at least in my family.  Not an authoritative power but an almost mysterious essence that now envelopes these woman and has made them the new secret keepers and memory sharers. I then looked around at my own sister and cousins and was startled to realize that we have taken over from our parents. One of my greatest fears has always been that one day I will have to become a grownup, but somehow at that moment, I felt more privileged than scared to be in this middle group.  My cousins are now the mom’s wrangling children, enforcing bedtimes and giving out snuggles and there is a whole new generation of little ones sitting at the kids table.  I am in good company at the grown-ups table.  Being in the younger group of cousins, I had always been referred to as one of the ‘kids’ or ‘girls’ but it was clear to me that my older cousins, whom I once idolized, are now my confederates.  I will relish stepping with them into the large shoes we will be filling as we grow older within our family.  This reminded me of another theme we explored at our retreat last week; change.  The big “c”.  Instead of being fearful or apprehensive, I have decided to jump head-first into my new generational position and to reap, what I can only imagine, will be a wonderful new set of familial benefits.

Filed under: Miranda Massie

3 Responses to “Not Welcome At the Kids Table”

  1. Andrea says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the post! 🙂

  2. Rachelle says:

    Hey Miranda,

    I’m really interested in this topic and would love to learn more about the retreat: Could you please send me some information? Is this an organization and is there a website I could check out?


  3. Miranda says:

    Thank you for your interest Rachelle. Here are a list of references for the information used in the presentation. I will also email you a copy of the relevant slides.

    Hope you find them useful!

    Managing the Generation Mix, 2nd Edition – Carolyn A. Martin &, Bruce Tulgan

    Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers to Work Together and Achieve More – Linda Gravett (Author)

    The 2020 workplace: How companies attract, develop and keep tomorrow’s emplowees today – Jeanne C . Meister & Karie Willyerd

    Generational Diversity-A Tool for Change :The Impact of Generational Differences on Projects – Sandy Beck, MBA, PMP –

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