Their baby boomer parents placed less emphasis on a parent-child relationship and more on being friends and equals. The result: a generation used to being listened to intently by family and at ease with its elders.
“There was certainly a sense of equality,” Andrew Noble, 22, says of his childhood growing up in Brisbane. “When I reached high school, my parents encouraged me to take on responsibility. From the age of about 14, I was going out at night, sometimes not returning home until the next day. As long as I could show I wasn’t doing anything wrong, they didn’t worry.”
Noble illustrates some of this generation’s finer qualities. He speaks in clear, confident tones and is at ease as his discusses belonging to perhaps the most confident generation of all time. “There’s no formality in my family,” Noble says with a laugh.
Surrounded by a large extended family, he was drawn into their conversations and encouraged to have opinions. “I was never made to feel like a child — my views were taken on board.”
Since leaving school, Noble has worked on and off as an administrative assistant in the Queensland public service, earning around $40,000. His colleagues are mostly ten years older, but this isn’t a problem. “I don’t feel intimidated by them — I’ve mostly worked with people in the same age bracket as my parents.”
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