We seem to be in a pattern where each generation reacts to the prior. And specifically, self oriented parents create independent children, and independent children tend to raise their children to be self-oriented. Let me paint with a broad brush.
The current generation of grandparents grew up in the baby boom of the 60s or late 50s, the beginning of the “me” generation, for gosh sakes. Sex, drugs, and free expression. Self-orientation isn’t a bad thing, mind you. Self-oriented parents create independent kids that can take care of themselves, creating —
The current generation of type-A, independent, “helicopter” parents, hovering around their children to provide for their every need. This creates —
The current generation of children that are more self-oriented, enabled by their parents. For instance, the current generation of kids is less interested in getting their driver’s license, in part because their parents already drive them everywhere.
Moving into the future, the current generation of self-oriented children could then create independent kids, that will subsequently helicopter their children, and so on.
This pattern also seems to go back from the current generation of grandparents. Stick with me here —
Today’s grandparents were raised by parents of the depression – an independent and hardy group, the “finest generation” that fought selflessly in World War II. They wanted more for their children than they had.
Those depression era parents were in turn raised by self-oriented parents of the “roaring 20s”. Flappers, the Lindy, speakeasies. This helped enable the independent “finest generation”. I told you I was going to paint with a broad brush.
So arguably (and there is plenty to argue with here), we can cover a full century of vacillation in the U.S. between independent generations and self-oriented ones.