Posted February 1, 2022 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Why Young People Ask Why
You ask a young person to do something and they ask why. Are they challenging your authority, or is there something else going on? Stay tuned to find out, next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 387 show:
You’re now in The Perna Syndicate—hello and welcome! This week, we’re getting back to some of the basics about Gen Z and Millennials. Yesterday we challenged the view that these generations are just a problem to be solved. Today, I want to talk about the question they’re always asking—and that question is “why?”
It seems like every young person asks this question whenever we tell them to do something. This holds true at home, at school, and even at work. The question comes in different forms: Why do we need to do it this way? Why is this important? Why don’t we try doing it differently?
If you’re a parent, educator, or employer, do you ever find that question frustrating? It can feel like a delay tactic, disrespect, or even insubordination, but in general nothing could be further from the truth.
Most of the time, young people are not asking why in order to stall, show off, or flout authority. They’ve been raised to believe they’re unique, special, and important. That’s why they care about making their mark on whatever they are involved in. Their constant “why?” is actually an honest question. They need to know the background information so they can find a better way forward.
I call the Millennials and Gen Z collectively “the Why Generation.” It’s the question that defines them. The real question is, how well are we answering their question why?
How to answer young people when they want to know why—we’ll talk about that more tomorrow on the next episode of The Perna Syndicate. See you then!