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  • Writer's pictureDillon Kalkhurst

A MUST READ - Intergenerational Engagement

So, who do you think said the following?…

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

When I show this quote and ask audiences this question, I get answers from “Jesus” to “Benjamin Franklin” to “Mister Rogers.” The answer goes back 400 years before the writings attributed to Jesus, all the way to Socrates. The idea that it’s the next generation who are disrespectful, who disrupt, who ruin everything… it’s not new! There have been generational disconnections probably as long as there have been people.

I first met Dillon when he was working at Scholastic, in charge of the engagement, education and motivation of their 1.6 million parent and grandparent volunteers. His knowledge and insight regarding how to connect with people of each generation plumbs the depths while staying grounded in the practical. If you, in your own work, volunteering or family, need to interact intergenerationally, you’ve picked up the right book.

As a parenting and youth development expert who speaks to middle and high schoolers, college students, military recruits, teachers, coaches, grandparents, university faculty, corporate leaders and Senators, I can tell you – generational disruption is a thing. As a family physician, I know that this “thing” impacts not only how we view each other, but also the very fabric of our families, our health, and our happiness.

Mr. Kalkhurst gives you the data – and he delivers it in an engaging way. You’ll learn just as much about your own generation as you will learn about any of the others. Did you know that there are currently five generations active in the workforce? Gone are the days of all grandparents living the retiree life. No wonder there are so many situations, from daycare drop off to job interviews and PTA meetings, in which you can see the interaction between generations and how quickly it can get off track.

Mr. Kalkhurst gives you the insight into how each generation views the role of work in their lives, as well as their expectations from family, and how they spend their free time. This book also explores what people in each generation value most in their child’s education and even why they would choose a particular camp, extra-curricular activity, or vacation spot. Wouldn’t you agree that this is incredibly valuable information for business owners, educators, community leaders and event planners?

Lastly, and most importantly, Mr. Kalkhurst shares his own expertise as well as that of other experts in their respective fields. Their expertise will certainly yield actionable strategies for you. How can you market to each generation? How can you motivate them? How can you lead a group with generational diversity? How can you see the generation disruption that will forever be a part of our society as the strength that it is? After reading this book, you’ll have the answers to these questions and many more.

Once you see through the lens offered in this book, you’ll find that many, if not all, of your personal and professional interactions will benefit from your newfound wisdom. You will have a new perspective on communication and what success means in each of your relationships. You’ll find yourself, as I have, wanting to gift this book to most everyone you know. So keep this book on the top of your stack – be it on your screen or on your nightstand – and take from it the answers that will seem so obvious once you read them.

Intergenerational Engagement Book Forward by:

Deborah Gilboa, MD – a.k.a., Dr. G

Parenting Expert and Keynote Speaker – Regularly seen on ABC’s Good Morning America, FOX News, and NBC

Author of Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate!

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