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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I thought I'd share this. My kids and I made the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal last week.
No Generation Gap Some Parents Groove On The Same Things Their Kids Do


Wisconsin State Journal :: FRONT :: A1

Friday, April 14, 2006
State Journal wires, staff


Dani Cotie, an eighth-grader at Mount Horeb Middle School, doesn't have to look far to find someone hip to hang out with. Her father, Mitch Cotie, 37, plays guitar in a rock band with her and her brother, Kaegan, 12, and the three share iPod songs and a love of skateboarding.
"He's very cool -- he basically does what we do," Dani, 14, said of her father, who has the added teen appeal of developing PlayStation and computer games as an artist with Raven Software in Middleton.
Corporate consultants, marketers and generational experts say relationships like the Coties' are something they often observe: Youngish parents sharing more interests with their children than they once did with their parents.
These are 30- and early 40-something mothers and fathers who are just as likely to be punk rock or hip-hop fans as their children. These are parents who can't wait for the next Harry Potter book.
"The shared experiences between parent and child are shifting. Instead of fathers teaching their sons how to play sports or use tools, now they've got video games," said Chuck Underwood, founder of The Generational Imperative Inc., a Cincinnati-based consulting firm whose clients include Procter & Gamble Co. and Time Warner.
Connie Farrell and her husband, Pat, of Mount Horeb took their son, Ian, 10 and his cousin, Lucas Farrell, 12, to the Green Day concert last year at the Dane County Coliseum. All four are big fans of the punk rockers.
"My parents never would have dreamed of doing something like that with me," said Connie Farrell, adding that the audience was full of similar parents and children.
Kelly Cotie, mother of Dani and Kaegan, said she loves how involved her husband is in their children's lives.
"He jams with them almost nightly. He gets on their bikes and does wheelies."
Said Mitch Cotie: "I just refuse to grow up."
People who study generational differences say many Gen Xers want a closer relationship with their children than what they experienced -- they're less interested in climbing to the top of the corporate ladder if it means giving up family time. Gen Xers matured at a time when the divorce rate was high and working parents were away from their children for more hours than any prior generation.
"On the whole, they're correcting for this. They're not going to allow their own children to be left alone," said Bill Strauss, a generational expert and co-author of "Millennials and the Pop Culture."
Yvette Obias of suburban Cleveland is teaching her 9-year-old daughter, Acelyn, how to surf, an activity she's been passionate about for years. Their common interests don't end there, said the 35-year-old single mother, who grew up as a punk-rock skater.
"We have the same type of music taste. Our clothes are the same. I'll find something cute and trendy and she'll want to buy it," Obias said. "Growing up with my parents, I never had that, music-wise or clothes-wise."
Alisa Clamen, 41, of Montreal, said she could never relate to her mother's music, artists like jazzman Benny Goodman. But the MTV culture that shaped her teen years isn't all that different from what her children -- ages 18, 11 and 9 -- are into. And like them, she enjoys her iPod.
Clamen didn't watch television with her parents as a child, and although her tastes may differ somewhat from her children's, they have found common ground with "American Idol." "I pulled them into it," she said. "It was a fun family thing to do."
But even the Gen X parents who think they're hip could soon find themselves as out of touch as their parents were. Some Gen Xers don't get into text messaging, for instance, while it's second nature for a lot of young people.
"It's a completely different language," said Kathleen Gasperini, senior vice president at Label Networks, a Los Angeles youth culture marketing research company, whose clients include Apple Computer, Vans shoes and Pepsi.
Musically, some parents might have grown up on punk, but won't be able to relate to the many derivatives it's spawning.
"There'll come a time when they look at their 14-year-old and say, 'I have no idea who you are,'" Gasperini said.

\ What the paper didn't print is That all of this quality time and choice of lifestyle didn't come without sacrifice. there was a time in my life that I spent the first 6 years of their life screwing around in the sand box in the middle east in the miliatary. until I had enough and had to make the effort and make the move to choose THIS lifestyle. I don't do it to be hip I do it because living the other way just sucks ass. But I also give them their space and let them choose their own way yano? OK Sorry for all of this Oprah shit, let's get back to bikes!!!!! Mitch
 

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My daughters friends think I'm cool, but she just rolls her eyes at me all the time. You are very fortunate, and thanks for your service.
 

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That's cool, but in another year or two they'll hate your guts just like any other teenanger.:D Too many parents are only concerned with their own corperate life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
noboD said:
That's cool, but in another year or two they'll hate your guts just like any other teenanger.:D Too many parents are only concerned with their own corperate life.
ha ha true!
or in a year or so I'll be on the front page for shooting a teen age boy for snooping around my daughter's window.

mitch
 

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I totally dig hearing about things like this.

They're lucky to have a dad like you.

My dad raced cars and rode Triumphs...so I was a pretty lucky kid.

-Jason
 

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Well done Mitch, now we got a face to put to the name.
Remember, you have to grow older but you don't have to grow up!
 

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thats rad. i still skate too. not as crazy as i used to but i go down to the skateparks with my bro who is 9 (im 26) & all the kids down there think im his cool dad. im like no way man, hes my bro. as many times as i stopped skating it seems that i miss it more each time. i dont rip any huge gaps or steps anymore though since ive got screws holding my knee together from a previous skating injury.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey guys
glad you dig it. It's really not as Beaver Clever as it seems. we just like to have fun. I still have my Jinx Vision board with the old Independent trucks and Santa Cruz wheels, but it's so heavy and chunky compared to my kids' boards. I built a 3.5' halfpipe in my backyard last summer and we are going to make it a full 6' and wider this summer. My wife, Kelly is leading the team for having a public, 15,000 sq ft, concrete skate park built in Mt. Horeb, this summer. So even though I don't skate as much as I should (since I don't move like a used ta) I still contribute to the cause as much as I can.

I'm workin on getting my wife on a scoot (which is a bit challenging since she is only 4'11"), and hopefully my kids will ride too after they drive for a while.

I realize that they won't always want to hang with us, so I'm enjoying it for as long as I can.

Mitch
 
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