Singaporean born in this Gen X era typically have no maids when we were growing up, do not attend childcare but were cared for by our grandparents, relatives or babysitting neighbours, if our moms had to work. Those were the days, when families with dual-incomes were no looking to upgrade themselves to a condo or to switch to a more luxurious car but it was out of pure necessity.
Our parents from the Baby Boomer time never failed to imprint on us with their scarcity mindset. It was always save, save, save; toys = can see, cannot buy. If can buy, must wait until birthday or Christmas. And eating out in a restaurant got to do with some very big occasion, like a wedding or some festivities.
Most Gen X children grew up in a household which had both parents who might bickered or fought at times but divorce was out of the question because it was still very much a taboo. And often kids in custody of a divorced parent might not get to see the other parent as often as they like. For me, I only saw my dad like once or twice a year and my mom slightly more often at once every fortnight when I was growing up with my grandparent, after my parents were divorced.
Gen X children grow up as teenagers who hang out at tea dances, malls or arcade centres in clique and people would see us as "Ah Lian & Ah Beng". If one joined a street gang or we used to call it 'secret society', he/she would be known as playing a number, and the numbers would be 08, 18, 21, 24 or 369.
We hated to stay at home because home was just way too bored, except for MTV! There was no cable TV then and PC, or Personal Computer was a rare box with a little black screen and green words when you typed away on it; internet was totally unheard of. The cool gadgets to carry with you then was ... no not mobile phone, it was not affordable to most people then. A gameboy, Walkman and later a pager were the must-have in those days.
The Gen X teens, were rebellious and had the worst sense of fashion! We had boy's hair that was styled with a floppy centre parting and girl's hair that were dyed with the weirdest color at random spot. Makeup was a mess of bold and bright colors!
We liked to be in a 'relationship', we called it "going steady" and we had boyfriends/girlfriends referred to as "stead".
When our friends 'jio' us out and for some reasons we weren't able to make it, then we would be labelled as 'buay steady'.
There was a study that revealed us as a generation of teenagers who had premarital sex in secrecy, who did not believe in God as much as our parents and who don't respect our elderly.
Guess what kind of parents Gen X would turned out to be.
So are we the parents who are only capable of producing the delinquent teenagers that go around slashing other teenagers? Most probably, if the Gen X had their children in their late teens or early 20s they could well be the parents of these troublemaker *Gen Z.
*Will write about children of the Gen X parents later.