Millennials are a different breed. Despite the fact they were raised by Baby Boomers, their priorities and interests are unlike those of their parents.
It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that the way Millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) are raising their own offspring are different, and sometimes contrasting, from the way they were brought up by Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).
Millennial Parents are Here
Millennials are no longer teenagers. No, they are not doing TikTok dances or eating Tide pods for social media notoriety. The youngest of the generation are in their late 20s. The oldest of them are now 40.
So, it is time to erase the stereotype ascribed to Millennials by their predecessors, Generation X, and the Baby Boomers. They are not jobless. They are not eating too many avocado toasts. Instead, they have stable careers, are now buying houses, and starting their own families.
Although most of them are waiting longer to have children, a study by Pew Research Center revealed that about 1 million female Millennials became a parent for the first time each year. As of 2016, there have been 17 million female Millennial parents in the United States. Millennial women now account for the majority of births nationwide.
Now, the question is, how are they raising their children?
Millennials are very passionate about the planet. They have witnessed the environment changing and experienced extreme weather events caused by climate change. They want to, as much as possible, reduce their negative impact on Mother Nature.
They want to use products that harm neither their children nor the planet.
The market for clean and organic products is on the rise. Millennial parents are willing to pay more for the best natural products for babies, including sunscreens, shampoos and bath soaps, lotions and creams, cleansing wipes, and other products. It is a huge bonus when these products are packaged with eco-friendly materials.
Being More Present
Millennials are also trying to spend more quality time with their children despite their busy schedules. While, in most cases, both parents nowadays have full-time jobs, they strive to be more present in the lives of their children.
In fact, they are spending more time with their children than parents did back in the ‘50s.
Moreover, the role of the father is changing, too. One research found that Millennial men are more present in the lives of their children and are more enthusiastic about their duties as parents compared to generations before them. They also want to spend more time with their children.
Millennial parents are “co-parenting” which means that they are equally sharing responsibilities that involve their children. It is also important for them to bond as a family, not during meal times like in the past, but throughout the weekend where they can participate in different activities.
Not Being Authoritarian
Millennial parents do not want to be feared. They are raising their children to become good people not by enforcing strict rules or physical force, but by influencing and reinforcing positive behaviors. There is no punishment. Children are praised and rewarded for good deeds.
They are more interested in what is called “positive parenting,” a parenting style in which the parents and their children build a relationship that involves caring, teaching and leading, communicating, and unconditionally providing needs. Making children feel safe is also a priority.
It works. Studies have proven that positive parenting encourages the positive development and growth of children.
Giving Their All
Millennial parents love their children so much that they are willing to sacrifice everything to create a safe and stable future in an increasingly unpredictable world. Despite experiencing financial turmoil, which this particular generation seems to encounter a lot, they are not scrimping when it comes to providing the needs of their children in the present and in the future.
As an example, Millennials, who have been burdened by skyrocketing student debt, are saving money for their children’s college years. About 66 percent of them are setting aside funds to send their children to university in the future, so the young ones would never have to borrow large sums of money to fund their education. For comparison, only 47 percent of members of Generation X and 35 percent of Baby Boomers did the same for their respective children.
Millennials took longer to get married and have children but, now, they are becoming parents. How they are raising the next generation reflects their own values and interests. Although their parenting styles are different, they are focusing on the present and future well-being of their children.