Millennial parents have been taking on a lot of backlash as to how they parent, or according to some, don’t parent at all. Everyone has their own opinions as to how a child should be raised, and while most people can agree that it takes a village to raise a baby, others believe that it takes a social media to raise a baby. In fact, 71% of millennial mothers have admitted to using blogs, social media, forums, and parenting websites to receive insightful advice into the world of parenting.
The topic of parenting among millennials will spark controversy - they’re either good or bad. Millennials have been shamed that they’re using too much screen time, too many snacks before dinner, not enough outdoor time, and even what kind of hairstyles that they should have.
First, let’s collectively agree that every mom and dad out there is doing a great job, even though they may be exhausted and feel like they’re doing less than their best. However, we do need to acknowledge that the internet is taking the world and generation by storm, and it’s affecting the way some may want to parent their children. The big argument in today’s parenting is: Parents need to take a social media hiatus.
20 NEW: They're More Open To Communication
There was a time in the ’90s when all teenagers would rather party all night than be with their parents. A Wednesday night at home with the folks was never really heard of, not even in Hollywood movies. As the new generation of millennials came through, family bonds became more important and, eventually, everyone started staying home.
According to Market Wealth, over half of millennials say that their parents are, in fact, their best friends. Communicating their thoughts, feelings and aspiration was a very common conversation to have. It’s no wonder why millennial parents are having an easier time conversing with their young tots nowadays.
Thanks to mommy vloggers and their genuine kindness and patience towards their babies and toddlers, millennial mothers now find it easier to ask questions, seek answers and totally rock parenting.
19 WRONG: They Try To Be BFF's With Their Kids
Millennials are now claiming to be BBFs with their own parents, which is a dramatic change from when they were teenagers themselves.
However, as millennials have more and more babies, their loving and friendly personalities are quickly forming bonds with their babies that borderlines best friends and parent (guilty!) In fact, according to a recent study by The Family Room LLC, 54% of millennials parents claim to be best friends with their children. By befriending your child, the study shows that children have an easier time understanding empathy.
As Millennials begin to parent understanding babies and comprehensive toddlers, these such parents are also depriving their child of hearing the word “no,” in fear that they may no longer see them as the perfect, idealistic, grown-up who does, in fact, discipline. As time goes on, children understand that they can get whatever they want whenever they want in exchange for a happier quieter trip to the grocery store (As a mom, I’ll take the quiet grocery trip, thank you).
18 NEW: Fashion Is Key
Millennial culture has made the fashion industry one of the hottest and the easiest way to get likes and followers on social media.
Young parents have been flooding their children’s closets and wardrobes with Yeezy shoes, Armani tops and even Gucci diaper bags. Of course, no mother is putting leaking bottles into their $600 Gucci bags.
According to Business of Fashion, parents are dressing their children in the freshest clothes, keeping up with the current trends, and making sure each #OOTD is posted for the world to see. In fact, children’s apparel has been increasingly popular, making it a $1.4 Billion industry. By 2030, it is expected for that children’s fashion will be a $30 Billion industry.
17 WRONG: Social Media Takes Precedence Over Their Kid's Needs
Whether it’s a homemade blueberry muffin, a trip to the gym, building block towers with their babies, parents are posting about it.
And while it is great that parents are capturing the moment and creating forever memories with their babies, they are also spending a ton of time on social media posting about it, engaging their followers with answered questions, and thanking them for sweet comments.
However, millennials are also turning to social media for parental guidance, which is the faux pas of parenting a newborn. How did Kim K get Chi to sleep? The sad reality of it is that 71% of millennial parents are turning to mommy blogs, videos and even stories on the latest “how to” of parenting.
16 NEW: Social Media Image Is Important
Ninety percent of millennial parents have confessed to using social media when they are looking for parenting advice. However, social media has also been used to create an image in order for other parents to lean on them for parental guidance.
We have to admit, if it wasn’t for mommy vloggers, our homes would never be as clean and nicely decorated as they currently are.
Having a large following not only allows parents to showcase their perfect family, but it also allows them to potentially have paid content, bundles of freebies and maybe even sponsorships to certain department stores.
15 WRONG: They’re Not Overprotective, Like The Gen-X Crowd
Okay- here’s another Good vs Bad topic. Contrary to the helicopter Generation X parents, wanting to know everything about where you were going, who you were going with, what time you’d be home, what you’d be doing, whose parents will be there, and so and so and so - millennials are allowing their children freedom. Change is coming!
Let’s discuss why this is bad: the online world is a seemingly safe but really scary place. According to Adweek, the newfound freedom that children have has made them susceptible to brand marketing. Thanks to the creative and educational television shows that constantly run in a household, children are learning early on the rounds of technology and how things work.
They are easy targets for a large phone bill, as they click away on a “add to cart” on your app store. However, thanks to this freedom, millennials families are embracing a more interactive family unit.
14 NEW: We're Talking About Justice And Equality
Goodbye '90s, hello change.
Although the '90s was probably the best decade in history, it also brought a stronger sense of keeping everything on the down-low. It wasn’t because our parents didn’t want us to know the reality of the world- they simply didn’t live and understand the complexity of what was to come.
Today, we are strong and fearless, but we are also aware of things that happen in the world that are unpleasant. We are living in a time of change where talking about equality and justice is welcomed with supportive arms. We are teaching our children that everyone matters, but that it’s time for women to finally take a stance. We are labeling ourselves feminists, activists, and even creating a nutritional change that not only sheds light to the realities of meat farming, but we’re also saving the world.
13 WRONG: Vlogging For Money Instead Of For Family Memories
Parents.com recently released an articled titled “Parenting in a Fakebook World.” Children are now living life knowing that whether they do something funny or risky, their parents will instantly edit and upload it to the internet for all to see and wait for a big fat paycheque to arrive.
In fact, 1 in 7 millennial moms declares themselves to be bloggers. Some of the highest paid bloggers and vloggers can receive payments of up to $100,000 a month, and the current average is $31,000 a month, according to Parents.com.
So, of course, who wouldn’t want to film their families every waking and sleeping moments for money?
12 NEW: We're Teaching Kids The Importance Of Safety Without Fear
Back in the day, our parents used to be control freaks, who overscheduled our after-school curriculums and were dubbed “helicopter parents” for a reason. And, as much as we hated it then, they were with us from morning to evening.
When it comes to safety concerns, millennial parents are seeing first hand the reason our parents try to scare us safe.
Luckily, thanks to the internet, vloggers and social media channels, it’s easy for parents to warn their children without scaring the fear of life into them. Safety discussions are now easily discussed and openly started. Sadly, the main topic for children is safety in schools and how to properly hide in case anything may happen. In fact, children are now practicing emergency drills as young as daycare ages.
11 WRONG: Fashion Is Over The Top And Prioritized Too Highly
The fashion industry is shifting in a major way. Currently, there are more millennials and digital babies (born between 1977 and 2000) shopping on their mobile devices as opposed to spending a Friday night at the mall.
Stores like the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s and even JC Penny have been closing hundreds of stores across the United States. However, when it comes to dressing their little fashionistas, the fashion industry has been showcasing various trends like khaki pants and white crop tops, foam baby stilettos or tracksuits that would make David Beckham jealous.
Any and all adult trend is available to babies and children, causing more friction in primary aged children, where many children are subject to bullying.
10 NEW: Unique Names Are Born
Soon, having the same name in a classroom will be a thing of the past. In fact, millennials have been naming their little babies after trendy foods such as Kale, Maple, Honey and even Kiwi.
According to Linda Murray, the executive at Baby Center, millennials are naming their babies things that they love. Although, we can’t forget that times have drastically changed since Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple, back in 2004, which almost broke the internet way back then.
Luckily for parents, unique names allow children to be more open-minded and empathetic towards others, especially other children in their classrooms. However, we should advise parents to stay away from names that will cause a legality issue, mockery and even become causes for depression. The perfect example of a name that crossed all of these boundaries: ABCED, pronounced "Ab-City."
9 WRONG: Some Millennials Don't Believe In Vaccinations
It’s truly an epidemic that millennials are having a hard time believing vaccines work. More and more parents are following the guidance of mommy bloggers and celebrities that want to stay relevant in the news.
The UN recently released their study, showing anti-vaxxers are in the top 10 worst epidemics of the decade. In fact, the anti-vaxxer epidemic has been compared to the Ebola crisis, HIV and even climate change. Sadly, these statistics are still not enough to wake up parents. Nor are images of children covered in smallpox and measles, or worse.
8 NEW: Millennials Are Bringing Back More Outdoor Activities, Less Screen Time
In the epidemic of screen time, it’s hard to resist the temptation of checking the buzzing cell phones as parents watch their kids play. Though screen time has been on the rise in the last decade, as more millennials are having children at a much younger age, they’re also bringing back free play rather than television and games.
However, the idea of screen time is also a very important topic to discuss, as it stunts a developing child’s brain. Luckily, (and a huge thanks to social media for this) it’s a much more common scenario to see young parents playing outdoors with their teeny tots, engaging more in their activities and leisure pleasures, and spending less time watching television. Unfortunately, we mentioned television and not social media - as parents play with their kids, they are also capturing it and posting it almost instantly.
Social media 1, parents 0.
7 WRONG: Home Owners Are Decreasing
The housing market is significantly decreasing thanks to millennials. In fact, nearly 70% of homeowners regret their decision of taking out a mortgage rather than renting. However, we must say that only 4 in 10 Millennials are currently homeowners.
The reason for the remorseful feelings is the simple fact that millennials are over excited about purchasing their first homes, and they don’t fully understand what owning a home entails, such as repairs, home welcome tax, and even the water bill. It’s incredibly expensive. Instead, parents are now welcoming the idea of staying with their parents a little while longer while they save and clear their debts. In addition, they are also choosing to rent, because a leaky toilet no longer becomes their problem!
Plus, who has $750 000 to buy a house nowadays, anyway?
6 NEW: Millennials Are Accepting A Vegan Lifestyle
What a time to be alive as we realize that knowledge is power! We now know what our food currently contains and what we are not only doing to the planet, but also to our bodies. And as parents, whatever we consume, it’s most likely our children are also dining on the same dishes we are.
Millennials are not only choosing the right to eat a vegan diet, but they are also voicing their demands and requests for vegan skincare products, clothes, and even cell phone cases! According to Live Kindly, there are currently 7 million Americans who choose a vegan lifestyle and this number is said to be rising exponentially.
5 WRONG: Daycares Aren't Fans Of The Cloth Diaper Fad
Millennials are trying (and some are succeeding) at the vegan and organic lifestyle, which includes a dairy and meat free life, organic kinds of cotton, and cloth diapers. Let’s collectively agree that cloth diapers are completely gross and require more work than disposables, however, daycares are now saying a huge nay to cloth diapers.
First of all, daycares don’t have the time of day to change a cloth diaper and run it through their washing machine with other face cloths and food-stained clothes. Second, no one, except their parents, should smell the urine-soaked (or more) diapers that are tied in a plastic bag, waiting for their parents to take them home.
4 NEW: Family Vacations Are More Important Than In The Last Decade
We’re seeing the world, baby!
Traveling through countries that their parents would have never thought of traveling to, it is said that 44% of millennials are traveling the world with their young children. These vacations range from quiet family vacations camping by a lake to backpacking through the Amazon. In fact, back in 2017, there was a mother who saved her salary for an entire year and traveled to every country throughout the course of one year, with her baby and on her maternity leave.
Saving money for a vacation, especially when including children, may seem like a daunting task. However, according to Regions, a vacation doesn't necessarily have to require a plane ticket, white sandy beaches, and an all-inclusive resort. When the children are young, planning a "staycation" can also help parents relieve themselves from daily life stresses, and it still allows for everyone to have a fresh breath of air, even if it's a state or province away. Learning the beauties of your own country is always a plus in our books!
3 WRONG: Ignoring Their Relationships
Long live the digital world!
Millennials are also changing the dating game thanks to quick “dating” apps. In fact, let’s admit that millennials are taking over the world and changing it… maybe for the better (as annoying as that is, with their sensitivity). But, once he or she enters in a relationship, there are two stages of the dating world: the honeymoon phase and the “I’m just going to ignore you while I scroll through my newsfeed for an hour” phase.
In fact, a recent study showed that millennial parents spend a total of 4 minutes a day together with their partners after work, parenting, responsibilities at home, personal hygiene and their screen time (including cell phones.)
2 NEW: We’re Staying Home, Mom And Dad!
This can be both good and bad. According to the Financial Post, millennials and even millennial parents are choosing to live at home with their parents.
The good: they get to save a ton of money on rent or a mortgage, their bills and food, and have round the clock childcare - most of the time for free. The bad: they’re not saving their money and using it for a downpayment on a house (but, we’ll touch more on that in the list below.)
Luckily for grandparents, according to recent studies, spending time with their grandchildren decreases their chances of developing Alzheimer's and depression and increases their overall health and attitude.
1 WRONG: Trying To Speed Up Various Milestones
It seems as though parenting has now become a form of competition between millennial parents. Jimmy said his first word first, Jimmy walked first, Jimmy potty-trained first. Geeez, Jimmy is simply the ideal kid, isn’t he?
Instead of enjoying each moment and guiding their babies in the right direction when it takes longer than others, nowadays millennial parents are over eager to want to post it and may rush things for their own benefits.
Parents need to understand that babies are only small for a short amount of time. Those sleepless nights, the endless colds, the tantrums, while they may be slightly annoying at the time, they will go and the house will be silent. Let babies be babies, let them grow in their own time and just ease their way in the right path.
References: marketwatch.com, businessoffashion.com, forbes.com, verywellfamily.com, verywellfamily.com, parents.com, livekindly.com, travelagentcentral.com, business.financialpost.com, alzheimers.net, joshuastraub.com, forbes.com, adweek.com, parents.com, fromthegrapevine.com, theguardian.com, cnbc.com, vogue.com, bustle.com, momsandtots.co.za, regions.com, cnn.com