It's no secret that Millennials get a bad rep these days. They're either too off-putting, too opinionated, too "open," or whatever else people have problems with. At the end of the day, they're just a product of how they were raised and are doing the best they can. Cut them some slack!
Nevertheless, it's not just Baby Boomers who seem to have a problem with Millennials' entire presence; it's health professionals, as well (just add them to the list). Now that many Millennials are at an age where they're having children, the older generations not only have a problem with them but with how they're choosing to parent their children. In particular, let's look at psychologists. Now, there are many different kinds of psychologists, but the idea of assessing individuals and why they do something is very relevant. It's not like psychologists all over the country have an issue with Millennial parenting, but there are some things this group does simply based on how they grew up.
From the amount of screen time they allow their kids, to being a touch narcissistic, Millennial parents are anything but perfect, and these health professionals are here to point out the obvious. As parents, all we can do is learn from this advice and find a happy medium in our own parenting style.
20 Venting Via The Internet
No matter how you vent, the important thing is that you're letting off some steam and expressing yourself in a way that feels positive. The problem with venting in 2019, however, is that it's not always to other people. Some psychologists worry that by a person venting and sharing their sorrows on social media, they're not always getting fair criticism or feedback. Sometimes people don't get any feedback or support at all. Other times, the feedback they get can actually be more destructive than helpful. Instead of venting to the Internet or to random trolls who don't have your best interests in mind, vent about parenting woes to friends, family members, and health professionals.
19 Don't Focus Too Much On Uniqueness And Ignore Behavioral Issues
Granted, behavioral issues in children aren't just happening to Millennial mothers; they happen to all parents of all ages. However, Psychology Today explains that Millennial mothers try to focus on what makes their child unique instead of taming issues they see in their behaviors. "Though it doesn’t come easily to all parents, Millennials put a strong emphasis on tuning into each of their children’s unique identities by putting forth unconditional love. But such love should not prevent them from working to shape their children’s behavior to help them fit the family and community."
Loving our children is first and foremost, which is why we should focus on their behavioral development as much as we do on their talents.
18 Relying On Electronics To Entertain Their Children
I love iPads and cell phones as much as the next person, but should we take a break from the screens every once in a while? No questions asked. Living through these screens is only hindering us from exploring the world. And while Millennial parents may notice their addiction to electronics, imagine what it must be like for their kids. This is why AAP (Academy of Pediatrics) made recommendations for media use for children. While putting a show on the TV is a solid babysitter, it could be allowing your child to focus more on what's on the screen than their own development.
17 Release Yourself From Your Own Helicopter Parent So YOU Can Parent
Have you ever noticed all of the terms out there for mothering styles? Helicopter parenting is one of them, and it essentially means a mother who is extremely overprotective and takes an active interest in their child's life. Depending on the child, they either love their helicopter mom (because it's all they know) or they find it incredibly invading. Nevertheless, if you have a helicopter mom and are now a mother yourself, it's time to cut those propellers from your mom so you can be the best parent you can be. As The Washington Post notes, Millennials' biggest challenge is "conflict negotiation." The publication continues, saying, "They often are unable to think for themselves. The over-involvement of helicopter parents prevents children from learning how to grapple with disappointments on their own."
16 Not Viewing Yourself As An Adult
What I'm about to say may scare you, but once you have a child of your own, you're now an adult. It doesn't matter if you're 16 years old or 40 years old — there's a child who completely depends on you and needs you to show them the ropes. Parenting is a huge responsibility to take on, and while it's not always FUN to do adult things, you are one, nonetheless. The Washington Post reiterated, "The idea of being a full-blown adult is [daunting], but you have to come to terms that you're no longer a baby, you HAVE a baby, and need to realize you're in charge now."
15 Instant Gratification
As an almost-30-year-old, I understand the need for instant gratification. Think about all the things we're blessed to have that make our lives so much easier. From dishwashers to microwaves to vacuums to Uber Eats! If there's anything we need in this world, we can usually get it in a short amount of time. It's glorious! Instant gratification doesn't really go hand-in-hand with parenting, though. Millennial moms are not going to be amazing parents overnight, and their children aren't going to be potty-trained within the hour. Mistakes and lessons are going to be learned; they just take time.
14 Dr. Google
Healthy Way explains what so many health professionals say every day: "Go to a professional, don't rely on Google." Google is an amazing tool for so many things, but when it comes to matters of health or behavior — seek out a professional. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has Googled symptoms of headaches, which only made me panic more because "Dr. Google" told me it's probably a life-ending illness. As a parent, you need to Google with caution, as silly as it sounds. If you're ever worried about your child, tuck Dr. Google away and see someone with an advanced degree to get down to the source of the problem.
13 Ignoring The Human Connection
As parents, our main connection is to our children. We created them, after all! When we were kids ourselves, though, our biggest connection was to our own parents. As we got older, that connection changed to our life partner. And in time, that connection slowly grew to our children, as well. The human connection is so beautifully sacred, and yet we're slowly walking away from it. “We miss out on real human connection and a full dialogue,” Dr. Sanders says on Healthy Way. "Computers and phones can never replace real-life advice and support. That’s something previous generations know, and something many perennials are seeking."
12 Forcing Social Media Standards
I don't need to sit here and tell you why social media can be hazardous to our mental health. Ever since the days of MySpace, we've been trained to tell the world our feelings; to express every detail of our days from behind a screen. In the beginning, it was all fun and games. We'd tweet funny thing we were doing or post a mini Vine compilation. But as parents do we still need to be posting our entire day? Most health professionals are in agreement that posting too much can form an unneeded attachment, and even be dangerous, having millions of people know the life of your child.
11 Awarding Their Children For Losing
One of the things Millennials get made fun of a lot is for rewarding their children when they don't necessarily deserve it. Funny enough, this entry also goes along with wanting to be our child's best friend. Why are we rewarding our kids for losing a game? Does this mean it's okay to lose something that means a lot to you or a team? Why are we getting ice cream as a treat for doing subpar on a big exam? Does this mean that we're supporting mediocracy and we don't expect much from our child? Doing these things is a sweet gesture from time to time, but rewarding poor behavior or outcomes is only going to hurt these kids once they become adults. They're going to realize you don't get a treat or a bonus from losing a deal at work or failing a class in college. These "rewards" don't really reward them at all.
10 Avoiding The Doctor
Remember how I said there are plenty of Millennials who refer to Dr. Google? Well, there are just as many Millennials who can't take the heat from both the Internet and the doctor; so they ignore the doctor entirely. It's understandable that our health can be daunting to think about when we're not feeling well, but ignoring a health professional entirely can only hurt us more. The same can be said when our kiddos aren't feeling great. Ignoring the doctor and hoping they get better by themselves after an extended amount of time is only doing them a disservice. Not to mention Care Spot claims Millennial parents avoid going to the doctor because it takes too long and can be too expensive. Funny enough, if we take our kids to the doctor when they need to go—instead of waiting and waiting—we can nip the problem in the bud immediately, saving both time and money.
9 Living Lives They Can't Afford
Psychologists are all about the human mind. They want to get down to the bottom as to why a person is behaving the way they do; why they're doing it and where it's stemming from. In terms of living beyond their means, a lot of this comes from the need for perfection. Millennial parents want to "appear" perfect to the outside world via social media. They'll buy the "mommy and me" outfits, go to picture-perfect destinations, and put on this front of unity that other "normal" parents might not have. Acting perfect for an audience, however, can hurt us mentally — along with our families. It's not real; it's not authentic, which can leave a mark on a young one.
8 Ignoring Vaccines
Vaccinations and immunizations are a huge topic of debate these days. Over the past couple of years, there has been this fad of Millennials not wanting to vaccinate their kids. They think that the vaccines are messing with their child's DNA, making them catch different diseases and have life-altering behavioral issues. On the contrary, many doctors and health professionals explain that without these vaccines, their child can get even sicker and spread things to those who have been vaccinated. Overall, it's a dangerous situation.
Tania Lombrozo, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkley, explains the more a community is pro-vaccination (and keeps the communication about the subject flowing), the more likely a child will be vaccinated; parents are more educated and feel safer for it. Those who hear rumors and don't discuss with a health professional or other parents could be in for an eye-opening ride.
7 Stop Helicopter Parenting
Amy Morin at Psychology Today notes that not only do Millennials who had helicopter parents need to snip the cord from their parents, but they also need to nip helicopter parenting in the bud altogether. A 2016 study explained how kids who have helicopter parents are more likely to have illnesses when they age because they don't have mom or dad breathing down their neck all day, telling them what their diagnosis is. The site also explains how those who have helicopter parents are entitled, have emotional distress, sometimes rely on medication (because they are worried about not producing), and more. Sure, being a helicopter parent can get your child great grades and into an amazing school, but at what cost?
6 You Don't Need To Be Their Best Friend
I'm sorry to say this because I know how important it is to some young parents out there, but you don't need to be your child's best friend; you need to be their parent. Psychology Today points out that many Millennial parents are afraid to hurt their child's feeling or be seen as uncool. However, you can still totally be friendly without being their BFF. There should be a beautiful balance. Your child should be close enough to tell you something important, but still respect you when they do something silly. Fred Peipman, Ph.D., explains that this kind of behavior is instilled by the parent and shows their neediness — not the child's.
5 Don't Worry About Being Judged
I think it's safe to say that Millennials just want to be liked. They want to be admired on social media and know all the trends, and once they become adults, they want to be loved by their children and peers. There's something about becoming a parent that drives a mother kind of mad. They may have never cared about being judged before, but now that their baby is attached to their hip, they're constantly worried about what people think and say. Kyle D. Pruett, MD, tells parents they need to let go of the idea of being a "flawed parent." Wondering what that random couple at the park thought of your parenting style should not be the main concern.
4 Taking All The Responsibility
If you're a fan of the comedic sitcom Modern Family, then you would know that families come in all different shapes and sizes. Whether you have a solo parent, two dads, two moms, or one of each gender — a family is a family. The best part about families (if they live nearby) is that you can rely on each other for help. Whether it's babysitting or pet-sitting, family members help family members.
What certain psychologists care about, however, is the fact that so many Millennials have help from spouses and extended family members but refuse to take it. They'd rather be "busy" complaining and doing it "their way" then ask for help. This, of course, causes tension and ignores the beauty of co-parenting.
3 Trying To Be Perfect
I'm happily blaming this entry on social media and reality TV shows. As Millennials, we were raised in the heart of reality TV and social media. As soon as most of us reached middle school, we heard about different platforms that were forming and shows like The Simple Life. Seeing how other people acted and lived their lives made most of us want to be another version of ourselves. This, however, didn't have a good impact on our self-esteem; making many of us become perfectionists. The Psychological Association explained how perfectionism has been on the rise for the past three decades, with society needing to "seem" perfect to total strangers.
2 Keep The Phones Away
Stephanie Bove from Captalk noted that "The average Millennial mom spends up to 18 hours of her time on her phone, every week." Does that amount of time sound jarring to anyone else?! It's understandable that mothers need their phones to stay in contact with their family members, babysitter, children's school, and the like, it's a completely different thing to be using it for social media and work purposes. Psychologists understand how hard it is to turn your mind off after a long day of parenting or working (or both), but limiting phone time and appreciating what's going on in front of you is a luxury so many of us forget.
1 Chill On The Take-Out, Cook At Home Instead
Psychology Today reminds us how high obesity levels are in North America. It's no longer a small problem; it's an all-out health crisis. The health of our children kind of goes hand-in-hand with the art of instant gratification. Why cook something that takes tedious amounts of time when we can just order Postmates? Our entire family meal can be delivered to us within the hour instead of slaving away over a stove. Ordering takeout all the time, however, can lead us to eating foods that are fried or filled with ingredients that we didn't even know about. Instant gratification and quick food are good once in a while, but most health professionals remind Millennials about taking our health back to basics in terms of food.