All of my friends are becoming parents and the world seems to love them. Why? We're Millennials!
We're the most talked about generation ever, thanks to the internet and because we are so different from all the past generations. We are tech-savvy (I know, you heard this billions of times), we are prioritizing our wellbeing, we are aware of the environment we live in and we just like to do things differently, overall.
This includes parenting, which is a new term, invented for Millennials, by Millennials.
With 22 million of us having babies, there is a lot of talk around how we raise our kids and how our parenting practices are going to affect them in the long run. But parents are mainly concerned about how they are going to affect the society in the future.
1. We are in a hate-love relationship with screens.
Millennial parents are definitely not going to let the TV raise their kids, but we are going to use the latest technologies to make sure our kids get the most of their time.
Millennial parenting is all about experiences, and we love to spend time with our kids from the first moment they are born. This means we are going to play with them, engage in DIY projects and teach them how to enjoy the great outdoors.
As opposed to our own parents, we are always taking our kids on holidays, regardless how small they are. But we also give them a tablet when it's raining outside. This is not because we are trying to escape parenting duties, but because that tablet can help them read and count by playing an interactive game, especially designed for kids.
2. Millennials are teaching their kids to be open-minded.
Kids are not stupid. Despite what previous generations say, raising open-minded kids is going to develop their perspective on life and hopefully making them reliable human beings.
This is why Millennial parents are not limiting their kids' thinking; we are encouraging them to find multiple ways to tackle a problem and find solutions for it.
Along with it, we are teaching our kids to be politically correct, meaning considerate and generous to marginalized people. We live in a multi-racial, multi-dimensional world, so our kids need to be able to integrate in this world, celebrating its diversity.
3. Millennials are treating their kids as unique individuals.
Millennial parents are not using spanking to discipline their kids, even with the risk of being considered too “soft.” We have a new set of rules and parenting principles, which are focused on individuality and address each child depending on his own personality.
If this means we are going to breastfeed them as long as they want, this is what we are going to do! Millennial parenting rules are about letting the child develop his own thinking and nurturing his unique personality.
4. Our families are not traditional.
Is there any generation more accused of destroying traditions than us, Generation-Y? I don't think so!
Everyone is blaming us for ditching traditions and destroying the concept of family, but in reality, we are simply building new traditions and extending their old meanings.
It is true that the concept of family is changing, as we know see single parents as a daily normality, just like we see working parents. For us Millennials, it's essential that our kids know and accept diversity, in culture, society and family, in order to be able to realize all humans share the same ground.
Speaking of which...
5. We teach ours kids to protect their environment and themselves.
There is a reason why Millennials are fond of DIY, and it has to do with their childhood. We saw the Recession and we are in huge student debt loans, so we know the value of money.
This makes us recycle and repurpose each time we have the chance. Also, we know a lot about sustainability and we are very aware of the state of our world.
Sustainable living and healthy practices are on the top of the things we want to teach our kids, starting as soon as possible. We show them how to DIY, how to grow their own food and be responsible citizens, in order to empower them and make sure they will thrive in adulthood.
6. Millennials are teaching their kids the value of money.
Everything comes back to money, right? Well, almost.
We faced a lot of financial challenges and we still struggle, so it's only natural to show our kids that money don't come easy. Paying for our kids tuition is not a sustainable option right now, so they have to know mom and dad have to work hard and they will also have to work hard to make a living.
On top of this, the concept of “stay-at-home parent” is not something we are fond of, despite the fact our life is a lot about our kids, we do have a separate life. We have a career, we have a love life and we're not afraid to acknowledge this.
At the end of the day, even Millennial parents are not sure they are doing the right thing. We have doubts and questions, we fear of failure as parents and we do our best to raise our kids.
From this point of view, we're like all the other generations of parents before us. We just think change is a good thing.