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General Motherhood

What Makes Millennials Parents Different From Their Parents?

Every parent wants an idea of what kind of parent they will be, especially first-timers. Most people choose to replicate their own upbringing with slight modifications. But there seems to be a generalization for parenting depending on when the parent was born.

80s, 90s babies this one is for us!

Generation Y, a.k.a millennials, are born between 1981 and 1996. One of the biggest advantages this generation has is the internet and social media. While Generation X (born between 1961-1981) had family and friends giving advice on how to raise kids, millennials are more likely to look on the internet for answers to their questions.

When I have a question about something dealing with my child, the internet becomes my best friend. But when I’m not looking for advice, I go to mommy Instagram bloggers like youngmom.diaries and youngmommyguru. Not so much to get advice, but to look at women who look like me. Young black mothers with daughters.

Millennials have access to more technology than Gen X ever did. This influences the parenting style immensely. As millennials raise children, they expose their kids to technology, phones, and iPads early on. Sometimes it can’t be helped. The way the world works now, technology is everywhere and taking over. Technology has been used as a temporary babysitter, distraction and as a discipline technique.

When I have a question about something dealing with my child, the internet becomes my best friend.

With Gen X as parents, camera phones hadn’t been as popular or as common. So when it came to taking and sharing photos of the family, parents had to wait for photos to be developed. But Millennials, practically everyone has a smartphone with high camera quality. I have easily a thousand photos of my family. With having these photos on hand, I can post pictures, send them to family and still get hard copies whenever I need them. Now to show off a smiling baby or a special event, parents don’t have to wait for the film to be taken in, developed then returned. All of those memories are accessible in the palm of their hand.

Popping an infant in front of the television so a task can get done, using games on the phone to keep a toddler distracted during a grocery run, removing the iPad from a child when they are misbehaving are all ways technology has influenced millennials in their parenting.

I’m guilty of doing the same. My family from all over the world have been able to watch my daughter grow through the thousands of photos I have collected on my phone. Five minutes in front of the TV to entertain my daughter so I can get something in the microwave that resembled a meal. Or flashing the camera in front of her when I don’t have a mirror on hand. She loves laughing with her reflection. I fit right in with my generation as a parent.

Popping an infant in front of the television so a task can get done, using games on the phone to keep a toddler distracted during a grocery run, removing the iPad from a child when they are misbehaving are all ways technology has influenced millennials in their parenting.

Another unique thing that we as millennial parents face are children who question more about sexuality and gender identities. Generation Z (born between 1997-2012) and the upcoming generation, Generation Alpha (born between 2010-2024), already have more curiosity about the different options laid before them. Generation Alpha are the kids that Millennials are and will be raising.

For the last several years, I have seen so many people go through and many, but not all, overcome struggles with their sexuality and gender identities. Friends, celebrities, people I barely knew are living in a world where they were scared and felt hated because of the lack of understanding and acceptance.

Millennials as parents are willing to be more open and understanding of gender and sexuality from seeing how the LGBTQ community continues to expand. Parents like Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are prime examples. When Wade’s son Zaire, and now wants to be referred to as Zaya, the former NBA star didn’t shame and supports him wholeheartedly.

“This is her life every day. This is no game to us,” Wade told Robin Roberts told Good Morning America. “We’re all about protecting her heart, we’re about protecting her joy and to do that, we have to support her.”

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Millennial fathers are doing things differently too. The number of fathers willing to stay home and be with their child continue to rise. Men are taking paternity leave to assist with the transition of having a baby in the home. I’m sure moms everywhere are grateful for the extra assistance.

Parents these days are choosing to raise their kids with less of a religious upbringing. Gen X spent a lot of time getting their kids involved in church. But now parents are choosing a less structured path. They still teach their kids values, what they believe is right and wrong, but they leave religion up to the kids to decide for themselves. Gen X directed and pushed their kids to follow in their footsteps. But millennials are choosing to be more spiritual and free when it co. Maybe it has something to do with the increased curiosity each generation has?

Each generation has had to face and overcome changing circumstances. Thus the result being that with every passing generation, parenting styles must evolve.

 

 

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