Millennials. We’re on the receiving end of a lot of criticism these days. Every time you turn around there’s another meme or video poking fun at the “me me me” generation. Sometimes I even find myself in complete and total denial about my own membership to Generation Y. But let’s be honest – a simple paradigm shift can refute all those accusations of narcissism and laziness and self-entitlement. Can we just take a minute to reflect on how millennial parents are seriously rocking this whole parenthood thing?
Millennial parents make informed decisions. With technology at our fingertips, we’ve mastered the art of internet research. Having so much to navigate can be overwhelming, but we take on the challenge like our children’s lives depend on it. We read books and articles and take classes until we figure out what the very best option is going to be for our family. No flying by the seat of our pants and hoping for the best; we’re making informed decisions that we can feel good about.
Millennial parents “get” technology. We experienced life before social media and have grown up within it. We spent our adolescence enveloped in make believe and outdoor activities, but we also remember when our family brought home a computer for the first time. We know the value of imaginary play and living an active childhood, but we also know that technology is the way of the future. Millennial parents know how important it is to have access to BOTH and we’re able to balance the two in ways that make sense for our family.
Millennial parents value family time. We know that life is short and that time is fleeting. We’ve seen our parents work themselves to the bone to provide for our families. We know the value of work ethic, but we also crave balance. It’s not uncommon to find millennial parents looking for creative solutions that allow one parent to stay home full time, part time, or work from home. We want to provide for our families while making time and space for quality time. We know that we won’t be able to get these days back – so we’re going to make them our best days.
Millennial parents don’t subscribe to traditional boy/girl rules. We encourage our daughters to love dinosaurs and race cars and science (if they’re into it) and we empower our sons to play with baby dolls or Barbie or baking (if they feel so inclined). We seek balance between princesses and strong female role models. We don’t worry if our boys are sensitive or prefer the arts to sports. We follow our children’s interests and we don’t take anything off the table simply because it’s only for “boys” or “girls.”
Millennial parents are proving that you can do anything you put your mind to. Remember how our parents told us we could be anything we wanted to? We are literally doing it! We’re starting our own small businesses, we’re working out of the home, we’re starting social media campaigns, we’re volunteering our time, we’re working two jobs, we’re staying at home; we’re doing it! We are changing the “working parent” game and it has given us the freedom to do exactly what we want to do.
Millennial parents emphasize empathy. Whether we’re teaching our kids to serve others through volunteer work or we’re fighting for social justice – millennial parents are instilling the importance of service to others through our words and actions. We’re teaching our children that it’s important to care about others, place ourselves in their shoes to better understand their circumstances, and do what we can to make a positive impact on the world.
Millennial parents are raising, quite-possibly, the most well-rounded generation yet. So the next time you hear someone say “millennials.. they’re what’s wrong with the world” – remind them about everything that makes us so right.