Millennials are no longer the rowdy kids destroying Applebees and talking in movie theaters. Millennials are now the parents. However, they’re continuing their disruptive ways by raising their kids differently than previous generations. Here are some of the main differences:
They Wait Longer To Become Parents
Millennials were once criticized for watching shows like Teen Mom. Older generations became fearful it would glamorize teen pregnancy and cause an uptick. However, the number of teen pregnancies has been going down since the 1990s. Data shows that millennials are waiting longer to become parents when compared to older generations. There are several reasons for this – but the most accepted is financial reasons. Millennials were the most affected by the Great Recession. Also, the minimum wage has stayed stagnant while the cost of everyday products increases year over year.
This is troubling compared to the 1950s when a whole family could live comfortably off just one income. And on top of that, college is becoming more and more expensive. College students nowadays cannot pay off their tuition working summer jobs like students in the 1970s could. All of these economic barriers work against millennials. It takes them longer to become financially stable enough to support a family.
They Use More Technology
Technology is created to make everyday life easier, and millennial parents are taking full advantage. Since millennials grew up in a technology and internet boom, they are more likely to use technological solutions for their children’s behavioral problems. For example, parents might buy a thumb sucking glove or arm brace to prevent thumb sucking. Troubled parents can reach out via online forums and social media to ask for advice from others. If the accessibility and technology are there, why not use it?
They Favor Positive Reinforcement
Millennials grew up questioning the status quo. They will not raise children in one specific way just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Instead, they choose to raise children in ways that are scientifically proven to have beneficial outcomes. One of the traditional parenting tactics that have come into question is spanking. Studies suggest that spanking leads to troubled kids.
Psychologists have known for decades that positive reinforcement is most effective in producing well-behaved kids. Now that this knowledge is more widespread due to the internet, more people know the magic of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is rewarding a child for good behaviors. Rewards do not have to be extravagant prizes. They can be as simple as giving a potty-trainer a sticker after going in the toilet or a high-five after a child cleans up their toys. Millennial parents are more likely to turn to positive reinforcement first rather than negative punishments.
They Come Up With Creative Punishments
Gone are the days when sending a child to their room was a torture sentence. Kid’s rooms nowadays are stocked with video games, tablets, computers, TVs, movies, and music. Therefore, millennial parents have to be more creative in their punishments. They might stuff quarreling siblings into one “get along,” purposely mess up a child’s video game progress, or pick out embarrassing outfits for their teenager to wear to school for a week. These punishments may not be the traditional spanking or chores, but they are still effective in teaching lessons.
They Spend More Time (Without Smothering)
Boomers grew up with moms staying home all day with young children. They might get a hug from dad when he came from work before going off to bed. Generation X had parents who wanted them out of the house as much as possible. Millennials weren’t allowed to leave the house. As a result, kids today are spending more time with their parents. It’s reported that parents are spending more quality time with their children than older generations did. With that said, millennials also appreciate the importance of raising their kids to be independent. For all the extra time they spend together, millennials and their offspring equally enjoy time spent apart.