Millennial Parents: Raising the Next Generation

Alan Riley

Every generation is categorized by something.  My grandparents generation, was the great generation.  My parents generation, was known as the rebellious generation.  And then there are the millennials. My generation.

I am the oldest of the millenials, so I like to say.  I barely missed the date to be a generation x’er. My generation has been defined by words such as “You had too many birthday parties, so you feel very entitled” or how about “you live with your parents for way too long.”   

So, did I have too many birthday parties?  Hmm? Maybe! But each one of them were so much fun!  And I can remember them as if they were just yesterday.

Did I live with my parents for too long?  I guess, but it at least saved me some money and eventually led me to be able to afford a house for my family.

But now, I am here.  In the place of raising my own kids and I think about how I am described as a millenial and wonder how this millennial will impact my own kids. I wonder how they will be defined?  I wonder what their generation will look like because of the characteristics of my own generation.

I didn’t grow up like many younger millennials who had a cell phone available to them by their early teenage years; nonetheless, I did have a phone upon high school graduation and really couldn’t be without it.  How will this “need” of not “being without it” impact my kids? I am not sure yet, but what I can say is when my daughter sees me using my phone she will now ask to use it too. I give in to her sometimes, but often fight to be the typical millennial parent who just gives the phone to their 4-year old so they can watch or play something on it.  I am afraid it can lead her to being less social, growing up to believe it is okay to always be on the phone and not interact with others. So I consciously try to put it away while I spend time with her and her brothers, and not to browse it as long as I am with them. But yet, I have attended birthday parties and been to restaurants where I see millennial parents browsing their phone while at the party or waiting for dinner to arrive.  I know that I have also been guilty of this. Which millennial parent is not? How will my generations need for their phone impact their kids? The verdict is not out yet, but I am not sure it will be one we will enjoy.

Yet, there are other great movements in our millennial parenting around positive discipline.  When I was younger, spanking and facing the wall were a norm. I would likely not categorize each of these consequences as positive discipline.  I am sure my parents wouldn’t now either. But today, we call time-outs “time ins” or “thinking time” and instead of having them face the wall, we say such things as “think about your behavior and then come and talk to me about it” or “when you are ready, you let me know and then we can talk.”  We start the discipline conversation by saying, “I love you, although, you cannot kick me.” At least this is what the positive discipline literature has taught us, millenials, how to parents. We can only assume this will be positive, and that our own children will learn to recognize their emotions and feel more connected to us as they grow up.  Again, we just don’t know yet, but we can hope.

Then there is the part that we grew up as millenials, more accepting of others despite their race, nationality, language spoken, ethnicity, sexuality or religion.  We, as millenials, are less likely to go to church. More likely to have school debt. And less likely to save money. I am not sure what this will mean for our children, and so as any parent from any generation, I simply try my best.  I try not to worry how negatively or positively I will impact my kids, but simply try to give them the best mommy ever-day despite my own generational flaws. And so I say to all of the millennial mommies and daddies out there, you are the raising the next generation, let’s do the best that we can because just maybe, we are raising the next great generation.  May our generational flaws not get in our own way of parenting our little ones because they deserve nothing but the best. But then again, that word “deserve” is a sense of entitlement so just maybe all my birthday parties did impact me to feel entitled.


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Author: LC

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About: LC is a mother of three little ones including a daughter who is only 15 months older than her twin sons.  She is also an educator and has recently opened a business with her husband, known as Irie Outfitters.  Irie Outfitters is a brand dedicated to parents of little ones.  Products and clothing are sold both on amazon and through the irieoutfitters website. If you are interested in becoming part of the their amazon deals and reviews club click on the following link:

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