Millennials make up around 72 million of the population making them the largest generation in the United States in 2019. They surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest generation of living adults in the country.
The millennial generation consists of people who were born from 1981 to 1996. They are the parents of the future generation of Americans and are raising their children differently from the other generations. Here are some things that make millennials different when it comes to starting a family and raising children.
Millennials Wait Longer Before Starting a Family
Currently, the majority of millennials are not yet married. As of 2019, only around 44 percent of millennials are married. Many millennials wait longer before they start a family due to financial concerns or career decisions. Many are also exploring the world and are not yet ready to settle down. With this, they wait longer before they start having children.
The availability of reliable birth control tools as well as the conscious choices of millennials on when to start a family made this possible. Additionally, it increased the average age of women who have their first baby.
Busy But Enthusiastic Parents
Even as millennial parents are busier with their careers, they are also enthusiastic parents who spend time with their children. While millennial families may have both parents working, research has shown that millennial parents spend more time with their children compared to parents in the 1950s.
And it’s not only the mother who shows affection to the children. Millennial fathers are also involved in the lives of their children. They are enthusiastic about their role as fathers and take this responsibility seriously. Millennial parents share the responsibility of being a parent to their children. With this, they try to find a good balance between their parental responsibility and their work.
Have Modern Family Structures
The percentage of married couples as parents has gone down in recent decades with the increasing number of single and LGBTQ parents. The percentage of married couples who act as parents has gone down to around 68 percent compared to 93 percent in the 1950s.
Around 23 percent of children under 18 years old in the US live with a single parent as of 2019. Similarly, around three million children under 18 years old have an LGBTQ parent as of 2017. This shows a forward-thinking attitude among millennial parents who have changed the family structure in the US.
More women have also decided to raise their children on their own. And it’s not limited to minority women who have financial issues. The choice is given to women to have children replaced the stigma of a single mother in the US.
This forward-thinking among millennials also shows that some of them support abortion clinics to a certain degree. While over 40 percent say it is against their personal beliefs, around two-thirds or around 65 percent agree that abortion should be legal in most cases. Around 70 percent say health professionals should provide it in their communities.
Value Positive Parenting
Millennials also have a different parenting style. They focus on reinforcing positive behaviors rather than punishing negative ones. They have shifted from the idea that it is acceptable for a parent to strictly discipline their children.
Millennials focus on positive reinforcement. But there are still discussions on the effect of rewarding children too often even if they did not achieve anything substantial. It remains to be seen if this parenting style can result in better citizens in the future.
Despite this uncertainty, millennial parents value togetherness in the family. While they aim to be together during mealtimes, the busy schedules of working parents have made it challenging to fulfill. Many professionals have to work late and will miss having dinner with their families.
But they value spending quality time with their children. They find ways to do this and often devote their weekends to the family.
Millennial Parents Understand the Importance of the Early Years
Millennials also understand the importance of the early years of their children. They make sacrifices for them amid the economic uncertainties during the current pandemic. Many parents work on providing a stable future for their children and make the necessary sacrifices to do this.
Around 66 percent save more for the college education of their children, which is higher compared to other generations. This shows that millennial parents have the same level of love for their children as the generations before them. They also want to give the best for their children even if they did not receive it when they were young.
There are differences in the way millennial parents raise their children. But they also show the same love that other generations of parents give to their children.