These days, there’s been plenty of debate over the parenting styles of boomers, gen-xers and millennial parents. Many fathers from older generations believe that millennial fathers are raising their kids to be too soft and are overprotective, while boomer fathers raised their kids to “tough it out” and “grin and bear it”. You may be wondering in what ways the parenting styles of millennial fathers may be different, and why boomers don’t have the nicest things to say about them. Despite the beliefs of the previous generations, fathers being involved in the lives of their children has a wonderful impact on their wellbeing (1). Well, since older millennials are slowly approaching their 40s, many of them already have families and are raising kids. So let’s look at the seven ways in which millennial fathers are raising their kids differently:
1. They Are More Engaged In Child Rearing
Compared to older generations, most millennial dads spend a lot more time at home and are more involved in their parenting. They also see parenting as a major part of who they are and their identity. Modern dads don’t see bringing up their kids as a chore or as their “wife’s duty” and also tend to help their partner out with more of the household and child rearing chores. This ultimately has a positive impact on the child and they grow up in a more equal household.
2. Millennial Fathers Have The Option Of Paternity Leave
While maternity leave is something that most of us have gotten used to, for many bosses the concept of paternity leave is still quite new. Dads from younger generations don’t hesitate as much to ask for paternity leave as they want to bond with their baby in the first few months. In many cases, dads choose to stay at home and take care of the baby while the mother works. We’re slowly moving towards a space where two people can raise their kids without having to compromise on their career.
3. They Make Adjustments In Their Career To Spend Time With Their Kids
Not every millennial father will take time off from their career to raise their kids but a lot of them do so. Even in a situation where the father is the breadwinner, they find ways to spend time with their kids. Many fathers request more flexible schedules or even start their own businesses that they run from home. This allows them to successfully combine work and parenting. More than ever at this point in time, fathers are more likely to make those career adjustments and prioritize spending time with their family.
4. They Are Both Responsible And Safe
Both fathers and mothers of a millennial generation are more protective of their children and try to ensure they avoid letting them get hurt as much as possible. While older parents are more likely to brush off minor injuries and don’t keep as much of an eye on their parents, millennial parents are more likely to make a big deal out of an injury and don’t invalidate the pain of their kids. Boomer parents raised their sons to not show emotions and their daughters to play with dolls and be soft. Millennial dads aren’t doing the same.
5. Millennial Dads Are Usually Older And Hence More Emotionally Mature
Millennial dads have an older average age at which they have their first child and are hence more emotionally, financially and mentally ready to handle the responsibility of bringing a child into the world. While we’re not trying to say that having children young is a bad idea, if you have kids towards the middle of your career rather than the start, you will get to spend more time with your children.
6. Millennial Dads Rely On The Internet More
Millennial fathers rely on the internet a lot more and often look for parenting advice online rather than through books like a lot of older generations did. Technology, social media and the internet are major influencers in parents’ lives and their children. They are also able to get information at a faster rate than having to scour through different books.
7. They Like To Schedule Playdates
Many millennial parents try to schedule playdates for their kids. The rhythm and pace of modern life allows parents to plan not just their working hours but their free time and family life. While parents from older generations might not quite have understood the concept of playdates, they definitely let us have our fun time with friends (as long as we made it back before our curfew).
Have you ever noticed a difference in the way you raise your own children versus how your parents used to? Do you think this list is accurate towards millennial parenting? Tell us all of your thoughts in the comment section below.