Raising a Millennial: What We Know
If you’re currently the parents of a Millennial (any person from the ages of 18-34) then you might already know that many of them share some fairly interesting traits that at times might make them a little more difficult to parent. Millennial’s bring a fairly interesting mix to this world (for more details please visit www.studentshare.net) . They are the generation that was never told “no.” Combined with the realities of being the first born in the throws of the Internet and the information age. In order to truly understand how to parent Millennial, you’re best served to understand where they came from and where they want to go, if you really want to have any chance of having success. Here are 5 basic thoughts to remember when mothering your millennial.
NOTE: NOT ALL MILLENNIALS FEEL LIKE THEY RELATE TO THESE TRAITS AND SOME BELIEVE SOME OF THESE TRAITS HAVE MORE TO DO WITH INFLUENCE OF TECHNOLOGY THAN THE GENERATION YOU WERE BORN IN.
Embrace Their Use of Tech As Expression & Education
- This is the Tech-Friendly generation. No generation has been more photographed, video taped, ultra sounded, Instagrammed or Facebooked then this age group.
- Their life is an open book and always has been. Their tech use needs to be seen as a form of expression, not oppression. Remember that they choose to post their engagements, live stream their weddings, and Facetime their children’s soccer games.
- They have extensive libraries of every performance, piano recital and athletic game they have ever performed. They have been on the camera for every religious celebration, holiday and school event. They are born to perform.
- They have learned to think with tech and aren’t afraid to question your data if they can confirm it on Google in 10 seconds. They can find the answer to all of their questions by Googling and watching YouTube videos to every question they have about the universe.
- They see learning as a more continuous process in life, which happens every day all day, not something that simply has to happen at a university.
- They know how to reach out to each other when they need help, advice or just a friend to listen, they aren’t afraid to reach out to each other to ask for help. They understand that when it comes to information, no one can have it all so they are more willing to ask than previous generations.
Gently Guide Their Passion and Creativity
- These kids are confident…sometimes even unrealistically confident. Remember that we as parents were the ones who told them that they could be anything they wanted to be and gave them trophies for everything, whether they had actually earned it or not.
- Some of their confidence has come from the fact that they’ve survived some incredibly trying times for the country (9-11 attacks, the rebranding of what marriage looks like, the financial collapse).
- Their self-belief and confidence allows them to be much more creative, and willing to express themselves in creative ways.
- They are innovators who are willing to try new ideas and editors who know how to cut out what no longer works for them.
- They’re independent thinkers who aren’t afraid to make unconventional choices if that’s what’s best for their families.
- Millennials era is the “Age of Unconditionally.” They have been trained more to be accepting and open and to love those around them. They have had classes about racism, gender bias and discrimination and are the generation who are fighting against racial intolerance. Unlike most other generations before them, they truly see equality of all people, genders and sexual preferences.
- They’re open to others…Millennials know empathy is the superhighway to understanding.
- They willingly support, commiserate and share experiences with each via social media. So they are more prone to cooperative thinking than independent thinking. They operate much more as a member of the community than of one specific tribe over another. Their cooperative mentality however may seem too open and accepting of others ideas than other generations may approve of.
- They have a love of not only other humans but also mother earth itself. They tend to support “green” initiatives like recycling, repurposing and reusing just to name a few, which might explain why they’re ok just living with you instead of spreading to their own footprint.
- They are the generation of less is more, rather than more is more. They saw that it didn’t give their parents peace to accumulate things so they want to follow a peaceful path.
Accept Their Need For Freedom & Space
- Millennials value their freedom a lot. A freedom that for much of their life was encouraged and paid for by their parents.
- They also grew a mindset of freedom simply because they weren’t tethered by curly phone cords or poor cell phone receptivity.
- They’ve seen their parents work themselves to a nub and have been turned off by their parent’s need to work at the expense of family life. They value free time more than they value money or “security.”
- They don’t want to obligate themselves to long-term contracts that might handicap their freedom, which is why mortgages, loans or other debt is not big on their agenda.
- They value free play over scheduled play and family dinners over drive-thrus. Time is their commodity.
- By refueling their own batteries, they can power up whole new levels of fun for the whole family.
Respect Their Choice of People Over Things
- They have a great respect and gratitude for their own parents and appreciate the lifestyle their parents have given them.
- Many millennials move closer to family when they become parents, and that kind of generational continuity is a great gift to their children.
- They like a connection to family without a restricting obligation of it. They enjoy learning about their own family history, traditions and look forward to sharing those stories with their kids.
- Millennials are excited to get married but want to do it right because it is so important. They might be willing to wait until all of the conditions are right. They’ve seen how bad these decisions can be for a family when they’re not “done right.” s
- They’re excited for kids even though they’ll eventually have fewer children and will have them later in life than older generations.
- They are good at prioritizing their joy and see how it increases their chances of experiencing it. At times it may feel like they are more into putting their joy first over everyone else’s needs.
- This is the generation of leaders who know how to follow their hearts, but never leave their brains behind.
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