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5 ways millennials parent differently than their parents did

Millennials often get a bad rap, many people buying into the stereotype that they’re irresponsible and assuming that having kids doesn’t fit in with their lifestyle. But a study by the Working Mothers Research Institute indicates that millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) may in fact be the most family-oriented generation of the last 50 years!

In a recent interview weighing in on the topic, radio presenter J Sbu, a dad of a 4-year-old son, fully agreed with the scientific findings, “even just from a communication perspective.” He shared that he and his dad have very different parenting styles and he would have benefitted from the way he’s raising his son.

He invited listeners to share their thoughts on whether they thought they were doing a better job raising their kids than their parents did, and this is what some had to say.

Millennials communicate openly with their kids

“I communicate with my son when there’s an issue. I want to hear what he has to say… I want him to get used to engaging with me about things that matter. My parents would dismiss any talk and say, ‘Go to sleep’.”

J Sbu said he’s big on trying to create an understanding between him and his son when it comes to decision-making, something his parents didn’t ascribe to.

Furthermore, he has the approach that  “When you do wrong, it sucks, but there’s also an opportunity for you to learn. And if you do great – you win and you grow!”

Millennials adapt their discipline to their kids’ personalities

Bianca, a mom of 3, said her mom was big on “if one does wrong, everyone gets punished” and of course, “the talk”. Unlike her mom’s authoritarian parenting style, she revealed she prefers to try to understand the reasons behind her kids’ behaviour and adapting her responses accordingly.

“I also focus more on my kids’ different personalities,” she said. “My older one is very sensitive, so shouting at her doesn’t work. It just ends in tears. Whereas my middle one is a real little Tarzan and needs a firmer approach.”

ALSO SEE: 4 discipline techniques that work

As a result of her parenting style, she said she’s feels she’s much closer to her kids than she was as a child with her own mom.

Millennial dads are more involved with their kids

A dad of two young kids, aged 5 and 2, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he is much more family oriented than his parents ever where. “My dad wasn’t around and my mom, who fell pregnant at 16, had to work during the day and study at night. While she tried her best, I was basically raised by my grandparents and I don’t want that for my own kids. My family is my everything.”

Millennials don’t hide the truth from their kids

Another mom who didn’t want to be named said that contrary to her friends growing up, she was fortunate to have a mom that she could talk to about anything growing up. “She was not like a lot of other moms in those times,” she said. “I’ve raised my girls in the same way and tell them the truth about everything. Yes, sometimes it can be a bit uncomfortable, but I’d rather be honest and open with them than hide things from them.”

ALSO SEE: How to encourage a safe space to talk about sex with your children

Millennials are more open-minded

Sibu, a mom of a teen daughter, said she was lucky that her mom’s parenting style was a little different to other people of her time. She said her own parenting style is not unlike how her mom raised her, “except I’m more open in many ways.”

“My daughter had a birthday celebration with her friends at a restaurant in a mall recently – as they do these days. She’d also invited boys to the lunch – which would have been unheard of by my parents when I was growing up. But afterwards I told her that I’m not interested in the gender of her friends. I was just glad to meet them. They were very respectful individuals.”

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