Parenting has never been an easy task for anyone out there. Parenting millennials is another Herculean task on its own.
The truth though, is that millennials are just a bunch of poor, misunderstood souls most of the time. So without further ado, let’s break down some important ‘dos’ and ‘dont’s’ that need to be kept in mind while parenting millennials.
What You Should Not Do:
Don’t Compare Their Generation To Yours:
Millennial kids live in a world that is vastly different from what you were used to. Their needs, their attitudes, their relationships, everything is based on the experiences they get from the modern world.
This means that it is never ok to equate your past experiences with a millennial’s. Their world is a different colour from yours.
Don’t Stick To Stereotypes:
The thing that millennials are constantly trying to break free from are the holds of age-old stereotypes. Be it gender stereotypes, or stereotypes about various professions, the millennial generation is sick of such restrictive thinking and the last thing they want to do is to explain all that to their parents.
So don’t ever make the mistake of limiting millennial potential by forcing your kids to stick to them stereotypes.
Don’t Make Judgement Calls For Them:
Millennials like any other group of people, value their independence, especially that of their opinions and thoughts. What you might consider as helpful behaviour may actually be causing more harm to them than good.
While contributing to their decisions is welcome, it is not the same as filling in for them and taking decisions on their behalf. Respect their views and chirp in as a guide, not as an enforcer of ideas.
Don’t Regard Their Confidence As ‘Overconfidence’:
See, this is the generation that embodied the idea of ‘swag.’ If anything, millennials are the most qualified people to approach when in need for some good motivation.
That level of confidence may appear to be a boastful show of attitude, with no substance whatsoever. But the truth is, millennials are constantly trying to adapt to their changing environments and perhaps that is their source of such unrelenting coolness.
Don’t Be Shy To Communicate:
Every generation seems to have issues with this one main aspect of life. Sure, awkward confrontations and misunderstandings are bound to occur when two different generations try to communicate with each other.
But millennials do value your opinions and would really love to have a great conversation with you like they would with their friends. Of course, that also means that you should be a good listener, for your child would appreciate your attention on their thoughts as much as you’d appreciate theirs, or your insights.
What You Should Do:
Consider Their Differences As Their Uniqueness, Not As Their Faults:
Your child is as gifted as anyone out there. When you accept that fact, you should also be open to accepting that your child may be different from other children of the same age.
Millennials are living in the age of the hashtag #FlauntYourFlaws and nothing would mean more to them than if these little differences amongst them are celebrated, instead of being reproached.
Take An Active Interest In Their Passions:
The space that millennials have to explore and grow is far beyond anything that previous generations had. This has enabled them to nurture their interests and passions across many fields, in many ways.
A show like ‘Fleabag’ might seem like a pastime to parents but it might be a learning experience for future writers and artists. Taking an interest in millennial kids’ passions, also means taking an interest in knowing the various sources of information they have to develop those passions.
Respect Their Freedom:
Keeping up with the notion of a changing world, it is important to understand that millennial kids aspire to be free first and foremost. The fact that so many sessions in therapy revolve around eliminating the effects of ‘Helicopter Parenting’ indicates just that.
Helicopter Parenting is a term used to describe parents who hover over their kids, aka parents who take protecting their kids to an obsessive level. That attitude needs to change, when parenting millennials.
Let them fly and let them even fall a few times. Experiences in life are more nourishing for them than any amount of instruction that you could provide.
Grow With Them:
The amount of knowledge that millennials gain every day is indeed quite a lot. Their sources go beyond the realms of textbooks and newspapers.
So it isn’t at all an over-the-top-thing to say that millennials can teach you things that you may be unaware of. Maybe they’ll help you in adapting to these changing times better than you yourself could manage to do!
Have Open Discussions About Setbacks Just As You Would For Success:
One interaction with practicing therapists and counselors would inform you about the current condition that we’ve thrown our kids into. They don’t want to talk about the negatives in life to their own parents fearing that they are letting them down.
This shows how important it is to engage in conversations that include not just ‘happy’ talk, but also concrete, ‘sad’ realities. The pressures of this competitive world are bound to get your kids, but you can stop them before they do harm.
That being said, we also emphasize on the fact that this is not an exhaustive list on ‘Parenting Millennials 101.’ Personal experiences and other such factors are bound to include or exclude some tips from this list.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.
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