Turns Out Those 'Self-Centered' Millennials Are Actually Pretty Great Parents



When people imagine great parents, millennials aren't typically the first group they point to. Millennials are often seen as self-absorbed, entitled, and more obsessed with cell phones and avocado toast than doing anything of value. But that doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to raising kids. According to the New York Times, Generation Alpha -- the term used for the children of millennials -- is actually shaping up to be one of the smartest, happiest generations of all time. Here are five ways millennials are killing it when it comes to being parents.

  • 1. They fully embrace the parent identity.

    Thanks to advancements in fertility treatments, widespread access to birth control, and society's shifting views on families, millennials are waiting longer than any other generation to have kids. In fact, the average millennial woman has her first child at age 26, and that number is expected to rise. That means, when millennials finally do become parents, they've usually had more time to become financially stable and consider what they want their futures to look like; they're also more likely to fully embrace parenthood as an actual choice and identity. That's probably why a recent survey of millennial parents by tech company Winnie showed 99 percent of millennial moms and dads say they truly enjoy parenthood. Yes, even the hard parts.

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  • 2. They don't shy away from screen time.

    Millenial parents certainly aren't strangers to technology. In fact, 71 percent of millennial moms and dads admit to going to the Internet and/or social media for help with parenting issues. According to Google trends, searches for topics like breastfeeding and sleep training have doubled and tripled, respectively, in the past decade.

    And millennial parents aren't shying away from screen time when it comes to their kids, either. According to the New York Times, Generation Alpha is set to be the "most technologically supplied" generation ever. While screen time may be controversial, the effects on kids raised with regular access to technology have shown to be largely positive. Experts argue that kids are smarter than ever before due to their use of tech and limitless access to information. Looks like being buried in their cell phones isn't such a bad thing.

  • 3. They buck traditions.

    Millennials don't adhere to "traditional" roles when it comes to most things in life, and that goes for their home life too. According to Winnie, millennial fathers are more present than dads in any other generation, with 65 percent of men saying they could see themselves being a stay-at-home dad. Millennial men are also at the forefront of the movement for pushing employers to provide more parental benefits and more rights to fathers in the workplace.

    And when it comes to old traditional milestones like owning a home, millennials say they're much more concerned with using their time and money to give their kids great experiences. Around 56 percent of millennial parents told Winnie they value experiences and travel over home ownership, which means Generation Alpha are in for some enriching journeys.

  • 4. They're all about education.

    According to the New York Times, Generation Alpha will be the most "formally educated generation ever." As Romper points out, high education levels usually correlate with higher salaries, and while money can't buy happiness, it is linked to things like lower stress levels. While it's true that millennials value freedom of expression in their children, they also clearly feel a keen sense of responsibility for their continued success in life, and placing value on education is an important part of that.

  • 5. They value kids' happiness.

    Millennials place a lot of value on personal happiness, and they ultimately want what's best for their families -- even if that looks different than it did in generations past. A surprising 61 percent of millenials told Winnie they value being good parents over having a lasting marriage, with many of them reporting they'd rather get extended family, like grandparents, involved in child-rearing than stay with a bad partner. And studies show that kids who are close to their grandparents tend to have lower rates of depression, and it can even help grandparents live longer. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and millennials embrace that, to their kids' benefit.

    Look, no one is saying that every single millennial parent is going to raise the next Einstein, or that previous generations didn't do a bang-up job with the resources and information they had available to them. But as time passes, we learn more and naturally become better at things, and parenting is no different. For all the crap that's flung at millennials, they certainly seem to be stepping up to the plate in big ways when it comes to being parents.