Here are a few facts form Advertising Age:
- 63% of millennial parents ages 25 to 34 are married.
- 40% of millennials ages 25 to 34 are already parents.
- Half of all millennial parents in the 25-to-34 age group are Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or another non-Caucasian race.
–Millennial Parents (like their entire generation) are financial stressed: “About 44% of millennial parents are “very financially stressed.”
–Upon becoming parents, shopping habits for millennials switch from places like Abercrombie, H&M, Apple, Macy’s and Sephora to brands like Dollar General, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Value City.
Millennials are still showing signs of Pragmatism
I’ve emphasized this trait since the beginning, agreeing with authors Howe & Strauss that we are “pragmatic idealists“. We may not seem like it but we are a pragmatic bunch. Sure, we’ve been instilled with entitlement issues, and are sometimes known to be avid Unicorn-chasers, but with the world we’ve inherited we have to be smart in our actions and decisions. I really like this trait about millennials.
As David Gutting, VP-strategy director at Barkley puts it “millennials are much more pragmatic than they’re given credit for…events like the recession and resulting high unemployment rates have reshaped how they behave as they begin to form families.”
Will they or won’t they?
Be parents, that is. It’s projected that over the next “10-15 years 80% of millennials will be parents.” Millennials came on the scene after the Counter-Culture Revolution, and we grew up during the Culture Wars. If anything we’ve been given the gift of freedom from cultural obligation and expectation. Our childhood was during the “do what’s right for you” 1990s, so I think that as we continue to grow up there won’t be social stigma attached to not being a parent. Millennials won’t make the decision to be parents based on social expectation. With that said, I also don’t see a barrier preventing millennials from taking the plunge to parenthood. Basically, a decade from now millennials won’t find it odd that their peers are with or without kids, though many will take the former road (in humble my opinion).
I also think millennials could also be a great parenting generation because of the aforementioned great childhood (in the 1990s– heard of it??). Generally many millennials had a stable family life growing up, and half say they will “raise their kids the way they were raised.” They also have a strong tendency toward pragmatism, and problem-solving. It’s all a great foundation for raising kids.
Parenting Concerns & Attitude
–52% say they closely monitor their children’s diet.
–64% say the environment has become a top concern now that they are parents.
–61% of these young parents agree, “kids need more unstructured playtime.” Millennials are reversing the ‘helicopter parenting’ trend! (I totally agree with this by the way.)
–82% want their child to know that they don’t need possessions to make them happy. (Post-Recession attitude?)
–Today’s millennial parents show a traditional streak: 48% say, “children do best if a stay-at-home mom raises them.”
Though millennials may say stay-at-home-moms are good for kids, most millennial moms (61%) are in the workforce. I think there could potentially be a push for more quality and fluid childcare, and jobs that help accommodate child-raising. I think that we will take our digital native mentality with us and create more work-from-home positions (again, my humble opinion). Being extremely entitled, and digital natives, millennials deciding to change cubicle culture would not surprise me at all.
Millennial moms and dads
Research “suggests that millennials really aren’t different from the generations before them.” Parenting changes everything, but also makes it all the same. Being a parent does change everything but it sort of brings a sense of shared attitude with everyone you meet who is also a parent. Regardless of cultural background, age, level of education, and even values, I think parents have a way of relating with one another because there are so many shared experiences. They have shared joys, fears, frustrations.
Keep an eye out, because it will be interesting to see how millennial parents emerge in our culture over the next decade.
Cover image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_tom/4807864757/sizes/m/in/photostream/