- Millennials are raising kids differently than any other generation before them.
- For example, they get parenting advice online and aren’t committed to marrying before they have kids.
- We rounded up the defining features of millennials’ parenting style, according to experts.
A whopping 82% of babies born each year are placed in the arms of millennial mothers. And they’re in for a wild ride.
Millennial moms and dads are doing things differently from any other generation before them. Below, Business Insider has collected some of the defining traits of millennials’ parenting style, according to researchers and other experts.
Read on to find out how 20- and 30-something parents are shaking things up.
Millennials turn to the internet — not just family and friends — for parenting advice
- Getty/Lean In/Tara Moore
An article in The New York Times suggests that millennial parents (“parennials,” if you will) are turning to Google, chat rooms, and apps for all kinds of parenting advice. As one expert told The Times, “Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny.”
That expert also said, “The good news is that parents know more about child development than ever before.” The bad news is it can be overwhelming – and sometimes disempowering.
Millennials are documenting their kids’ lives on social media
- Miquel Benitez/Getty
That same New York Times article mentions that many millennial parents are giving their kids personal hashtags and YouTube channels.
And a poll conducted by TIME and Survey Monkey found that just 19% of millennial parents have never shared a photo of their kids on social media, compared to 30% of Gen X parents and 53% of Baby Boomer parents.
Still, some parents approach their kids’ social media presence with a different attitude: They’re terrified. One parent in the New York Times article only posts pictures of her child walking away. She’s both worried for her child’s safety and worried that her child will “become a meme.”
Millennials are relatively confident in their parenting skills
- Jacob Bøtter/Flickr
A Pew Research Center survey found that 57% of millennial moms say they are doing a very good job as a parent, compared to 48% of Gen X moms and 41% of Baby Boomer moms. (Interestingly, fathers in all age groups gave themselves lower marks.)
Millennial parents are more likely to struggle financially
- Getty Images / Karen Hatch
A report by Young Invincibles explains why millennial parents are having a harder time financially than previous generations.
For one thing, childcare and education costs have increased to 18% of the total cost of raising a kid, from just 2% in 1960.
What’s more, as the Washington Post points out, the average 18- to 34-year-old today makes about $2,000 less than they would have in 1980. And many millennial parents are still paying off their own student loans, making it difficult to put money away for their kids’ college education.
Millennials are waiting longer to have kids
A mother’s age at the birth of her first child has been steadily increasing for decades. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, in 1980, it was 22.7. In 2013, it was 26.
As Business Insider previously reported, as more women get an education and enter the workforce, they generally marry and have kids later. That’s possibly because the US workplace doesn’t afford the kind of support that would enable women to have kids and develop their career at the same time.
Millennials are less likely to form ‘traditional’ families — though that trend may be reversing
In 2009, the oldest millennials were in their 20s. And as The Wall Street Journal reports, of those older millennials who did have kids, most were unmarried. Meanwhile, a Pew report finds that just 46% of kids in 2016 were living in a household with two married parents in their first marriage, compared to 61% in 1980.
Yet the Journal highlights a report from research firm Demographic Intelligence that predicts about 60% of the children of millennials will be born to married parents.