There’s a New Parenting Generation: Meet the Parennials
We've all heard countless amounts of facts and opinions about millennial parents, from the fact that we are entitled and lazy and overanalyze everything (OK, so that last part might be a leetle bit true), but it looks like all of the focus on millennial parents may be coming to an end.
Because look out world, there's a new generation of parents in town and they are taking over:
Meet the Parennials.
Who are the Parennials? The Parennials are the children of millennials and as those kids have passed the baby and toddler stages, they have turned into official big kids who are displaying their own traits and characteristics that will mark the next generation. As a millennial mom myself with four kiddos, I have been wondering what our own modern-day parenting has created in the next generation. My oldest child is turning 10 next year (um, WHAT) and she is very much a “big kid” in own right. So what should I expect from my kids, the Parennials?
According to the New York Times, here are some of the things we can expect from the parennial generation:
Technology is their norm. Unlike us, who can remember a time when our lives weren't fully connected in every single aspect, our kids have literally grown up in a completely connected world. I can fully remember answering machines and dial-up Internet and the start of texting. But my kids have grown in a tech-controlled world.
They are rethinking gender norms. Today's kids are growing up seeing different types of families and different types of roles within those families. Two-parent heterogeneous families aren't the norm anymore and there's no such thing as “moms stay home and dads go to work” guiding their thinking. Just last night, my daughter told me she couldn't wait to be the first female President. My husband and I both high-fived her. I know she will see it in her lifetime and that's an incredible thought.
They may struggle with money. Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend that Parennials are growing up in households that may not be the most financially stable. The NYT reported that many millennial parents are still being supported by their own parents financially, due to different factors like fewer full-time employment opportunities, expensive housing markets, and the desire that millennial parents have to choose flexibility in their work.
Although my husband and I are more traditional in the fact that he has a full-time salaried job as a teacher, my kids have grown up seeing me work from home and know many other families who do the same. So it will be interesting to see what kind of effect that has on them in the future. Will they pave their own way for work or will they see money as irrelevant? Will there be a push for more stable office jobs again or is remote work the work of the future?
They make their own rules. Partly because of the push for “do what works for you” and “do what's best for you” that has guided the millennial parenting, Parennials will quite literally have the option to do whatever works for them as far as what they believe and value. For example, the NYT noted that religious structures and norms are no longer popular among millennial families.
In the end, it's basically one big unknown what values, traditions, and positions our kids will take. As one of the moms interviewed in the NYT piece noted, there has been so much change and instability in our lives as millennial parents, that kids have felt like the ultimate start-up in some ways.
And only time will tell if we're doing a good job. But no matter what kind of questions are up in the air, I have to believe that we've loved our kids and done our best and that has to count for something. Right?