At the risk of sounding self-indulgent, let me just say that Millennials seem to always be at odds with the generations before us. Why are we always battling the weird labels we’ve been hit with? Why do people call us dumb things like lazy, entitled, or vapid? In the workplace, Millennials are sometimes viewed as these odd unicorns “We have to learn to communicate with Millennials”. Like, dude, we’re all twenty- and thirty-year-olds. Use your words.
Don’t get me wrong, I embrace listening to our older generations because they truly do offer so much insight and wisdom. They have seen the world through a lens we will never experience and therefore have perspectives that we can’t imagine. But, look, I’m just saying, the listening thing can go both ways.
Millennials have lived in a world before cellphones, and then thrived in the world that came after. Embracing technology, not running from it. As parents, millennials want our kids to grow up and achieve everything they can- but not just for themselves.
Millennials have seen a shift in the world. We’ve grown up with events like Columbine, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and many can recall what teacher’s classroom they were in while the Towers fell (Theatre History, Mrs. Klein). These events, and so many others, have shaped our view of what raising a responsible and happy child means.
When I look at my daughter and I think about what I want for her future I think words like happy, fulfilling. . . safe. I wonder if Safe was a top word the Baby Boomer generation would have used when describing their immediate hopes for their infant children. I stay up at night wondering how I will possibly keep my child safe when she starts school in a few years. Gone are the days when a parent’s biggest worry was if their child was going to get made fun of or fit in. Now I worry whether my daughter will be shot.
Millennial Parents have embraced technology, but not because we created it. Because the world we were raised in was already reliant on it, so why wouldn’t we use it to our and our children’s betterment?
We now have the advantage of baby monitors that provide live streams of our sleeping angels right to our cell phones. We have sensory toys to encourage the development of our little one’s brains all because technology and science has shown us the importance of early childhood engagement.
And, I’m sorry, but of course we have created social media accounts for our children to document their moments both big and small. It’s not like we’re just going to walk into our local market and find film for regular freaking cameras! We want to document our children’s lives, just like every parent before us.
We now teach our babies sign language because we know that it is a wonderful way to develop early communication between infants and parents, not to mention a skill to take into childhood and beyond. We source organic and responsible businesses to get our baby food because we know that what we feed our baby in the beginning will set them up for a lifetime of happy brain development and healthy habits.
These things don’t make us lazy, or entitled, or vapid! On the contrary. We expect more for ourselves, our children, our neighborhood, and our world.