Millennials get a lot of flack. They’re too dependent on technology, they’re not buying houses, they can’t handle criticism, they’re eating too many avocados… the list goes on. But while these opinions circulate — likely among older generations who never really experienced the magic of guacamole — millennials have grown up and into their roles as parents.
And, as it turns out, this new generation of moms and dads is doing a great job of raising kids that are healthy — healthier than they were as children, even. While there are many ways to raise a child so they grow up in the best possible health, here’s how millennials are doing it:
They’re Taking a Step Back
Surprisingly, millennials aren’t creating these healthy children by carrying on the “helicopter” parenting techniques of generations past. Rather than looking at their children as vulnerable and hovering over them at every turn, millennials are leading a more casual parenting lifestyle. They do not cater to their children’s every whim — instead, they find group activities that suit the entire family.
This approach is known as “passenger plane” parenting, and it’s affecting all types of marketers who are used to parents being focused solely on their little ones. Today’s parents expect companies to accommodate their entire family, which lends itself to a fairer outlook for the kiddos they’re raising.
They’re Kicking Unhealthy Habits to the Curb
How many times did your parents take you to McDonald’s as a kid? Those Happy Meals, it turns out, weren’t such a cheerful choice for your health. As millennial parents learn more about healthy eating and how to avoid artificial flavors and preservatives, they’re re-shaping the food industry. They’re causing the country’s largest fast-food chains to re-evaluate their menus and the quality of their food, as millennial parents opt for quick-yet-fresher options like Panera Bread.
They’re Using Technology to Their Advantage
Today’s parents have the world at their fingertips — literally. They can access the Internet from just about anywhere in the world, and they’re using this ability to their great advantage. For many, technology allows once-difficult tasks to become much, much easier. By using a grocery delivery app, for example, parents can quickly and virtually do their shopping, thus saving a few hours to spend with their little ones instead.
On the other hand, today’s moms and dads are smart to limit their children’s use of technology. There are, of course, educational apps that help kids pass the time on long car rides or during long waits at the doctor’s office, saving their parents a whole lot of stress. But millennial parents have struck a balance between tech and real life, honing their kids’ love for activity and the outdoors, too, by incorporating daily exercise in a way that’s exciting for children.
They’re Taking Care of Themselves, Too
As we already mentioned, millennial moms and dads no longer center their lives on their children’s interests, and that’s a good thing for everyone. Millennial parents grew up with adults who did that, and they saw the way it took a toll. So, now that they’ve stepped into a parental role, they’re sure to make time for themselves.
For one thing, most millennial moms are highly educated, and continue to work after having children. Another common thread among today’s parents is the fact that they take breaks and ask for help. They continue to exercise, eat well and relax when they can, because they know how important “me time” is to be a happy, healthy parent.
With these four changes alone, millennial parents have begun to revolutionize the face of parenting. And, because of that, their children are growing up happier, healthier and more well-rounded than the babies of generations past — which proves millennials just might be doing something right this time.