From dial-up internet to free wi-fi everywhere, changing gender roles to climate change – the generation of millennials have seen it all. They have felt the weight of the world on their shoulders. So what parenting tips for millennial mums can we possibly give them?
As this generation is growing up, fewer and fewer among them are opting to have a child. This study delves deeper into why millennials are having fewer children each year. On the contrary, those who are choosing to be a parent are making conscious decisions and using every resource available to them so that they can be a good parent.
For people who fall in the second category, here are 10 parenting tips for millennial mums:
Find time for yourself
With a crashing economy, most millennial mums don’t have the luxury to be a housewife.
Being a mother is no less than holding down a full-time job. With so much going on in your life, it can become difficult to find some ‘me time’.
However, it is important for your mental health that you kick back once in a while and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
An occasional lunch with your friends will refresh you for sure. But if you can’t find a babysitter then invite your friends over for dinner and if they are parents themselves, they can bring their children as well so everyone can mingle and have a great time.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Despite what you think, all hell won’t break loose if you gave your child an extra 15 minutes of screen time to get them from throwing a tantrum. Nor is your child going to fall sick if you let them have pizza that one time you couldn’t cook dinner at home.
The point being, nobody is going to snatch your title of the perfect mum if you took it easy once in a while. You can even use technology to your advantage, for example, there are a multitude of apps that will allow you to monitor your kid’s activities online and limit their screen time
Allow your children to make choices
Do not jackhammer your beliefs onto your child. Arm them with all the knowledge and trust that your parenting will nudge your child to make the right choice. Give them the right to make a choice especially if it concerns their life.
Start when they are small by giving easy options like a choice between two healthy snack foods. They will feel respected that their opinion is being taken into account. Moreover, they will come to trust you and count on you when they need to make more difficult decisions in life.
Say you are sorry
Children see their parents as mythical beings who can never do anything wrong. Humanizing yourself in your child’s eyes is important. Let them know that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you accept them and apologize for them.
This will help build their character and transform them into insightful adults who are unafraid of accepting their flaws. It could be hard but it is the best thing you can do to build your child’s character.
It is important to teach your child about boundaries when they are young. The world works on rules and you should maintain your child’s expectations from the beginning.
You do not want them to feel alienated once they start school and understand that they are not at the center of the universe. Young minds are easy to mold and instilling respect for boundaries will help them later in life.
Bring up your child in a gender-neutral environment
It is a good idea to not impose gender roles on your baby from the minute they are born. Allow them to make those choices for themselves. For instance, who is to say that your sweet baby girl can’t adore her monster truck or your boy can’t pull off a pink shirt? Let your child explore their identity in a safe place.
Finally, people are beginning to accept who they are without being shamed for their identities. Give your child a chance as well to find themself.
Learn to say no
You will never want to say no to your child when they come to you with a request or demand. All you will ever want is to give them everything they can dream of under the sun. But, ask yourself how many parents did you criticize for spoiling their child?
Do you want to be a parent who spoils their kids? Saying no to your kid helps them become a mature and responsible adult.
Not all advice is worth following
If you are an expecting mum or have a small one already, it is natural to look for advice. However, every child and parent is different so something that might have worked for one person might not necessarily work for you too.
You have to dredge through all the advice to get to those nuggets that are worth following.
For example, many parents will tell you that the best sleeping position to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is on the baby’s stomach. However, studies have found out that it is safer to lay your baby on their back while they sleep.
Your child won’t be perfect
Nobody is perfect and your child is bound to face many issues as they grow up into an adult. These could be developmental issues, behavioural issues, or a thousand other things. You will have certain expectations from your child and they will not always come through.
Remember, they are just like any other average human being. Be prepared to deal with the worst and work it out with them, whatever their problem might be. Be firm and supportive and let them learn from their mistakes
Be ready when they hit puberty
Around 14, kids start to have hormonal changes. This might come with issues of its own and let’s not forget the oh so dreaded ‘the birds and the bees’ talk you need to have with them. Take their emotions into account and hold their hand while they go through these milestones.
An even more pressing issue is paying attention to what kinds of people your kids are hanging out with. Peer pressure can be a big issue at this age and it can lead to the development of various habits that can be hard to break off later in life.
However, do not make them feel like they cannot pick their friends or you that want to handpick their social circle.
Just be a good parent and teach them right from wrong. Offer opinions and explain what the consequences of their actions could be. And most importantly, offer support whenever they come looking for it.
Parenting tips for millennial mums – conclusion
The truth is when it comes to parenting, everybody is just throwing stuff at walls and seeing what sticks. We are all making up as we go. You can turn every stone, look through every encyclopedia and still find out something that worked for a thousand mothers before you might not prove useful to you.
Raising a child is one of the most difficult jobs but you can prepare yourself enough for the challenges you will sooner or later face.
There are some tried and tested tips covered in this article that can be a starting point but you have to decide your parenting style based on what kind of parent your child needs you to be.
What do you think about these parenting tips for millennial mums? Do share in a comment below.