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How Millennial Parents Differ From Gen-X And Boomers

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Photographed by Sabrina Bot

Chances are, the topic of “Millennial parents” is going to be hitting your eardrum really soon, if it hasn’t already. The reason: Time magazine is diving into the hot topic in its October 26th issue, with a handful of stories (one written by Girls star Jemima Kirke) analyzing how Millennial parenting attitudes and values differ from Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers…and what that might mean for the kids they’re raising.

First things first: You might be asking yourself “Am I a ‘Millennial parent’?” It sort of depends on whom you ask. The Time articles define the generation as “those 20- and 30-somethings born from the late ’70s to the late ’90s.” Meanwhile, Babycenter’s annual State of Modern Motherhood Report, which we previously wrote about, narrows it down a bit more, saying you’re a Millennial mom if you are currently between the ages of 18 and 32 and have a kid (or are expecting).

For Time‘s investigation, it looked at pre-existing studies on changing parenthood mores, and also polled 2,000 parents with children under 18 to come up with some fresh stats. Here are the takeaways we found most interesting:
-Nearly 90% of Millennials use social media (compared with 76% of Gen X-ers and 59% of Boomers).
-46% of Millennials posted a pic of their youngest child either while in the womb or before the baby was 1 day old (compared with 10% of Gen-Xers).
-Millennial parents are concerned with the pressure to appear a certain way, thanks to the images posted by their peers on social media.
-30% of Millennials are concerned with their friends judging what their kids eat, compared with 17% of Gen-Xers and 11% of Boomers.
-The average age of a first-time mother is now 26, up from 21 in 1970.
-60% of Millennial parents wanted to choose a baby name that was unique, compared to 44% of Gen-Xers and 35% of Boomers.
-More Millennials are “stay-at-home parents” than past generations (23.2%, compared to 16% of Gen-X and 22% of Baby Boomers).
-61% of Millennial parents believe their kids need more unstructured playtime, according to a 2013 report by FutureCast, and only 21% view their children as “overscheduled.”
-Compared to Boomers, Millennials are twice as likely to look to Google for advice and half as likely to turn to books.
-58% of Millennials found all of the parenting information out there to be “overwhelming,” compared to 46% of Gen-Xers and 43% of Boomers.
-Millennials are less likely to put marriage before the baby carriage, with 42% saying it’s “very or extremely important” to do so. Meanwhile, 51% of Boomers and 49% of Gen-Xers valued marriage before kids.
-Helicopter parenting is frowned upon by Millennials, with Time describing the new technique as “’drone -parenting’—the parents still hover, but they’re following and responding to their kids more than directing and scheduling them.”
-“Open-minded” “Empathetic” and “Questioning” are the qualities Millennial parents most want for their children.

What do you think, Millennial moms (or friends of Millennial parents)…do these stats ring true for you? Read the rest of the Time articles here and here.

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