Nov 17, 2017

5 Big Things You Need to Know About Millennial Parents

Born roughly between 1980 and 2000, the Millennials are growing up fast.  Many of the older Millennials are now parents.  

More than 16 million millennial women are now mothers and that number is growing by more than a million every year.  In fact, 82% of children born each year are born to millennial mothers.  That comes to 5 out of every 6 babies.

As they have in many other areas, the Millennials are challenging the norm when it comes to parenting.  Let's take a look at some of their unique characteristics.  

#1 - Google is the new grandparent.
Millennials grew up online.  When they needed an answer for something, they "Googled it."  When they needed to research a subject for high school, they searched online.  When they wanted to see the latest review of a product, they searched online.  When they were looking for a part-time job in the summer, they searched online. 

So it's only natural that now, as parents, they search online for parenting help.  Unlimited information about everything from napping schedules to teething to surviving the terrible two's to anything else you need to know about parenting is just a click away.  

Yes, they still ask their parents for advice at times, but their primary go to is the internet. 

#2 - Co-Parenting.  
About 1/3 of millennial parents follow traditional gender roles.  Another third say the spouses share chores equally.  The final third strive for shared chores, but in reality, the female does more.  But more and more fathers are wanting to step up and be more involved with sharing household responsibilities.  Unlike, previous generations, millennial fathers see being more involved with the children as a masculine trait that they want to strive for.

#3 - Gen Xer's and Boomers to the rescue.
Millennials are facing financial challenges.  They reached childbearing age during the recession and many have large college debt.  As a result, many of them rely on their Gen X and Boomer parents for financial help.  This can be anything from help for rent to asking grandparents to watch the grand-kids while they are working. 

#4 - Religious nones.  
More Millennials are "religious nones" than any previous generation.  The term "none" refers to not claiming affiliation with any religion.  Look at the trend...
  • 14% of Boomers are religious nones
  • 19% of Gen Xer's are religious nones
  • 34% of Millennials are religious nones
This obviously means Millennials are much more likely to not pass faith to their children.  It's hard to pass along something you don't believe yourself.  This is very concerning, not only for the Millennials, but for their Gen Z children as well.

#5 - Work-Life Balance.  
Millennials more than any other generation, want a good balance between work and the other areas of their life.  Part of this is because many of them saw their parents put work first and become unbalanced as they tried to "climb the ladder."  

Millennials don't want to repeat this and so they look for work opportunities that offer them flexibility in how much and where they work.  The primary deciding factor in choosing a job is not the salary being offered, but the opportunity to have a well-functioning work-life balance, recognition and purposeful work.  They are willing to take a pay cut, pass on a promotion and even relocate if it helps them achieve a greater work-life balance.

These five factors have big implications for churches who want to reach and engage Millennial parents.  Churches must know how to navigate these unique characteristics if they want to be effective.  

Here are some questions to think about...

1. How can we use the internet and social media to connect with Millennial parents?  How can we provide them with tools to invest in their children and disciple them through these avenues?

2. How can we provide Millennial parents with parenting tips and tools as they seek to co-parent?   

3. How can we provide Millennial parents with training and wisdom in managing their finances well?

4. How can we reach the Millennial parents in our communities who are "nones?"  How can we re-engage those who grew up in church and have walked away?

5. What will our strategy be to get Millennial parents involved in discipleship, faithful church attendance, serving and small groups since they are very guarded with their time?  How can we help them see the importance of making church attendance a priority for their children?

I will be sharing a session entitled "Connecting with Preschool Parents" that will answer many of these and other questions during our upcoming live webinar.  If you'd like to effectively reach and engage the Millennial parents in your community, then join us for this event.  Below is more information and you can register now at this link


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