The conversation of Baby Boomers vs. Millennials has been going on for quite some time. Now that most Millennials are in the workforce and having families of their own, people can't help but compare their lifestyles to those before them. However, is this a debate worth having? Both generations were raised in completely different times with various positives and negatives; every generation has their good and bad times, right?
But for whatever reason, we seem to be fascinated with how the world today varies with how it was 60+ years ago.
The Baby Boomer age group varies between people who were born between 1946 and the late '60s. Then comes the Generation X group who were born from then until the '80s. Which then brings us to Millennials.
While kids will always and forever be similar, parenting styles are what change the most. But if you ask me, parenting styles change from year to year due to the time's circumstances. Baby Boomers never had to monitor their kids' screentime or their social media accounts for bullying. Likewise, they also didn't have the plethora of baby products that us Millennial parents worry about getting or not getting. Times have changed, whether it's for the better or worse is to be determined.
20 Online Bullies
Back when Baby Boomers were growing up, they never had to deal with bullying the way that Millennials deal (and have dealt with it) today. It can happen on the bus to school and then later at school, but it doesn't just stop there like it did for Boomers. With the help of social media and Smartphones, kids can be bullied 24/7. Kids are mean enough to create fake accounts to leave mean comments, and make someone feel bad and unwanted for the lamest of reasons. It's a sad time in the world and these negative social media interactions have become a full on epidemic.
19 Monitoring Screentime
Smartphones and electronics are a thing Millennials need to deal with on a daily basis. While these flashy screens save our lives in many ways (finding recipes, connecting with loved ones, looking for advice), they're also addictive.
The concern that our kids are becoming addicted to screens and forgetting how to communicate face-to-face is a large one.
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that children under 18 months should have no contact with screen media. When a child reaches the ages between two and five, "limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them."
18 The Labels On Our Foods
Baby Boomers and their parents never had to worry about the snacks they bought at the food store. Most parents made homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. Snacks were typically fruits, deviled eggs, and maybe cookies if they were lucky. But today? Most Millennials live off snacks instead of full meals. This, in turn, has been playing a huge downward spiral in our health. Snacks have dangerous food dyes and ingredients we can't even understand. People are wondering where the heck the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) went wrong. How did we get here?
17 School Safety
Schools used to be a safe space for kids (and yes, many of them still are). Parents never had to worry about their kids walking or biking to school and then having a fun time once they got there. Education is such an important privilege and teachers do everything they can to keep students engaged, positive, and moving forward in life. But in this day and age, schools have took a turn for the weird.
Not only are teachers bringing their private life to the class, but students are becoming increasingly violent.
Instead of dealing with their problems, kids are taking it out on other kids in the worst ways imaginable.
16 What They Post On Social Media
Social media is everything to Millennials. It's a way to share and connect with the world. We can keep up-to-date with our friends from college, we can buy cute outfits on the fly through Instagram, and we can share funny experiences. Because that's what social media is anyway, right? An experience. However, social media has its downfalls.
A high schooler could write one rude thing and a college could drop their scholarship immediately. This topic surrounds college athletes and recent graduates the most. Schools and businesses just want to make sure they're hiring the right candidate; someone who's going to make their company proud. Since Baby Boomers didn't have Twitter, this was never a problem for them.
15 Being Labeled
Most Millennials are used to being labeled in 2018, thanks to social media. Women are so quick to call another woman a rotten name, and the same goes for men. But when a person becomes a parent, there are new labels they need to get acquainted with. Baby Booming parents were probably just called "strict" or a "push over." But in 2018 we have actual terms to label a parent (which is not cool).
We have Tiger Moms, Helicopter Moms, attachment and free-range parenting.
It's insane to think that you're not just a mom with her own moral high ground, you're a label. Society is watching what you're doing and putting you into a box.
14 Gender Neutrality
Gender Neutrality is still a battle among, well, everyone, but it's becoming more and more acceptable. Men and women are tired of being placed in a box; they want to express themselves without any stereotypes or gender judgement. A woman can just as easily fix a tire as a man can put away dishes. Nixing the whole gender-role situation seems to be high on a Millennial's list. Especially when it comes to equal pay. After all, if a man and woman have the same exact resume, with the same education and goals, why sould one be paid higher than the other?
13 Back Up Baby Photos
This may sound ridiculous but Baby Boomers never had to worry about their photos being permanently deleted or lost in the unknown of their hard-drive. Instead, they took their film to the nearest pharmacy and had their images developed. This took a few days, but when they were developed, it was time to hang those babies up in frames. These days, though, most images are taken on our Smartphones, and then stored in a photo drive. If a Millennial does get their photos developed, they can do so easily the same day at a nearby drugstore.
So maybe Millennials should take a note from their own parents and grandparents by creating physical albums, instead of accidentally deleting them forever on your iPad.
12 Affording Childcare
You need to have tough skin in order to be a Millennial parent. Not only are they judged for everything they do on a public forum, but it's expensive to give their child the future they deserve. Baby Boomers, of course, had their financial hardships when it came to raising kids, but childcare is something that seems to slowly increase, making it hard for working parents to find help. A mom on Bustle furthers this note by saying
"Childcare and education alone make up 18 percent of the cost of raising a child, which is a 16 percent jump since the '60s."
Since all education and development centers know their parents want the best of the best, charging a pretty penny for their services is more common today than in the past.
Vaccinations are a tough topic in 2018. Dating back to the early 1800s (smallpox), vaccinations have been steadily improving and growing over the years. But that doesn't mean there haven't been hiccups. The increase in Autism and other developmental conditions popping up in our babies has made Millennial parents worry it's the vaccines. This, of course, created a movement. Why are we injecting vaccines (viruses) into our kids who don't have those viruses naturally, only to keep those future viruses at bay?
After a February poll came out regarding how Millennials felt about vaccines, Parents noted a few of their hesitations were "uncertainty over their effectiveness, suspicion with pharmaceutical companies, and confusion over why healthy kids would need vaccines."
10 Managing Their Time
Balancing life as a working mom or even a stay-at-home mom is insanely difficult. Life is hectic as it is, throwing kids into the situation makes it all the more complicated. However, most Millennials are monitoring their time the best they can. Unlike former generations, Millennials are having kids later, marrying older, and continuing to do the hobbies that make them feel whole.
While Baby Boomers and their parents quit their jobs or hobbies to focus solely on childcare, Millennials are doing a delicate dance to have everything they want.
I'm not saying Baby Boomers didn't do the same thing, but a Millennial's priority for brunch, overpriced avocados, and happy hours is strong.
As an American, healthcare is a huge debate. It's something that is spoken about passionately and often. From the amount people have to spend if dental is included at work, to how someone's going to pay for it all... It is a parent's ever present concern. A woman who just gave birth can easily shell out $3-5,000 easily on just hospital bills.
Smart Parenting even joked around that Millennials often turn to Google when they have a health issue, in fear of not being able to afford healthcare. "Before panicking or needlessly worrying your mom, you consult the experts at WebMD or MedlinePlus."
I don't think my mom or her mom, for that matter, ever had to deal with identity issues when their kids were young. Though the first universal credit card came out in the 1950s, it's nowhere near what it is today.
IdentityForce explained that in 2017, 6.64% of people became victims. That's one out of 15 people, 16.7 million people a year (which was an increase of a million from 2016).
Thinking of a small neighborhood, that means that there's at least one family who's had their identity taken.
With the use of electronics, the dark web, and tech smarts — hackers can get everything they need in a matter of minutes. This leaves many people left in the dark until it's too late, which is probably unimaginable to many Baby Boomers.
7 Environmental Changes
Global warming has been a topic for years, but it's being taken very seriously in 2018. No one (both Baby Boomers and Millennials alike) wants to see our world fall apart due to our own negligence. This is why Millennials are taking a step forward to make small changes. Hopefully these changes will make a better tomorrow, but it's the fact that kids, teens, and adults are all aware of the threats and want to know how they can help.
Lately people have been banning plastic straws and trying to limit their use of plastic in general. Recycling has always been important but it's seeming to be more conscious than years prior.
After generations of destruction to our environment, Millennials have no choice but to stand up and make a change.
6 Parent Relationships
One of my favorite parts about being a Millennial woman is the fact that we are in control of our own lives. We don't need to get married to a man just to feel validated and we certainly don't need to marry him just to have kids. An unmarried couple having kids is very normal nowadays, as is a woman choosing to be a single mom. We have the opportunities and resources to be the best parent we can be without a spouse. After all, it's not like a spouse makes you a better or worse parent. So why get married just to have a kid?
5 One Too Many Preschools
Education has always been important in some way. Back in the 1800s, only those closest to schools or those who had the most money were able to get an education. But in 2018, children are expected to go to school. What's different between Millennials and Baby Boomers sending their kids to pre-school or daycare is which place they send them too. Nowadays, there are so many education development centers that vary in both price and style.
While a Baby Boomer's mom might have had two options in mind for their child's early childcare — Millennials have a plethora of options, which is extremely daunting. It's every parent's fear to not set their child up for success.
4 Work Balance
As time has gone, more and more women are joining the workforce and keeping their jobs after a baby.
Most Baby Booming moms stayed at home to take care of the house, kids, and prepared food for dinner when everyone was home.
If they did go to work, it would be when the kids were a little older and could take care of themselves. Or at least had one older child to watch the rest of the children. And while childcare is a whole separate issue, Millennial moms want to work. They're creating lifestyles that allows them to have a delicate balance between working and parenting. It's hard work and long days, but it appears to be what most women prefer.
3 Online Peanut Gallery
Whether a Millennial parent puts their family life or baby on social media is their prerogative. Most men and women do end up sharing baby milestones and such, but they certainly don't have to. Yet many moms and dads do because, well, that's just what our age group does. However, posting pictures of your baby and your family's lifestyle is making you an easy target. As a Millennial parent, your entire parenting style will be judged online. Haters will come out of the woodwork telling you you're doing something wrong or that you could be doing better. Back in Baby Boomers days, they only had their parents, friends, or family members criticizing them face-to-face.
2 The Endless Amount Of Options
Baby Boomers didn't have the endless amounts of online stores that Millennials have today.
The amount of products and things we're told we "need" just to take a baby home is ridiculous.
A safe crib, carseat, and highchair is no longer good enough. We need walking strollers, specific trashcans that for diapers only, cotton diapers... Being a parent was always an expensive venture, but it's a completely different ballgame with Millennials. One mom and dad can easily be called a bad parent for not having the latest and greatest baby humidifier. It can bring immense, unnecessary stress just to feel like you're doing enough for your kid.
1 Lock Those Doors
When I was a kid (along with my mom and dad), we never had to lock our doors at home. Heck, we had a spare key hanging out clear as day in front of our door "just in case," but we never needed it since our doors were always open. Baby Boomers trusted their neighbors, along with the neighborhoods they raised their families in. Making sure you locked every door and window was never a concern; break-ins weren't what they were today. Disaster Center has a list of crimes from the '60s to today, and while the numbers jump from low to high (they seem to drop off), home intrusions were not high on a Baby Boomer's list like they are today. Nowadays, parents have cameras and safety systems in place, just in case.