Parenting has never been a one size fits all thing no matter what generation you were born and raised in but I’m beginning to notice some patterns with millennial moms that weren’t so common with generations before us.
Self-care is essential.
I’ll give it to them. Gen X (and before) parents and grandparents were devoted! Not saying we aren’t devoted as parents but I feel like the stress on taking care of yourself to be the best parent you can be is so much greater than before. I seriously have learned (and am still learning) that you have to live for yourself in order to be the best for your family. I’m not talking about going to the club every weekend and leaving your kids home alone. But even small things like stepping away and taking a break for a few minutes has helped me to keep it together throughout the day. Do what makes you happy because a happy parent raises happy children.
A mess is a learning experience.
And for real, its not that serious. My grandmother spends a considerable amount of time trying to get RJ to play with only one toy at a time. I have no idea why. And I’m almost positive thats how we played too. I can’t lie when RJ first became REALLY interested in his toys I hated watching him dump them out everywhere. It literally made me cringe. But I honestly sit and watch his imagination thrive in the midst of his toy piles. Learning through play is real! & it only takes a few minutes to clean up at night.
Their feelings matter, just as much as their manners.
I feel like I grew up in a generation of forced politeness. Doing what was asked of me wasn’t an option no matter how it made me feel. I try to always remind RJ that his feelings are NORMAL (even in the midst of his meltdowns) but he still has to behave a certain way. And even when he’s being his horrible toddler self and shading me by not saying thank you for the snack he asked for 100 times, I know he listens. It’s evident when he’s in contact with other adults and they tell me how well-mannered he is (usually after they comment on his endless energy LOL).
Kids are curious. Asking questions isn’t rude.
I grew up where “because I said so” was the parenting cop out for an acceptable answer. Kids have questions. Chances are if your 3 year old is asking “why”…… they genuinely want to know why. Kids are people just like everyone else and just like you, they want explanations. “Why?” is just a question. I’ve yet to meet anyone with severe mental health issues from getting their questions answered.
Every indiscretion doesn’t require punishment.
Especially at such a young age. Kids are constantly pushing the boundaries and seeing just how far they can cross the line. I make it a point to make sure I explain bad choices ONCE. Because hey, maybe he really didn’t know! I hate when I tell someone about something less than stellar RJ did and their first question is “did you pop him????” like wth… no I explained to him why what he was doing was wrong. Imagine that….
What are some things you learned about parenting that you didn’t learn from the generation before you? Leave your thoughts in the comments!