Generational Shift in Parenting Styles: Study Reveals Striking Differences Between Millennial and Generation Z Parents
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According to the 3,000 mothers polled by Everyday Health Group, the publisher of What to Expect, an “ideal” parent is defined by many qualities, including encouraging children to reach developmental milestones and setting a good example in terms of work ethic.
The moms, who ranged in age from 18 to 54, were asked their opinions on 26 different parenting principles and what it means to be the “perfect” mother to children aged eight and under.
GenZs Want To Be The Perfect Parent
Opposed to their Millennial counterparts, mothers of the current generation, Generation Z, tend to place a higher value on perfection. They gave much higher marks than their parent’s generation did to eleven of these parenting ideals.
- The importance of providing children with a wide variety of activities to keep them busy. 48% of Gen Z aspired to this ideal, versus 34% of millennials
- 39% of Genz versus 30% of millennials for giving children a lot of downtime
- 50%, versus 41 % for facilitating kids’ unplugged playtime
- 51%, versus 42% owning to the responsibility for the family’s organization, scheduling, and monthly planning
- 53%, versus 45% for accepting a child’s or children’s exploration of who they are
- 41%, versus 33% for putting their loved ones ahead of them
- 65%, versus 58% for being able to bounce back quickly from setbacks
One point on which both groups are in agreement is that social media has the most significant external effect on their notions of perfection.
On Parenting Ideals
Two parenting ideals were scored considerably higher by Millennial moms than by Gen Z moms:
- 50% of Millennials chose, as opposed to 45% of Gen Z, Modeling a strong work ethic
- 72% versus 68% saw the importance of establishing a stable domestic unit and value having a successful partnership/marriage
- 64% are in favor of setting a regular bedtime opposed to 60% of Gen Z.
- When asked whether they agree with prioritizing experiences above material gifts for their children, only 5% did so, compared to 29% of millennials.
- Comparatively, only 29% of Generation Z agreed that parents should prioritize experiences over gifts for their children.
However, overall today’s young adults have lofty standards of their own even while they raise kids. For instance, 67% of parents in both categories want to provide their children with nutritious meals, and 49% across the board want to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise. When it concerns parenting ideals, respondents of different ages felt the same way about a lot of issues.
Divided On Parenting Practices
On the other hand, parenting practice meant different things to both groups of parents. Generation Z parents have diverse opinions on parenting practices.
According to the study report by What To Expect, this may be because they have distinct perspectives on the controversies surrounding those practices. While there were certain areas of agreement between the generations, such as the pros and cons of trying baby-led weaning versus feeding infant food only, there were also some key areas where the generations were very divided.
- Generation Z (56%) is more likely than Millennials (50%) to support screen time limitations.
- Three-quarters (64%) of millennials feel authoritative parenting is less effective than gentle parenting, whereas only 29% of Gen Z members share this view.
- 64% of millennials, compared to 60% of Gen Z, stated they support setting a regular bedtime.
- While only 29% of Generation Z members agree that experiences should be prioritized over material gifts for children, 35% of Millennials feel the same.
The study revealed that parents’ perspectives shift and evolve as their families grow. For instance, when families expand (and get older), mothers may feel more comfortable relaxing restrictions on their children’s screen time, as opposed to how they felt while pregnant with or caring for a newborn.
The study demonstrates that Generation Y was more assured in demonstrating a strong work ethic and rapidly recovering from adversity. Similarly, 76% of them felt confident in their parenting skills. Nonetheless, a higher percentage of Gen Z mothers (70%) have reservations about their skills.