Every generation brings with it new experiences, challenges and adventures. They carry with them the values passed down by their parents along with a fresh perspective.
The millennial crowd, encompassing the largest and most diverse demographic who are not only dominating the workforce but have reached the age of becoming parents, is no different when it comes down to parenting. They may have their own set of qualities and values that might be questioned by the previous generation, but with their own rules are setting new standards for their children.
Here are certain traits that the new-age parents possess.
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Fathers lead the way
Fathers are taking the plunge to redefine the traditional concept of household management. They are equally contributing to the household chores, and taking up more responsibilities. Housework and child-rearing is now considered as teamwork. New-age parents are working towards creating a lifestyle that allows them to have a delicate balance between working and parenting.
New dads are proving to be a great support to their better-halves by making them feel more comfortable at home, and driving away their. They have an increased awareness about the health benefits offor both the mother and baby. A breastfeeding mother with a supportive and responsible partner (especially in household duties) is likely to be more successful, and can breastfeed longer. When they return to work after their maternity break, they feel more confi
dent about their breastfeeding abilities. Fathers are helping their wives in sterilising and cleaning of the bottles so that pumping gets easier.
Besides the biological role that mothers must play, new fathers are equally taking part in nurturing their baby. Fathers are taking up responsibility to bathe, change nappies, massage, cuddle to sleep, burp post feed. Many are tuning in to YouTube for parenting lessons and guidance on topics like assembling a baby stroller/cot, etc.
There is no set of rules when it comes to being a father, and the millennial parents are content with their nurturing style. Partners are taking childcare classes together garnering information about breastfeeding, weaning, night-time feeding, amongst others.
Few concepts like naturaland attachment parenting are on the rise. New moms and dads are opting for natural water birth trend which is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.
As far as attachment parenting is concerned, it can help the baby bond better.is a wonderful way for the child to get familiar with the parents’ heartbeats.
Parenting in the time of social media
The millennial generation is hyper-connected, and on the lookout for new and surprising discoveries using the digital media. For new parents, social media opens up a whole new world of exploring, evaluating and learning. It acts as a support system for exchange of parental advice as well as seeking information from doctors, lactation consultants and pediatricians online.
Millennial parents also take this platform to make memories by documenting their child’s milestones right from their first step. They are proactive in creating an online presence of their child from the time of his/her birth. Parents find solace in blogging about their parenting experience, posting recipes or sharing baby product reviews.
There are several support groups that share guidance in training children as well.
The modern-day parents understand the need of keeping an open mind towards their children. They value hearing out their child first and empathising with them. They are not rigid about the choices their child makes whether it is about pursuing one’s passion or exploring their inner self.
Parents now are looking to instill adventure and creativity in their children. While they are highly involved in their children’s lives, they leave room for children to deal with their problems independently. They value quality time above over-scheduling. Most millennial parents also involve their children in household decisions.
Besides gender norms, parents are embracing more intimate and less hierarchical role with their children. Today, parents are moving beyond an archetypal family construct to adopt an unconventional perspective on what modern family life looks like.
(The author is IBCLC, Pediatrician at Medela India LC Club)
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