“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”- Mahatma Gandhi
By nature, we want to give our children better than what we had growing up. I believe every parent has that desire when raising a child. As time goes on, there is more information on how to help our children flourish. Something that I have found consistently among my fellow millennial parents is the intentionality and growth mindset within their parenting styles. Millennials are doing the work in parenting, and it is showing in the humans we are bringing into the world. Below are some examples!
Generational Curses: Millennials are doing emotional work to break generational curses through therapy, mindfulness, and working on patterns that have been passed down from generation to generation. We are working to heal our traumas with the hope that we can break the cycle of tendencies that can hold us back from reaching our potential. By modeling this behavior, the hope is that our kids will learn how to do the same.
Emotional Intelligence: Learning how to regulate our emotions is a tool that is invaluable. Unfortunately, I know more adults than not that have not mastered this capability. This has been a huge focus I’ve noticed in other parents. From choosing to be less reactive to our children in the moment while disciplining to apologizing when we fall short, the goal is to raise more empathetic humans that will make this world a better place.
Consent: From a young age, children are being taught about consent. Whether that is the choice to high five or hug a family member they haven’t seen in a long time to respecting their “no” during playtime. Teaching children that they have autonomy over their bodies is crucial in an effort to protect them from situations that could be harmful to them and teaching them to respect other people’s bodies as they get older. Consent is key to having a healthy sexual relationship with others as an adult. This skill also validates listening to themselves if a situation seems like it could be unsafe.
Honest Dialogue: There is more honest dialogue and discussion about social justice and how to stick up for our friends in all walks of life.
Partnerships: Children are also seeing a more equal division of labor in the household now that having two working parents has become more of the norm. Fathers are significantly more present in parenting, household duties, and performing tasks they are good at instead of what would be expected of them based on their gender.
Every generation has done its best to raise their children with the tools they had at the time. They have also done work in their own way to give their children a better life than they had. I am fascinated to see how Generation Alpha turns out as adults and what they will have to teach us. I do have a lot of hope for the future that Millennial parents are raising!