Raising Millennials: A New Generation of Parenting

A recent study stated that full time parenting is the equivalent of working 2.5 full time jobs. It’s true, parents are doing now more than ever to protect and encourage proper physical, mental, social, and emotional health for their children. Everyday parents are looking for new strategies to combat violence, social media, teenage angst, and family conflict. Millennial parents are truly deserving for praise for navigating the trial and error to understand parenting in the modern day.

Because being a parent is one of the most demanding and at times least appreciated job, it’s time to take a look at your own parenting regiment and make some changes for a happy and healthy spring ahead!

1. Take Time for Yourself

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. As cliche as it may sound, it’s so important that as a parent with multiple responsibilities you are building regular consistent time in your schedule for self-care. Self-care is vital to being able to provide the best you possibly can to your family and loved ones. Figure out what revitalizes you and stick to it! Try taking a local donation yoga class, or sign up for a monthly massage membership! Many parents feel guilty taking time for themselves because they feel they may be “taking away” from time they could be spending with their families. Truth is, if we don’t take well deserved “me time” we loose the potential to be our very best at any given moment. Take time away to be a better you and leave the guilt at home!

2. Be Consistent with Family Guidelines

In my last post, we discussed the reality many millennial parents are facing protecting their children from the dangers of social media. It is important that as a family the messages regarding social media guidelines, usage, and rules you decide is best for your family remains consistent. Encourage your child to be a part of the conversation and support their understanding of the boundaries and reasons behind them. Give your child a safe place to be able to voice their opinion. Allow room for validation of feelings, and then encourage your child to let go of the emotion in a healthy way. By using this strategy, your family can avoid the teenage power struggle that many families find engaging in over and over to the point of exhaustion! Keep it consistent for less troubles down the road!

3. Get Involved

As busy schedules, life transition, and chaos can get in the way of doing as much as we would like to or feel we should be doing, and if you have the opportunity to be involved in your child’s life make it a priority! School line pick up, parent teacher conference nights, school performances, clubs and auditions. All of these are opportunities to send the message “You are Important!” something so many children, tweens, and teens so desperately need to hear from a safe and caring adult. Involved parents are informed parents. Getting involved and staying consistent are wonderful ways to be proactive to stay involved in your child’s life!

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If you or someone you know is looking for tips on increasing communication skills and family bond with your child or teen contact Michelle Smith, MS, RMHCI at 405-323-1786 for a consultation for individual, couple, or family therapy services

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