• Chantal Porter

Parenting Styles-Traditional vs Millennial Parenting

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

Let’s do a bit of housekeeping before we even dive into the article. If you’re anything like me, the generation timelines get you mixed up all the time, so let’s clear the air:

The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (73-90 years old)

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old)

Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old)

Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old)

Post-Millennials: Born 1997-Present (0-21 years old)

Okay, great, now that we’ve officially done roll call, we can begin. I’m a millennial who was raised by a Gen X parent. I have millennial friends who were raised by Baby Boomers. When we get together and talk about our childhood one thing becomes abundantly clear, we don’t plan on copying everything our parents did while raising us. As it turns out, we’re not alone. Studies have shown that traditional parenting styles and millennial parenting techniques are quite different and these are just a few examples of these interesting differences.

Parenting Advice

In the Baby Boomer/ Gen X time-frame, a lot of value was placed on nuclear and extended family structures. Mothers were able to rely on their mothers for advice and assistance, and family remedies and parenting tricks were passed down with ease. While millennials may still rely on parents for advice, the vast majority chooses to rely on the plethora of “experts” available right at their fingertips. With books and websites aplenty, millennial parents are able to diversify their parenting strategies, unlike their parents before them.

Gender Equality

Millenial parenting structures tend to feature gender-equality. Mother-based or Father-based duties are being eradicated more and more. Both parents seek to provide for and nurture their children together as opposed to times gone by where the role of the father was to provide and the mother’s role was to nurture.

Child-centered parenting

It is hard to imagine a time where children were expected to be seen and not heard but alas, this was once a very prominent feature of parenting. Thankfully this has changed. Millennial parents are more involved in the lives of their children and have sometimes been accused of trying to be friends with their children instead of parenting them. This difference has a lot to do with personality awareness and emotional intelligence which more millennials are developing and implementing into their parenting style.


Piggy-backing off child-centered parenting is the concept of individuality. Where traditional parents sought to parent all their children using the same techniques, millennial parents understand that each child is an individual and therefore one-size will not fit all. Millennial parents are more intentional about discovering their child’s personality alongside the child and helping to create that unique individual.


There is a stark difference between the disciplinary techniques used by Babyboomers and Gen X as opposed to Millennial parents. The laws as it relates to discipline have changed and have contributed to this, however, the laws changed because the millennials who “endured” harsh discipline were able to identify the negative effects that it had on their development. There is much to be said about whether or not this was a wise decision, but we’ll save that for another time.

The purpose of this article was not to criticize any generation but to identify the ways in which they are different. Parents, in general, tend to do the best they can with what they have. The primary reason parenting styles differ is the fact that each generation has different things to guide their knowledge. Millennial parents are able to do what they do because the resources are now available, the experiences have been lived and knowledge has been gained.

Any parent who tries to do right by their child regardless of their generation is to be appreciated and lovingly corrected. After all, every parent was once a child who had parents with less knowledge to work with while raising them.

There is still much to be said about the diverse views on parenting and how children should be raised. I went ahead and linked one of my previous posts that you might find useful right here on the value of tradition in today's society. Have a quick read, it might give you a deeper appreciation of what was discussed here today.

"Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." -Eleanor Roosevelt

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