### 23 Millennials Share Their Modern Parenting Rules

We’re individuals born between 1981 and 1996, and naturally, we don’t compel our children to embrace anyone they don’t wish to. Nor do we resort to spanking as a form of discipline. The days of insisting on finishing dinner before enjoying dessert are long gone. The traditional parenting methods of previous generations are not in vogue for 2024, especially among those aged 28-43 who are now parents.

Millennials are ushering in a new era of contemporary parenting, widely perceived as an improvement. While each generation of parents adheres to specific rules and societal norms of their time, millennials are championing gentle parenting alongside other innovative approaches.

So, what does modern-day parenting entail? What rules do millennial parents uphold or reject? How does it contrast with the upbringing they received? Here, 23 millennial parents generously share their insights and tips on parenting.

Insights into Millennial Parenting

  • Co-Sleeping Advocates: “My 2-year-old daughter sleeps in our room, and she will continue to do so until she desires otherwise. I detested sleeping alone as a child, and that sentiment persists into adulthood. I never want her to feel isolated in her own home.” — Allie

  • Emotional Transparency: “I prioritize apologizing to my kids when I’m overwhelmed with emotions. I grew up tip-toeing around adults’ feelings, feeling responsible for their emotional well-being. Now, I ensure to apologize to my kids when I lose my composure, elucidating that being an adult comes with challenges.” — Christina

  • Encouraging Curiosity: “I address all their ‘whys’ to provide insight into my perspective.” — Rachel

  • Respecting Boundaries: “I honor my daughter’s ‘no’ and indications of reluctance. If she expresses disinterest while playing and I respect her boundaries.” — Hannah

  • Mental Health Support: “I wholeheartedly endorse my kids taking mental health days off from school. As long as their academic performance isn’t suffering, I support their decision to stay home occasionally.” — Kristen

  • Discipline Approach: “We refrain from using physical punishment on our kids. While we may reprimand them in the heat of the moment, we never resort to anything beyond that. My upbringing involved spanking, which is why I feel strongly against it.” — Lauren

  • Neutral Stance on Food: “We abstain from making comments about food.” — Savanna

  • Flexible Eating Habits: “We don’t compel our kids to finish all the food on their plate in one sitting. Unfinished food is stored in the fridge. When they request a snack, they must consume the remnants on their plate before indulging in something new.” — Desirae

  • Conflict Resolution: “We allow our daughter to witness our disagreements but also demonstrate the importance of resolving conflicts. We aim to model healthy conflict resolution for her.” — Erin

  • Screen Time Guidelines: “Our household limits screen time to two hours per day. Additionally, we restrict online communication during gaming. If they wish to chat, they can interact with preapproved friends on FB Messenger Kids.” — Jamie

  • Performance Autonomy: “My daughter adores ballet but dislikes recitals, so we don’t enforce participation. I would have been compelled to perform. Instead, she sat among the audience, enthusiastically cheering for her sister and friends during their recital. Teaching her that passion doesn’t always necessitate a public display brings me joy.” — Emily

  • De-emphasizing Treats: “We don’t elevate desserts as a reward. Sweets are treated like any other food item, devoid of special significance.” — Kim

  • Body Positivity: “We refrain from discussing physical appearances, focusing instead on the functionality and mechanics of the body.” — Katherine

  • Positive Body Image: “In the presence of my 3-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter, I avoid negative self-talk about my body.” — Ashley

  • Emotional Communication: “We eschew grudges and the silent treatment. Instead, we engage in open discussions about emotions and work through them together.” — Jamie

  • Respecting Personal Space: “We adamantly oppose compelling our children to hug or display physical affection towards anyone against their will. However, they are expected to acknowledge others with a wave or a greeting of their choosing.” — Rosalind

  • Limited Sleepovers: “With few exceptions for family and close friends, sleepovers are almost non-existent. I prefer picking them up before midnight if they stay over at a friend’s house.” — Lacey

  • Technology Boundaries: “My children do not possess individual tablets. They are prohibited from using phones or tablets at the dinner table or in restaurants.” — Madi

  • Encouraging Emotional Expression: “Unlike my upbringing where expressing negative emotions was discouraged, I’ve created an environment where my daughter feels comfortable sharing her feelings, including instances where she feels hurt.” — Stacy

  • Emotional Validity: “My son is permitted to experience emotions beyond happiness. I encourage him to acknowledge and process his feelings.” — Amanda

  • Respecting Ownership: “We don’t enforce toy-sharing if our kids are unwilling, but we educate them on the reciprocal nature of sharing and the acceptance of refusals.” — Erin

  • Gender-Neutral Responsibilities: “My children, aged 13, 11, and 8, are all tasked with the same household chores regardless of gender. They are being raised to manage both household duties and outdoor tasks equally. Additionally, sports choices are not gender-specific; they pursue activities based on their interests, be it dance, gymnastics, hockey, or any other sport.” — Katy

  • Alternative Discipline Approach: “We avoid solitary timeouts. If our 3-year-old displays disobedience, we issue three warnings. Upon the third instance, we remove ourselves from the situation, find a quiet spot, practice deep breathing, identify the underlying emotion, discuss why the behavior was inappropriate, and teach healthy ways to express emotions respectfully towards oneself and others.” — Tifani

An asterisk (*) indicates the name has been changed.