- Deseret News - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A new study has found that millennial parents are more likely to report their children are their best friends and decision-making in their family is more shared between parents and kids, instead of a traditional system of hierarchy.

More than 54 percent of millennial parents reported they would describe their children, or child, as “one of my best friends,” according to Lightspeed GMI, a company, along with FocusVision, that partnered with The Family Room LLC for the comprehensive study. The study didn’t specify the age range of the children.

“Whether it be time spent at home, time spent in stores or time spent apart, the new parent-child relationship in millennial households looks much more like peers than parental authority,” the press release on the study said.

More of the findings will be released later this summer, but all highlight the different roles and relationships millennial families and Gen X families have, including how millennial families seem to make decision-making more of a family affair.

“Many of us have been watching closely as millennials progress from babies, to kids, to tweens, and on to being young adults. But now they are getting married and starting families, and this new study offers a fascinating new perspective into how their well-known generational values as young adults is translating to the parenting years,” said George Carey, founder and CEO of The Family Room.

Data released in 2013 by Barkley advertising agency found that many habits of those in the millennial generation are very different, and more family oriented than previous generations. Much of the data, along with The Family Room data, combats the entitled and self-serving stigma that has often labeled millennials.

Millennials account for 80 percent of the 4 million annual births in the U.S., and “among the older half of millennials, those between ages 25 to 34, there are now 10.8 million households with children,” reported Millennial Marketing.

The Barkley research found that 50 percent of millennial parents value products and brands that support causes and charities, and are much more likely to make purchases based on price versus quality, after having children. It also found that 48 percent of millennial parents say that “children do best if a stay-at-home mom raises them,” according to Millennial Marketing.

“Millennials are often inaccurately portrayed through the prism of youth and all the character traits that go along with it — narcissism, rebellion and entitlement to name a few,” said Jeff Fromm with Millennial Marketing.

However, there are plenty of experts who are not impressed with millennials, their work ethic or their values and the battle has become that of millennials and those of other generations deciding if they can be on the same page, wrote Abby Ellin for Psychology Today in 2014.

“They’re narcissistic. Impatient. And just try to get them to work nine to five. Trouble is, the conventional view of Millennials just may be all wrong,” Ellin wrote. “They’re charging into a world the rest of us are resisting.”


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