10 Regrettable Behaviors of Boomer Parents That Millennials Vow Never to Repeat

By Krystal Brown

Parenting can get messy, and sometimes, our folks did things that make us go, “Nope, not doing that.” Millennials are all about breaking the parenting cycle and avoiding what their boomer parents did. Buckle up for a ride through the parenting rollercoaster as millennials spill the tea on what they won’t be repeating from their parents’ playbook.

Treating Emotions as Weakness

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Boomer parents often viewed expressing emotions, especially vulnerability, as a sign of weakness. Millennials understand the importance of emotional intelligence and encourage their children to express their feelings openly. They believe that acknowledging and addressing emotions is a crucial aspect of personal growth and mental well-being.

Gaslighting Their Children

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Gaslighting involves manipulating someone into questioning their sanity or perception of reality. Some boomer parents used gaslighting as a means of control, making their children doubt their own feelings and thoughts. Millennials recognize the psychological harm caused by gaslighting and strive to create a supportive and validating environment for their children.

Spanking

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Spanking was a form of discipline employed by many boomer parents and educators but this is now considered unacceptable by many. Many studies have shown spanking to be a form of discipline that has long-lasting effects on children which is why so many millennials have vowed never to spank their children. Instead, positive reinforcement and gentle parenting styles in which strong boundaries are put in place are the way millennials want to parent.  

Comparing Their Children to Others

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Many millennial children can remember being told they were not as pretty as their cousins or they were not as good at school as their best friend, which has hurt their life. Unlike their boomer parents, millennials never want to compare their children to others and they celebrate the uniqueness of each one. Millennials want their children to feel good about themselves and have positive self-esteem, something they wish they had themselves.

Being Overprotective

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Boomer parents were very protective of their children to the point that some millennials felt like they could never do anything. Boomers thought they were doing a good thing when they wrapped their children in cotton wool but it left them feeling suffocated and unable to enjoy some of the things their peers did. Millennials do want to protect their children but want to give them the freedom to roam and make mistakes so that they can learn from all of their experiences.

Impose Their Beliefs Onto Their Children

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Many millennials had a strict upbringing in which they had to follow in their parent’s footsteps in all areas of life. They were told what to think about certain people, how to act, and what they should and should not say. This meant that millennials were supposed to hold the same political and religious beliefs as their parents which was very restrictive. Millennials, on the other hand, embrace the different opinions their children have and encourage them to be critical thinkers.

Being Negative About Their Appearance

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So many millennials had to put up with negative comments from their parents about how they looked, how much they weighed, and what clothes they wore. This often led to millennials feeling bad about themselves and having low self-esteem, which is what they do not want for their children. Millennials have taught their children about body positivity and that their children can look however they want.

Neglect Their Mental Health

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Millennials know that to best take care of their children they need to make sure that they are well enough to. This means that they are aware of their mental health as well as the mental health of their children. Boomers understood the stresses of being parents but did not take enough time to look after themselves, often leading to burnout. Being overwhelmed is something millennials want to avoid and therefore they prioritize their wellbeing.

Forcing Their Children into a Certain Career

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Boomers are high achievers and they did their best to push their children into careers that saw fit. This would often lead to a good match for boomers who knew their children well but for some millennials, they were forced into a career that they did not want. Millennials are vowing not to repeat this with their children and want to encourage them to follow a path of their choosing.

Ignoring Their Children’s Achievements

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Some boomer parents have been overcritical in their parenting, always pointing out what their children have done wrong but neglecting to celebrate the things that they do well. This can make children feel like they have let their parents down when in reality their parents have let them down by setting unrealistic expectations. Millennials will make sure that they create a growth mindset for their children and that there achievements are celebrated.

Relying on Technology

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A lot of parents rely on technology to entertain their children and this is also the case for boomers. While boomers were busy reaching their ect goals and working hard in and out of the home they sat their children in front of the TV or bought them the latest video game. With more awareness of the impact tech has on young children, millennials strive to be more hands-on parents so there is less reliance on technology.

Ignoring Their Children’s Feelings

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There is a sense that parents are always right and children should do as they say, something millennials know very well. Millennials, however, understand that their children’s feelings are important and they need to respect their kids as much as they expect their kids to respect them. With mutual understanding of how each other is feeling there can be a more harmonious atmosphere in the home.

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