A few months ago, one of my best friends shared the great news that she and her boyfriend will become mom and dad this May. Mixed (positive) feelings hit me, though. On the one hand, I couldn’t be happier for the two of them, for becoming parents. On the other hand, a reality check came to mind: Millennials aren’t just a hyper-connected generation, obsessed with self-image and constantly on the look-out for new, surprising discoveries; they’re also looking for baby love and are dreaming secretly about becoming a parent one day. And it’s a fact that Millennials have definitely reached the age to become moms and dads. In fact, 40% of them are parents already. American research indicates that among the older half of Millennials (aged 25-34) there are now 10.8 million households with children.
Hot tweetaway: 40% of #GenY are parents insit.es/18jFPFF by @MasNatalie via @CoolBrands #millennials #parenting
But what are Millennial moms and dads like? Does the fact that a GenYer becomes a mom or a dad change the way they perceive themselves and the outside world? Do their buying habits change after having kids and do they perceive brands differently? Apparently, yes.
From coolness to consciousness
Generation Y is often perceived as having been coddled and being reluctant to grow up, but results from Barkley’s ‘Millennials as New Parents’ research prove otherwise. The study reveals how starting a family has changed this generation’s behavior, values, media consumption and buying habits.
Look at their brand value system and buying behavior, for example; when asking Millennial parents to choose one store to shop at for the rest of their lives, they choose Wal-Mart over online superstar Amazon.com and Kohl’s over H&M. So after having kids, this generation chooses practicality over coolness and price over quality. Moreover, 50% of Millennial parents say that, when shopping for products, they try and buy products that support causes or charities.
Towards a pragmatic Millennial generation
Let’s face it: we do grow up, we do have some baby love and are getting more pragmatic after having kids and starting a family. And again, some results from the Barkley research evidences this. Now that they are parents, Millennials have become more interested in politics, so say 43% of them; 82% want their children to know that they don’t need possessions to be happy.
On top of that, according to a global survey from Havas Worldwide, this generation of Millennial parents thinks they’re better parents than their own parents and 6 in 10 are intentionally raising their children differently from how they were raised themselves. For example, they are looking to instill their children with a sense of adventure and creativity.
Hot tweetaway: The #Millennial parent thinks they’re better parents than their own parents insit.es/18jFPFF by @MasNatalie via @CoolBrands #geny
In short, Millennial parents are far more pragmatic and down-to-earth than they are thought to be. In fact, Barkley argues that over the next 20 years, this generation will transform the notion of a household. Sound like a great generation, doesn’t it ;-)? But should you still have doubt about this, check out the infographic below, designed by Carlos Monteiro; you’ll discover what differs Millennials as parents from their childless counterparts!