The publishers of Beano, the longest-running comic anthology, have released a study that looks at the parenting preferences of U.K. Millennials — who are described as the “mums and dads” of Generation Alpha. Their conclusion? Millennials have “ripped up the parenting rule book,” the report authors said.
The study, conducted by the company’s Beano Brain team and titled “Raising Gen Alpha: How Millennial Parenting Is Impacting the Next Generation,” found that 81 percent of Millennials “think it’s more important for their children to be happy than to be ‘successful.’” Other key points include that 75 percent of Millennial parents polled “will try to keep their children off social media for as long as possible.” In comparison, 35 percent of respondents “believe that a child’s digital footprint should be erased once they turn 18.”
The report also found that Millennials tend to do more research on parenting as compared to other generations. The report’s authors said 47 percent of Millennial parents polled “have read up and selected a parenting style versus 37 percent of Gen X — this is especially important for Millennial Dads (54 percent).”
Helenor Gilmour, director of insight and strategy at Beano Brain, said, “Millennials — a much maligned and parodied generation — are stepping into the role of parents with the planning, purpose and the professionalism they apply to their next career move.”
Gilmour warned, though, that their “laser focus and determination to be the best parent is bringing with it unique pressures. Millennials are really the first generation to raise their children in the full glare and judgment of social media. And there is an overwhelming feeling of parenting under pressure, subject to the scrutiny of others in real life or by comparison on social media.”
Still, there is optimism among Millennial parents. Beano Brain found that 53 percent of Millennial parents polled “believe their kids will solve the problems caused by previous generations.”
Millennial parents are those aged 27 to 40, and Generation Alpha are those born since 2010.
Other findings in the report include a focus on “being present.” Authors of the report said as Millennial parents “reflect on missed moments and conversations that took place in their own childhood homes, they are eager to ensure they are present in all areas of their child’s life at any given moment — 77 percent of parents are prioritizing time with the children over careers.”
In addition, Beano Brain found that “Millennial mums, rather than dads (59 percent versus 49 percent), are more likely to be putting their career on hold or giving less attention to work to focus on raising children,” the report stated, also noting that 62 percent of Millennial dads polled “say they share parenting duties equally with their partner, but only 43 percent of Millennial mums say the same.”
And when it comes to education, 57 percent of Millennial parents surveyed “believe that schools are not preparing children to be citizens of the future compared to 47 percent of Gen X.” Meanwhile, the report found that 8 percent of Millennial parents are home-schooling while 36 percent would consider it. “Only 12 percent of Millennial parents say they want their child to attend university (38 percent of the 18-year-old U.K. population is currently at university),” the report noted.