Raising a Millennial

“The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.”

From doing my research for this post I came across this image:

Bad Sides of a Millennial

Now this is ridiculous and was clearly created by a non-millennial who clearly hasn’t taken the time to get to understand their specific needs and requirements.

Let’s first take a look at why they are different:

  • Accessibility of Everything: Millennials have everything available at a click of a button or swipe of a screen. They’ve never had to learn to read maps, get lost, ask for directions and interact with the world to get to the finish line. Daily learning new skills and completing tasks gave us a sense of achievement every day. They don’t have to jump through hoops.
  • Social Engagement: Friendship for me was running for 30 minutes to knock on my friends door only to find he wasn’t in then walk home. Early adopters will be high on the social network scene and like myself meeting my now wife, millennials have full on internet based relationships, they trust everything they read online and they have youtube! If we wanted to learn how to do something we’d mess up 10 times to finally get it right. There was a Haynes manual for the car and that was about it.
  • Non-Conformity to non-millennials: We’re old and ancient and there was no fun or exciting things to do before they were born. Old music is old and they’re surprised when we know the words to catchy songs. If we recommend something to do, watch or listen to it’s not fun or cool.
  • Flexibility: With mobile devices, working anywhere online is easy. Information is available and they don’t want rigid working hours like 9-5 Monday to Friday. They’ll get bored if they feel they have no choice over what’s happening and not get on the bus.
  • Instant gratification: With everything at the touch of a button, instant messaging and instant answers, they’ll need instant gratification. Gone are the days of working 30 years in the same role, if you’re not getting anywhere it’s easy to look for a new role because there’s an app for that. You go for a run and there’s a personal training app to tell you how amazing you are. You post an update and you’ll get immediate likes, shares and comments. Everything is instant.

Love for my Daughters

So I have a 13 year old who I believe is a millennial. We have the constant battle to keep her engaged in conversations but get the positives in having someone that has a thirst for knowledge and knows how to get it. There’s no action too big to overcome it’s making sure she has the support and is given a morale boost once in a while :)

So here’s a few tips if you’re raising a millennial and remember, they have different drivers to you, doesn’t make them wrong or you wrong, just give them a chance and make yourself aware of their differences as life is too short to have conflict.

  • Leadership. Give them someone to look up to and respect through honesty and integrity.
  • Challenge. Give them short term goals and projects. They’ve grown up in an era that a guy who developed a website is one of the richest people alive. Challenge them!
  • Collaboration. Social life, social challenges. Don’t divide them their friendships encourage them to work together be in homework, on building a den or looking after someone on a trip to town.
  • Fun.  Why so serious! A little humor, a bit of silliness, even a little irreverence will everything more attractive.
  • Respect. “Treat our ideas respectfully,” they ask, “even though we haven’t been around for a long time.”
  • Flexibility. Things can be done anytime so they’ll be less inclined to hit deadlines. Respect flexibility but give them goals.