As a parent, it’s only natural to imagine the amazing adventures ahead for your child.
With no baggage or paths taken, they have many possibilities to choose from.
And with so many exciting career paths out of the question once you hit adulthood without choosing that path, it’s hard not to dream big for your kids: Maybe they’ll become an athlete, or an astronaut, or the founder of an AI firm that doesn’t exist yet.
But in fact, instead of dreaming that their child will become the next Jeff Bezos or Oprah Winfrey, parents today think that happiness is more important, according to new research.
As millennials step into the role of mother and father, Beano Brain, the insights consultancy from London-based Beano Studios, documents the generational shift in parenting behavior when it comes to raising their children. son
In a year-long study based on more than 200 hours of face-to-face interviews and a survey of 2,000 parents—all published in a white paper Raising Gen Alpha—researchers It turns out that 81% of millennials think it’s more important for their children to be happy than to be “successful.”
In fact, an army of 27- to 40-year-old parents are sacrificing their own careers in their quest to raise happy children.
Happiness as a career goal
Research says millennials often experienced “helicopter parenting” growing up—in essence, parents hovering overhead and trying to control and perfect aspects of their lives.
So now as parents themselves, millennials are intentionally rejecting the classic career ladder expectations often placed on children.
Instead, millennial parents put their child’s satisfaction first, including pushing traditional views on education and celebrating individuality.
According to research, 87% of millennial parents encourage their children to stand up for what they believe in and 83% nurture their child’s personality, while 57% agree that school does not prepare the their children who will become citizens in the future.
The report also added that the focus on well-being — rated higher than getting a good education — has increased post-pandemic in the UK and US.
“Previously undervalued jobs such as supermarket workers and garbage operators have gained greater exposure and respect, forcing the world to recognize their valuable contribution to society, and to reevaluate their views on education, careers and the importance of happiness and health,” the report said. saying.
That helps explain why more and more parents are putting less pressure on their kids to get a bachelor’s degree, with only 12% of millennial parents saying they have a desire to their child to attend university. In comparison, 38% of the UK’s 18-year-old population is currently at university.
As a result, the report predicts that when Gen A kids (those born after 2010) grow up, they will find a job that will enable them to explore their passions as their main source of income or juggle in a traditional role we see with a passionate. side hustle.
“Finding and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only desired by Gen A adults but sought and perhaps even expected,” the report added.
Parenting: The most important job
For 87% of millennial parents surveyed, parenting is their most important job and they take the role as seriously as, and sometimes instead of, their next big career move.
According to the report, “millennial parents are professional parenting like no other generation before them.”
Today’s parents plan their careers around having children to create the ideal nest, including waiting until they are financially stable.
More than a third of millennial parents are actively planning and researching when is best to have children, often waiting until they are financially stable, have achieved their career goals, and are married.
By comparison, only a quarter of Gen X parents deliberate the same way. This statistic rises to 40% of Gen Z, showing that the younger generation is planning parenthood to fit into their lives more than ever before.
This mentality may explain why they are happier to relax in their career and fully commit to parenthood.
Emotional availability is more important than ever with 77% of millennial parents prioritizing time with their children over careers—and US parents don’t feel like they’re getting enough family time.
When asked if they wanted to spend more time with their children, 47% of American respondents strongly agreed, compared to 39% of Brits.
In order to focus more on spending time with and raising their children, millennial moms are more likely than dads (59% vs. 49%) to put their careers on hold or pay less attention to work.
And although millennial dads want to be more present than previous generations, the reality is not that way.
According to the report, half of millennial fathers surveyed said they pay less attention to work compared to 37% of Gen X fathers, but they are no more likely than Gen X fathers to actually physically prioritizing time with their children over their careers.
“Instead, this is the most educated and successful generation of women who chose to step back from the career ladder and make the necessary changes and sacrifices to focus on raising happy children by attending and can be used at any time,” the report warned.
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