The Pitfalls of Boomer and Millennial Parents According to Therapist

Did you think boomer parents had an easier time parenting than the millennials of today? Well, one attachment therapist decided to explore and understand the challenges of Boomer and Millennial approaches. 

Steph, who is an attachment therapist, looked at the studies and showed that both were challenging. She shed light on prevalent parenting challenges among both Boomer and Millennial generations and shared her observations on TikTok, where she posts as @stephanne221. 

There is no denying that parenting is hard. It wasn’t for the Boomers, and it is not for millennial parents. It’s a critical job, and everybody wants to do it right.

However, many parents play their roles correctly but still manage to make mistakes. This is where Steph explains small, simple acts that can alter the parent-child bond.

Boomer Vs Millenial 

The Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Their name refers to the baby boom and higher birth rates, and they are the parents of late Gen Xers and Millennials.

These parents focused on giving their kids the greatest upbringing possible and invested in their education. In fact, one of their main concerns was making sure their kids got into a decent college. 

There are over 22 million millennial parents in the US right now. And every day, 9,000 infants are born to them. Thanks to the changes in technology, this increasing cohort of parents married late, are ethnically diverse, and are unconcerned with traditional gender roles. 

Boomer Parents and the Accountability Gap

With the Boomers, Steph’s interactions revealed a concerning trend: a notable absence of accountability. This lack of acknowledgment, she believes, results in strained ties between boomer parents and their millennial offspring.

As children reach adulthood, they often seek answers to questions regarding their upbringing. When questioned and confronted, Boomer parents shut themselves off during these hard conversations.

The therapist underscores two primary paths for parents who are confronted with such inquiries.

Open To Feedback

The first encourages receptivity to feedback. This makes promoting understanding and relationship-building the ultimate goal instead of just distancing themselves from the problem.

This approach, although difficult, demands introspection and acceptance of past inadequacies. The alternative is shutting down dialogue, an action that only widens the relational gap and makes children feel inadequate and unaccepted.

Reflection

Steph doesn’t stop here. She goes on to elaborate on the challenges of embracing accountability. True accountability necessitates self-reflection and recognizing one’s role in the problem. Steph states that being accountable is hard, especially for parents.

Accountability forces parents to make themselves a part of the situation and accept that they also contribute to the problem. Without this, blame is often shifted entirely to the other party. For instance, deflecting blame for hurtful comments prevents personal growth and paves the way for relational rifts.

Steph firmly asserts that for a meaningful connection, boomer parents must opt for openness and accept their shortcomings to facilitate mutual understanding.

@stephanne221 Accountability matters and can heal relationships. If youre a parent who is serious about improving your relationship with your children, this is for you! #parentingtips #parenting #relationships #relationship #family #boomer #childhood #childhoodtrauma #psychology #therapy #attachmentstyle #millennial #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #conflict #communication #healing #kids #okboomer #mentalhealth #therapy #therapytok ♬ original sound – Steph the Attachment Therapist

Millennial Parents: The Technological Disconnect

Transitioning her focus, Steph addresses a dominant issue among millennial parents: excessive reliance on technology.

As it turns out, screen time isn’t just a problem for our kids. It’s a big issue with millennial parents, too.

This observation, widely acknowledged in her professional community, points to the damaging effects of inattention on children.

Steph refers to the “Stillface experiment” to prove her point. The study depicts the distress a toddler experiences when her engaged mother suddenly becomes non-responsive, a situation paralleled by parents engrossed in their devices.

The therapist’s contention is clear: consistent inattention will compel children to seek emotional connections elsewhere, undermining the parent-child bond.

@stephanne221

Parenting psychology 101: what signals are you sending your children? Signals of attunement, or rejection? It’s natural to accidentally send signals of rejection, what’s critical is the ability to attune, validate, and repair. Also, this experiment was btwn a mom and a daughter so i focus on the mom-daughter caregiving bond, but this dynamic can be present for any caregiver-carereciever relationship. #mom #parentingtips #parenting #relationships #relationship #family #millennial #millennialmom #childhood #childhoodtrauma #generationaltrauma #psychology #attachment #attachmentstyle #therapy #therapytiktok #therapytok #mentalhealth #fyp #foryou #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Steph the Attachment Therapist

Follower Responses and Advice

The virtual community largely resonated with Steph’s perspectives. 

One user recounted experiences with their Boomer parents, stating, “That’s my dad. He was terrifying when I was a child. He doesn’t remember throwing me through a door. The axe forgets, but the tree remembers.”

Meanwhile, one Boomer parent agreed with Steph and wrote, “As a boomer parent. I have 2 say that this video is absolutely accurate. I know if I don’t try 2 take accountability, I will lose my daughter.”

Similarly, millennials admitted they needed to keep their phone use in check. One commented, “This called me out, I need to be more conscious about my own screen time around my daughter. ”

As the discourse on parenting continues to evolve, Steph’s observations serve as a vital reminder of the enduring need for active engagement and self-awareness in fostering healthy parent-child relationships across generations.

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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