Before writing Millennials with Kids, I must admit that I had the same preconceived notions about Millennials that many others did, that they were lazy, selfish and self-entitled. I mean, come on, these were the kids that were living in their parents’ basements, right? Wrong. When I began my research, I not only realized that Millennials are in fact some of the most driven young adults in our market today, but that there is a whole population of them who have taken on the greatest responsibility we can think of: Parenthood.
By the numbers, 63 percent of Millennials aged 25-34 are currently married and there are 11.6 million Millennial households with children in the United States – that’s nearly 40 percent of the millennial generation over the age of 25. While we often hear about how the Millennial generation is entirely different than any generation before them, it might surprise you to learn that as parents, Millennials are not quite as different as we thought they were.
Community-minded, but not so active
As a whole, Millennials are an extremely community-minded group of people. They are leading the pack when it comes to the “shop local” trend, are invested in buying products that support local initiatives, and care about creating an inclusive environment that is not bounded by race, economic level, or access to resources. However, after becoming parents, young adults have far less time to contribute to the world outside of their home. Before becoming parents, 12.5 percent of Millennials actively belonged to a civic organization. Unfortunately, that number drops to just .3 percent after the kids arrive. What does this tell us? Millennials, like their parents, have a lot more to deal with when they have kids and they do not have nearly as much time to be as active in the community, despite their best intentions.
Only green on good days
One of the strongest narratives about Millennials today is that they are a holistically “green” generation. They care about the environment and they are personally committed to putting an end to global warming. Pew Research found that 71 percent of Millennials agree that developing alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydrogen technology should be America’s energy policy priority. However, when parenthood comes, environmental concerns come second to family life. The number of Millennials that recycle drops significantly after having children. Additionally, 10 percent of Millennials belonged to an environmental organization before becoming parents – compare that to a less than whopping .2 percent of Millennials after kids are in the picture. Ultimately, Millennial parents are more likely to participate in “green” initiatives if there are additional benefits to them, such as Scott Brand tubeless toilet paper.
They are still conservative…about some things
Typically, being called conservative has a political connotation. Millennials, however, disagree. For young parents today, conservativism more accurately describes a value set as opposed to a political viewpoint. For example, after becoming parents, the number of Millennials who describe themselves as conservative evangelical Christians jumps from 9.6 percent to 32.9 percent. However, those same parents are more likely to consider their political view to be more “middle-of-the-road” when it comes to their personal politics.
Internet privacy is a big deal
Not surprisingly, Millennial parents see online privacy as a bigger concern after they have kids. Twenty nine percent of Millennial parents said they use the Internet less often because of privacy concerns compared to just 9.8 percent of Millennials who are not parents. Even though Millennials are digital natives, the openness of the Internet is still a concern for young parents. However, Millennial parents are more likely than non-parents to share personal information with a brand if they receive benefits or coupons in return.
Millennial parents may be a new generation of moms and dads, but their values and some behaviors are well-aligned with their parents. While Millennials will use social, digital, and mobile technology much more fluidly than their parents did to raise their children, they have similar attitudes to Boomers and Gen Xers when it comes to time management and core values. Time is limited and valuable. Millennial parents, like their parents before them, are quickly learning that everything changes when you have children, and it brings a new more pragmatic view of life and the products they consume.