Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels
“You Millennials” and “OK Boomers” seem to be having heated conversations on a number of topics these days. As a proud boomer and mother of two millennials -- and a Head of School -- I’d like to tell you why I think Millennials are “rocking it” as parents.
Millennials are authentic. They appreciate a straightforward communication style. Their boomer parents have cautioned them against buzzwords and meaningless advertising claims. They want real dialogue and real information. This is greatly appreciated by school faculty and staff, especially at parent conference and report card writing time. While there is still a need for tact and sensitivity, it is much easier these days to get to the heart of a problem with a millennial parent, and to know that clear, evidence-based observations are responded to as neutrally as possible. School personnel know that when they have a conversation with a millennial, they are hearing things “as they are” and do not need to unwrap a conversation to find the real message.
Millennials value transparency. They truly want to have an open and honest relationship with their children’s teachers and advisors. These parents do not want surprises and expect to be communicated with regularly. And, millennial parents expect to be a part of the dialogue about their children. Teachers appreciate the partnership that is offered and also appreciate the readiness of parents to look at the “big picture” and not overfocus on singular events.
Millennials care deeply about diversity and want to see evidence of multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion in schools. Millennial parents reinforce school values and realities and teach their children how to celebrate the differences in and between people. Their children are remarkably open minded and expect and respect diversity of all kinds. These children will be ready to operate in a truly global society.
Millennials are multi-taskers. Whether raising children in a one- or two-parent working household, Millennials have mastered the ability to digest and understand mass quantities of information. Faculty can expect that Millennial parents will quickly do research on a school-related issue and bring information to the table in a proactive way. Schools can also expect that these great multi-taskers will pack a child’s lunch, sign a test paper, and complete requested forms as they fly off to another obligation.
Millennials have a strong sense of social responsibility. They believe (as do we Boomers) that they can change the world. They support causes and do what they can to help. In this way, Millennials are raising their children to be committed, world citizens who understand that through collaboration across the world, they can solve problems and build a better life for all people.
So, I give a shout out to an oft critiqued group -- the Millennials. OK Boomers?