Like most millennials I know, I tend to fit some stereotypes and not others. I am on the "older" end of the generation, and raised with a sibling who technically came before it, so what influenced me didn't necessary influence other millennials. Still, there are some things about millennial life I hold dear to my heart and, now that I’m a mom, definitely want to introduce to my young son.
In fact, I suspect there are lots of things millennial moms want their kids to know. Not in a, "We hiked two miles uphill in the snow both ways to get to and from school, and we liked it,” kind of way, but more in a, "We didn’t have unlimited texting plans and Google didn’t even exist and sometimes we had to blow on our video games in order to get them to work,” kind of way.
I suppose, if you really think about, what this millennial mom (and many others, I'm optimistically assuming) wants her kids to know doesn't vary from any other mom born in any other time period. Each generation is going to have our trends and quirks and pop culture cornerstones. However, the really important stuff is what we choose to pass along. Am I going to go out of my way to make sure my son knows and loves the soundtrack to Bazz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet? Probably not. However, I'll probably make sure he’s familiar with The Princess Bride, as well as the following truths:
There's Life Beyond Technology...
My son is 2 years old, so we have a little while until technology becomes a major issue in our household (at least, I hope we do). Still, he’s already starting to notice things like remote controls and televisions and the fact that our phones are magical tools that allow us to access pictures of any animal he can think of (and that hold some of his greatest moments on video).
I know my partner and I are going to have our work cut out for us when ti comes to conveying to him just how much life is to be lived away from our screens, but we’re up for the challenge.
...But We Can Appreciate It For What It Offers Us
I can schedule doctor’s appointments, order dinner, shop, check in with friends, and update myself on all things current events and pop culture without waking the sleeping toddler on my lap. What a time to be alive, right? Despite the pitfalls, I will never not appreciate the conveniences that modern technology affords us, and I fully intend on making this clear to my son, too.
It's Not All About You
Despite the narrative that surrounds our generation, not all millennials are entitled or self-absorbed. (Although, even if I was, would I even know it? I’m not sure how this stuff works.) Still, it’s been made clear to me that we certainly don’t want our son to carry that same stigma, so it’s on me and my partner, as millennial parents, to break the so-called cycle.
Yes, You Can Have Fun With Markers And Stickers And Glue
I should know. I mean, what else did we do in the '90s? It’s not like Saved By The Bell was available on-demand or anything. When shows ended, we actually had to amuse ourselves. I plan to make sure my son will know a similar struggle. I realize that sounds like a threat, but really I want him to be well-rounded. That's OK, right?
A Sick Day Is Incomplete Without Daytime Television
Sick day movies were a crucial part of my youth. My personal favorites were the The Princess Bride, Troop Beverly Hills, and the slightly-more-obscure License To Drive. And, of course, when my parents weren’t looking, I was also inclined to tune into the daytime spectacle that was talk television in the '90s. My fellow '90s kids will surely understand. Although, now that I think about it, perhaps it would be smart to save that lesson until my son’s old enough to attend college.
You’ll Never Know The Pure Joy That Comes From Lisa Frank School Supplies
I still see Lisa Frank in the stores these days, but it’s not the same. Those products were currency back in the day, replaced only by lip gloss, when I finally was old enough to care about lip gloss.
An Appreciation For The Golden Era Of Boybands And Bubblegum Pop Music...
I suppose the way my own dad feels about classic rock might be how I feel about '90s pop. My son should probably brace himself for intense lessons, diagrams, and choreography practice as soon as he gets a handle on speaking in complete sentences.
...And For Actual Books
Since having a son, I’ve regained an appreciation for libraries. There’s something about them that makes me both nostalgic and hopeful for the future, not to mention enamored with the idea of reading for pleasure again (how do other moms find time for that?). Seriously, I remember using actual encyclopedia books for a fourth grade report on Ronald Reagan. Perhaps that why I consider instilling a love of actual pages a high priority.
You Don't Have To Fit Your Generation’s Stereotype
It’s perhaps a bit too early to tell what kind of traits will be attributed to my son and his peers, but I hope he recognizes that generalizations don’t have to apply to him. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I should go read up on how to teach him that. Maybe in an actual book.
'Calvin And Hobbes' Is the Answer To Everything
When all else fails, when the world seems lost, when we feel alone, when our favorite celebrities (and presidents) leave us, there’s always comfort to be had in Calvin and Hobbes.