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The Happy Millennial Family

The Happy Millennial Family


The word “millennial” can conjure a number of connotations, such as privileged, casual, technologically savvy, self-absorbed, and social media-obsessed. These words describe those born from the 1980’s to the early 2000’s, or those between the ages of 18 – 33. The term “millennial” also suggests the image of young parents. The result of a 2015 Goldman Sachs survey reports that nearly 90 percent of new parents today are millennials.

Also called “Generation Y,” millennials are now building families that represent a major departure from how their parents went about it. Raising a family today is seen as much more challenging than it was in the previous generations. Today, the idea of a nuclear family consisting of the parents and children does not reflect the diverse family structures that were typical of the past.

Although millennials may be redefining and forging a new path for families to follow, they face more difficulties than what was experienced by their parents or grandparents. Not only is it more expensive than ever to have a family, but our fast-paced, hectic society offers new and different pressures for parents. This can result in their visions of having a happy family unit seem somehow elusive or difficult to achieve in many ways.


Top Parenting Challenges Faced by Millennial Parents

The family evolves with the times. Each new generation of families brings a new set of challenges different from those of say, the baby boomers for example, or generations before. Millennial families have their own struggles in raising a family, but the challenges they face will still influence their decisions when it comes to their children. While it is true that it is a huge responsibility to have children regardless of what generation, there are some unique challenges that millennial parents might face today.

  • Balancing act between parenthood and career
  • Effective ways to disciple the children
  • Developing independence in children in a dangerous world
  • High cost of raising a family
  • Prevalence of single parenthood and/or the absence of help or support
  • Quality education for children
  • Guarding children against technology influences
  • Avoiding consumerism while living in a consumer-centric society

While raising a millennial family is not exactly a cakewalk, parenting today is done differently from the way parents did things before. Millennial parenting is done in a highly customized kind of way that tends to embrace the changes happening around them. This new breed of parents are innovators willing to implement new ideas and discard what did not work for them or what they did not like. They are self-sustaining and independent thinkers without fear to make unconventional choices they believe are best for their families. Their creativity plays a big role in their effort to raise a happy and healthy family, while successfully living a conscientious life.


Staying Connected as a Family   

In the past, the family connection very often happened around the dinner table while they shared meals each night at around the same time. Activities, such as board games, school projects, watching TV, playing outside, etc. followed next; and parents made sure children welcomed this as an important part of home life and the best opportunity to connect.

Millennial families, however, are taking a different look on how to stay connected. In the fast-paced nature of this era it can be challenging to coordinate and spend time with the whole family on a regular basis. Although there is an effort to stay connected with each other, millennial families acknowledge the need for flexible scheduling. Nevertheless, despite the busy schedule and other demands on having quality time together, the family remains an important support network in this generation, especially at an age where the children are experiencing the most developmental changes in their life.

Millennial parents recognize the importance of investing in family relationships, thus there is the shift of focus for quality time on weekends, instead on nightly dinners. The fact that this generation is digital-savvy and infused with technology allows the millennial family to be more connected than ever before. The familiarity with all the tools and engagement on social media allow family members to easily reach out to each other when they need help, support or advice. 

Although there is so much transparency in social media that constantly display their activities to the entire world, it greatly reduces the isolation and perfection endured by past generations. Millennial families willingly support, commiserate and share experiences with each member virtually.


The Pursuit of Happiness

Perhaps one of the biggest differences millennial parents has over parents of the past is their value for happiness. Younger parents tend to put happiness on their list of priorities for an enriching lifestyle, versus a luxury. They may have fun by telling silly stories, engaging in family art projects, interacting with other families, and embarking on new adventures as a regular part of family life.

Amidst the many challenges, millennial families put a lot of value on happiness. They stay connected to friends, pursue their interests, and tend to stay current with social trends. There is, however, a downside to this. The perception that millennial families are composed of upbeat, confident and technologically-savvy individuals does not always reflect the reality of what they may be really experiencing.

While it is true that technology allows for families to reach out to each other, it is also technology that separates and alienates members even when they think it is connecting them. Most families are disengaged with their fellow family members who turn to social media instead of spending quality time with each other. Without close family ties, individuals can feel disassociated and lonely even if they seek enjoyment elsewhere. Some members move away from home and farther from the family, contributing to the feeling of isolation, emptiness and unhappiness.

Social media can influence the way they view happiness and success, but they do not realize how inaccurate the images are. There is the tendency to compare their family with others. Social media tends to magnify this effect, which can eventually lead to depression and anxiety when your own family falls short of unrealistic expectations.

Despite being raised in a safe and happy family environment, parental care and caution borders on a superficial display of hyper-involvement in children’s lives. The thin line between being involved and overprotective or over-controlling defines what is healthy for a child’s development and what can cause long-term psychological, emotional or behavioral health issues. In fact, research reveals that 19 percent of millennials have been diagnosed with some kind of depression or anxiety disorder. Raising a family in this generation is indeed favorable in many ways, but can also have some very unhealthy and unhappy characteristics.


Staying Happily Connected as a Family

The generation of the millennial family is known to be very connected digitally. Both parents and children were likely shaped by the presence of technology and a fast-paced society, and it can be easy to assume that these families do not struggle with disconnection, isolation and unhappiness. The truth is that the problem of isolation and loneliness is real, even though people are connected through devices and social media.

The good news about this generation is that millennials are not afraid to ask for help. In this day and age, the stigma attached to seeking counseling no longer exists, as it once did. Receiving family counseling services is considered “in keeping with the times” and of value for “Generation Y” families experiencing the paradox of living in this high-tech age.

When a family member is depressed, if the challenges and pressures affect your whole household’s happiness and general well-being, let the right fit therapist independently contracted with CCS in Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks help you. Through counseling, you and your family members can learn to recharge your batteries, stay positive, energized and ready for whole new levels of enjoyment and happiness for the entire household. A trained therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks is ready to help millennial families like yours. Call now to request an appointment!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

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Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
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Cameron, NC 28326

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Fayetteville, NC 28311

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