FRAMILY. Millennials redefine the concept of family.
Did you ever wonder if Gen Y conforms to the norm when they become parents? Do renown Millennial characteristics survive parenthood, or are they tossed away together with the dirty diapers? Well we wondered and instantly decided to write a book on the topic: ‘FRAMILY’.
Gen Y has always been the generation symbolising youth. But now that the eldest Gen Y’ers turned 35 last year, a lot of them can now be considered as a-d-u-l-t-s. (Even if that sounds heartbreaking to the people concerned, face it: how unique you might feel, you too are growing old!) They might be living alone, have a relationship, found a job, and in many cases they might even started their own family.
For previous generations, having your first kid meant the end of an era: Bye bye youth, hello responsabilities! The pressure to conform to the norm once you became a parent, was so high that even the most free loving hippy started to wear a suit to find a proper office job.
So we wondered… does parenthood have the same effect on Gen Y? Are all the characteristics that Gen Y is known for, typical for their life stage - as in being young - or really specific to their generation?
A great topic for a qualitative research and a book, isn't it? We talked with Gen Y parents about their everyday family and personal life. How they met, if their relationship became stronger since they were parents and the challenges they face. About the life hacks they use to keep their life organised and how they feel about their work-life balance. About friendship, housing and social media, but also about religion and spirituality. We discussed their view on education and the pressure to be perfect parents. About the values they teach and their hopes for the future. But also how they feel towards brands and today’s marketing and consumerism. About what they expect, what they need, the do’s and don’ts according to Gen Y parents. And many other topics…
A first thing that popped up was that today’s young families don’t just consist of a mom and dad and their kids. Although no one can choose one’s family, Gen Y chooses its framily. Framily - an obvious merging of friends and family - is the new family. Hence the title of the book.
Another one was the outdated image the world seems to have about young families. The classic image of a (caucasian) mom and dad, a son with cute freckles and a daughter with long locks sitting on their laps, all in white and crispy clean outfits showing their perfect Colgate smiles, doesn’t appeal anymore. Today’s reality is much more diverse and complex than that.
But it is not only appearances and structures that need to be updated. There are other things going on in that Gen Y parental mind. It’s clear that Gen Y stands differently in family life than expected. They have different priorities, new needs and other values than previous generations did.
We collected our insights in ‘FRAMILY’, on sale in Dutch and in English in our shop.
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