By Hanley Foundation Prevention Specialist LaQueda Lewis
Raising a child as a millennial parent is quite scary. There are so many social constructs that today’s children face especially with the growing social media trends. There’s cyber bullying, sex trafficking, on-screen violence, and the various intrusions in children’s lives to name a few. Everything is recorded and posted for the world to see which means privacy is very limited.
What has helped me on this journey of parenthood is my village and technology. I know that there are a plethora of parenting books but what has been a great asset is my village. There’s an old African adage that says, “It takes a village to raise a child” and it’s so true. There is a world of people in a metaphorical village that helps to raise children. A term that was created before our generation but is so needed in our generation.
The village has changed over the years but in some aspects remained consistent. I couldn’t imagine raising my children without my village. I would never knock the power of education with a book however, in my experience as a millennial parent, parenting should be more hands-on learning. I don’t think a book can ever prepare you for many of the good, bad, and ugly things that can come with parenting, and sometimes they can be unrealistic.
Honestly, in my opinion, as a millennial parent, I do turn to parenting apps or advice from my circle. It’s convenient, relatable, easy to maneuver through, and easy to understand. Although books on parenting are used as a guide there are some things that I’ve experienced that a parenting book couldn’t help me with. What did help me was the advice from the older women at my church, some of the women who are mothers in my marriage group, my parents and in-laws, friends and other family members, parenting apps, and social media.
What also helped was relying on my natural gut instinct. I tend to find that parenting books will make you rely on them and evaluate your effectiveness as a parent based on what is written in black and white. I believe that parenting books could be helpful but could also be just as harmful. Based on my experience, hands-on learning has always worked well for me whereas visually (i.e. reading a book) may work for others.