Having kids is a no-go for most millennials
New research suggests many millennials are choosing to stray from the social norm of having children and instead opting to get married later than previous generations. Why they are doing this can be blamed on a myriad of things.
This trend is inconsistent with older generations who started living the family life much sooner. Over 46 percent of baby boomers got married at ages that many millennials have already surpassed, and that gap is expected to increase as millennials continue to age.
Giving up the traditional family ideal has been inevitable, especially for a generation growing up connecting through social media and internet technology. The incentive to be seen has changed society, distorting people’s’ perception of success.
Millennials are the most educated generation in human history, yet have little to show for it. Many are in copious amounts of debt from student loans. This, and the other fiscal stress factors that come with adulthood, make having a family an unattractive endeavor for millennials.
However, not all are completely turned off from the idea, rather choosing to focus on developing a career and other personal goals, before taking on the family life.
With the world’s population at seven billion and continuing to grow at unprecedented rates, adding to the pack is the least of millennials concerns. In a way, it serves as lessening their carbon footprint on an already strained environment.
With some of the worst maternity leave policies in developed nations, American lawmakers can also be credited for the decline in birth rates. The federal government does not mandate businesses to offer paid maternity leave.
Living in a society that doesn’t support working mothers, is enough to make anyone have serious reservations about having a child. It explains why birthing rates among women in their twenties is at an all-time low.
Furthermore, parents are even less appreciative of parenthood today, wishing they hadn’t partaken in the process. This goes against the standard moral etiquette of claiming that having children is the most amazing experience. Not only are they unappreciative of the process; happiness is negatively impacted.
According to the Washington Post “having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person’s happiness… worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner.”
Times have changed and the responsibility to the individual has become more important. With many millennials adopting this way of thinking, the birth rate will most likely continue to dwindle as fewer people find happiness in traditional household values.
Opinion columnist Anthony Cianciulli is a broadcast journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected]