Millennials Blame Their Boomer Parents for Not Preparing Them Well Enough for Life’s Challenges

By: Lauren | Published: Apr 27, 2024

Researchers understand that a great deal of who we are as people is based on how we were raised. And because each generation has its own parenting styles, the next generation tends to have similar experiences as children. 

Now that Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, are making their way through the world as adults, they’ve realized the parenting style of their Baby Boomer parents was far less than ideal. 

Who Are Millennials?

As of March 2024, the Millennial generation is currently between 27 and 42 years old. Historically, people in this age group were considered fully grown adults, often with successful careers, families, small businesses, homes, and sufficient savings for the future. 

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A woman sits on the end of her bed, holding a pillow and looking sad

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However, very few Millennials feel as though they have reached their goals in this life. Many cannot afford to buy a home, others can’t seem to move up in their careers or even find a career that they are passionate about, and still, millions are in significant credit card debt from overspending in their twenties. 

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Many Millennials Argue Their Parents Didn’t Prepare Them for the Real World

On social media, many Millennials have spoken out against their Baby Boomer parents, those born between 1946 and 1964, saying that they did not prepare them for life as adults. 

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One woman wrote on Reddit, “When I reflect on how I was parented, I don’t remember my parents ever giving me any type of life advice.” And within just a few days, hundreds of other users not only agreed, but also added their own experiences and disappointments while being raised by Baby Boomers. 

Navigating the Financial Responsibilities of Being an Adult

According to the Lending Club, 73% of Millennials are living paycheck to paycheck, making them the most likely generation to do so. 

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So, it should come as no surprise that one of the most commonly expressed frustrations on the thread was that Baby Boomer parents did not advise their children about the fiscal responsibilities of adulthood. 

Millennials Say They Were Never Taught to Save

The first complaint is that Millennials were never taught to save by their Baby Boomer parents; it just wasn’t a conversation in the vast majority of families, 

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A woman looks stressed as she goes over her bills at home

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Now, Millennials desperately wish that they had known how to open a savings account, invest, or understand the importance of a 401 (K) before they reached middle age. 

Many Say They Were Never Told How Credit Cards Work

Other Millennials spoke out about how their parents never even explained to them how a credit card, and specifically interest payments, works. 

A hand holds several credit cards splayed out

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One Reddit user wrote, “I opened a credit card at 18 and literally didn’t know what interest was.” Others agreed that their parents absolutely should have explained this process to them before they were able to sign up for their own high-interest credit card by accident.  

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Why Does No One Teach Young Adults About Doing Their Taxes?

Another common conversation among adults today is that their parents never taught them how to do their taxes. Because filling out one’s tax forms feels exceedingly complicated but is also a requirement every year from the federal government, many argue this should be one of the top priorities for parents of young adults. 

Tax forms are laid out on a table with glasses, a pen, a calculator, and a post-it note that reads “Tax Time”

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Some even say filling out taxes should be taught in school, maybe instead of complex algebra that almost no one uses in their adult lives. 

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How Were Baby Boomers Raised?

Before ganging up on the Baby Boomer generation, it’s important to understand that each generation raises its children based on how they themselves were parented. Many try to fix the mistakes their parents made, but they still only have their experience to go off. 

Black and white photograph of a mother and her four children on a porch step during the Great Depression

Source: New Georgia Encyclopedia

The vast majority of Baby Boomers were raised by the Greatest Generation, who were born between 1901 and 1927. These people lived in an exceptionally challenging time; they experienced the Great Depression as children and lived and fought in World War II. Therefore, as parents, the Greatest Generation was focused on survival much more than pushing their children to thrive. 

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Baby Boomers Tried to Give Their Children More

Ask any Baby Boomer, and they will tell you that they raised their children with far more care, concern, and life advice than they ever received from their parents. 

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However, Millennials are arguing that it simply wasn’t enough to succeed in the modern world. Between exponentially advancing technology, increasing cost of living, and a far more complex society than ever before, Millennials feel they are simply unprepared.  

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Millennials Are Trillions of Dollars in Debt

Unfortunately, the numbers agree with these Millennials, as this generation has found themselves with more debt than any other. 

A young couple sits on the flood of their home going over their bills

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As of 2022, Millennials had a collective debt of nearly $4 trillion. As the cost of living, mortgage rates, and rent prices continue to increase, this number is likely to increase instead of decrease over the next decade. 

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Millennials Plan to Raise Their Children Much Differently

Although there is nothing Millennials can do now about the way they were raised, they can focus their attention on their own children, Generation Alpha, and soon-to-be Generation Beta.  

Two young parents hold their toddler while smiling in the kitchen

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Many Millennials have decided to raise their children much differently than they were raised by their Baby Boomer parents. From teaching fiscal responsibility to encouraging their children with positive reinforcement instead of discipline, Millennials want to be far more involved than their parents were. 

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Each Generation Has Its Own Sets of Struggles

Every generation tries its best to raise its children to succeed in the world. However, as the world is constantly changing, now faster than ever before, it is extremely challenging for a parent to know what the world will look like when their kids reach adulthood. 

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Each generation has its own struggles, many of which do not become apparent until they are adults. For Millennials, it seems to be fiscal responsibility, and consequently, they will likely focus on ensuring their children understand this reality. But they have no real idea what their kids, Generation Alpha and Generation Beta, will struggle with in 30-or-so years. 

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