Millennial Dads Are More Likely to Stay Home With the Kids
Millennials dads are staying home with their kids at a higher rate than did Gen X dads, and more Millennials are choosing to be home with their children overall. Pew Research Center reports:
In 2015-16, 21% of Millennial parents (ages 20 to 35 at the time) were stay-at-home parents, while that figure stood at 17% among Gen X parents when they were the same age in 1999-2000.
Three-in-ten Millennial mothers ages 20 to 35 were at home with their children, compared with 25% of Gen X mothers a generation earlier. Among Millennial dads, 6% were home with their children in 2016, compared with 3% of Gen X fathers when they were a comparable age.
While the share of stay-at-home fathers is higher among Millennials, the share who are home specifically to care for their family has ticked up modestly: 23% of Gen X stay-at-home fathers around 2000 said they were home to care for family, compared with 26% of Millennial stay-at-home dads today.
Why are Millennial fathers staying at home more often? According to The Week, “fathers who stay home are increasingly doing so because of changing gender roles, not because of unemployment.”
What does this mean for the church?
For starters, both moms and dads in your congregation are likely in need of wisdom with regard to parenting. Remember, every family is different. Men and women also vary in temperment. Not all women are the same, and not all men are the same. Don’t make assumptions about who is taking on certain responsibilities in parenting. Rather, speak to both men and women about how to discipline, nurture, and raise their children, and then challenge couples to discuss these matters in order to establish how they can best work together in raising their family.
In addition to nurturing children, couples are also need wisdom on negotiating roles and responsibilities in their marriages. Both parents may work, and both may assume some parenting duties. Finding a balance might be challenging for young families in your congregation. You can help your congregants by equipping them with the skills they need to communicate with their spouse.
Lastly, this trend might influence how you think about church events. Moms can help other moms, and dads can help other dads. That’s the traditional model. Women meet together and men meet together. But since there is now a wider variance in roles and responsibilities for men and women in raising their children, you may need to reframe the ways you teach parenting, allowing men and women to meet for shared conversations between families. Couples can then share with other couples the wisdom they have gained from raising their children together.