Honestly, What If Millennial Parents Just Aren’t Going To Be Good At It?

The Still Face Effect and more.

Ted Bauer

--

A lot, and I mean a lot, of hand-wringing in recent years about whether there is a decline in parenting due to “the screens.” There is absolutely a decline in parenting, and “the screens” are part of it, but so are 10,000 other things, including Snowplow Parenting, parents wanting to re-do their youth, grandparents wanting to re-do their own parenting, and more. Except for the screens part, none of it is really that new. We just like to get agitated about various things because I guess it’s fun? I don’t know. I lost track.

This video will sum up some memes, themes, and reactions to millennial parenting decently:

In said video, you learn about “The Still Face Effect.” Phrased very simply, a baby needs his parents (specifically his or her mother) to be responsive from about ages zero to two. At two, they can begin to self-regulate. Watch how the baby loses their mind and tries to squirm out of their high chair when their mom doesn’t react to them:

The belief is that millennial mothers are obsessed with their phones, and thus don’t reciprocate their babies as much. I think that’s a little bit of a trope. I know some women obsessed with their phones — or, more accurately, I would say I know some women obsessed with giving their babies a phone to soothe the baby, which isn’t parenting per SE — but it’s a small minority that is obsessed with their phones over their babies. I once met a woman whose husband I had worked out with a few times. The woman called her baby “the ultimate early-30s accessory.” I am not a fan of hitting other people, especially women, but in that instant I almost came close. I digress.

--

--

Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.