Millennials are saying their boomer parents spent their childhoods expressing anxiety at them.
Now they're trying to figure out how to stop them making their grandchildren anxious.
The conversation kicked off on TikTok after a video explaining the situation went viral.
Millennial parents are discussing shielding their kids from the anxieties their baby boomer parents projected on them while they were growing up. After being affected by it their whole childhoods, they're trying to find ways to stop it rubbing off on their own children when they spend time with their grandparents.
The conversation kicked off on TikTok, when Gaby Day, who describes herself as a millennial mom, posted a video saying that expressing anxiety is her mother's "love language." While she understood her mom's worries and anxieties about her were a sign she cared, she found it "beyond exhausting" as a child, she said.
"My sister and I then absorbed that energy and, surprise, we are anxious adults," she said.
Now that her mom is involved in caring for her 18-month twins, Day said she can see the same thing happening.
She gave an example of her children falling a few inches from the couch onto a padded mat on the floor. She said her mom responded by gasping and showing "exaggerated physical reactions," which startled them.
By contrast, Day said she tries to remain calm and "model emotional regulation," which she said her mom is baffled by, thinking it shows a lack of care.
She said that while it's clear that her mom loves her children, she's looking for ways to make sure her anxiety doesn't rub off on them in the same way it rubbed off on her.
The video, which was posted on November 8, has over 1.2 million views and thousands of comments from people who related to Day's situation.
While many boomer grandparents are opting out of childrearing duties, spending their retirement traveling instead, those who are around seem to be causing frustrations for many millennial offspring who are now parents.
One viewer said that parenting their own parents as well as their children felt "exhausting." They wrote that they had "no answers" to Day's question, and that they were just "stumbling along as well."
Another viewer replied that they were trying to work on their own trauma while also trying to be a "great mom" to their 1-year-old, on top of managing their mother's anxiety that she "denies exists."
One viewer wrote that her mother "screamed so much" after her daughter fell off the couch, that she and her husband rushed downstairs because they were convinced that her daughter had fractured her skull. "Lost half my life that day," they wrote.
This isn't the first time that boomers have been criticized for overreacting and projecting their anxieties. In September, a woman coined the term "boomer panic," which she defined as older people getting unnecessarily heated over something trivial.
Many younger people agreed that they had witnessed this, and were left questioning why the generation has so much anxiety.
Parenting styles in particular can cause tensions between millennials and their parents. Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician and author, told Salon in 2022 that millennial parents tend to be more accepting of a child's emotions compared to boomers, who were more likely to dismiss them.
As well as airing their frustrations, many millennial and Gen Z parents are using social media to discuss their parenting techniques, leading to the rise of different approaches such as gentle parenting, which is very popular on TikTok.
Read the original article on Business Insider