The birth of a child is a key time in a family's life. Marketing companies know this and go all out to capture a new mother's attention. It starts even before they leave the hospital with their newborn. From diapers to formula to wet wipes, companies pay to have their products put in the hands of new mothers.
The new mothers they are marketing to are the Millennials. The Millennials turn ages 20 to 36 this year. Consider these findings.
- 83 percent of the babies born this year will call a Millennial "Mom" or "Dad."
- There are over 16.2 million Millennial moms in America.
- The average age for new moms is 26.
- Globally, there are over 2.5 million babies born to Millennial moms each week.
If we are going to reach the next generation, then we must reach their parents. More specifically, let's zoom in on how we can reach Millennial moms. Here are three keys to connecting with them.
Key No. 1: Represent today's moms. Today's families come in all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Sixty-seven percent of Millennial moms are multicultural. If your family portrayal only showcases families who look like it's still 1950, with mom at the stove with an apron on, two smiling kids sitting at the table and Dad coming in the door from work with a briefcase in his hand, Millennial moms will tune you out. The "happy housewife" who is a one-dimensional caretaker is not an accurate reflection of Millennial moms. Forty percent of Millennial moms are the sole or primary breadwinner in their family. Millennial parents run their household jointly, with both parents sharing in the decision-making and tasks.
In a recent survey, 51 percent of Millennial moms say advertisers have an outdated view of moms and don't understand them. With another 2 billion moms on the planet, that means that approximately 1 billion moms feel marketers are not connecting with them in authentic ways.
It's so important that the church leads the way in understanding today's moms and genuinely reflects who they are. As we engage them and add value to their lives in the many roles they undertake, we will be able to better connect with them. This includes their roles as a caretaker who provides for their family's needs, an elder who provides cultural wisdom, a coach who guides children on how to behave, a hero who serves as a role model for their children and a fan who encourages and believes in their children.
Key No. 2: Provide spiritual parenting tips - Millennial moms are seeking out parenting tips. Especially online. Here's an example: A company called Blossom posted a video on Facebook that featured seven hacks for organizing your clothes. The video has racked up over 382 million views and 12 million shares. Millennial moms seek out online communities and will share content that they deem valuable.
With hundreds of online options and platforms about raising children available to Millennial moms, you will have a hard time making an inroad if you only provide physical parenting tips. But here is where you can make a major difference, by providing spiritual parenting tips.
Consider creating short videos that will give Millennial moms tips on how to help their children spiritually. It might be how to pray for your child or how to sing Bible songs with motions with your child or how to answer a preschooler's big questions about God. Or perhaps it's how to use their child's toys as a tool to teach a Bible story or truth. Another idea is give mothers ideas for how to prepare their child for the nursery at church. You can also ask mothers in your ministry what topics they are interested in hearing about.
One of the best places to place the videos and promote them is on Facebook. You can create a Facebook page for the young mothers in your church for free. No need creating a separate website. Go where Millennial moms already are. Ninety percent of Millennial moms say Facebook is helpful to their parenting.
Key No. 3: Provide shared experiences. Millennial moms are moving away from being "helicopter parents" (parents who hover over their children closely and make decisions for them) to being "passenger-plane parents." Passenger-plane parents are parents who believe everyone in their family should be accommodated. In a nutshell, they are looking for ways to bring their family together for a shared experience. They highly value opportunities to bring their family together.
With mobile viewing, families have moved to "separate togetherness." This occurs when families are in the same room but are experiencing different content. An example would be, Dad watching ESPN on TV, while Mom is watching Netflix on an iPad, while the son is playing a video game on his laptop while the daughter is watching YouTube on her phone. Stats show that 52 percent of Millennial moms engage in "separate togetherness."
While Millennial moms engage in "separate togetherness," they are also looking for opportunities to create memories and build family bonds away from a screen. Companies and nonprofits that provide opportunities for this will connect with these moms. Here's an example. Chick-Fil-A ran a promotion last year that encouraged families to put their phones in the "coop" while dining in the restaurant and encouraged families to engage in more conversation and connection while eating. Millennial moms connected well with this.
As a church, there are so many ways you can tap into this. Think of ways you can provide shared experiences for Millennial moms and their families. Perhaps it's a shared worship experience, a family event, a special family night at church, a family campout and so on.
As you read through these three keys, here are some questions to think through and discuss as a ministry.
- Is our advertising (print pieces, web pics, pictures on screen at church and so on) an accurate depiction of today's moms?
- Do we understand and reach out to moms in all their dimensions and roles such as caretaker, elder, coach, hero and so on?
- How can we provide spiritual parenting tips for moms? What platform should we use? What content should we focus on?
- How can we create an online community for moms?
- How can we provide shared experiences for moms and their families?
Dale Hudson has been in children's ministry for over 27 years. He is the director of children's ministry at Christ Fellowship Church in south Florida. Christ Fellowship has nine campuses and ministers to over 25,000 people on weekends. Dale leads a children's ministry staff team of over 70 and a volunteer team of over 2,600. He has authored 100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Children's Ministry, 100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Preschool Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, Sunday School That Works, the churchleaders.com Top 100 book, and If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry.
This article originally appeared at relevantchildrensministry.com.
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