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‘Peter Pan’ Generation?

From the ‘Baby Boomers’ to ‘Generation X’ each generation have different attitudes and traditions in regards to parenting. It is possible that these differences are influenced by many factors, such as changes in attitudes and the current economic climate. It is inevitable, that these unique approaches have a direct impact on the child’s development.
The term ‘helicopter parenting’ was coined in 60’s to describe the protective parenting style of ‘Generation X’. The term became popular in the early 2000’s as the oldest ‘Millennials’ were approaching adulthood. Since then, the term has continually been linked to this generation, describing them as an entitled generation that are overly dependent on their parents. Therefore, the question is, does this portrayal of ‘Millennials’ as a ‘Peter Pan’ generation reflect within the data deriving from this survey so far?
The figures show that only 13% of Wales’s young people aged 18 to 34 consider themselves as complete adults. The majority consider themselves to be in the middle, suggesting that this generation exists in limbo between two different life stages.

On one hand, it is possible that this generation is enjoying the freedom of living life as a young adult, but on the other hand, are reluctant to recognize themselves as complete adults. This finding is echoed within data from another question within the survey, in which the majority of respondents recognized that being a complete adult means being mature and responsible. Does this therefore suggest that this generation is reluctant to let go of their youth? After all, who wants to be an adult?
A significant feature of this protective style of parenting is that parents often overly about their children’s future. This belief is reflected within the data, as 65% of Welsh people aged between 18 and 34 indicate that their parents are worried about their future, while 35% indicate they do not.

After filtering the data, we can see that men between 26 and 34 years old are most likely to state that their parents are worried about their future, as 76% of them say so. This percentage is 16% more than women of the same age, and 13% more than younger men between 18 and 25 years old. This reflects a rather uncertain time within the lives of the older men of this generation.


Given the financial uncertainty in Wales and beyond, it is not surprising that the parents of this generation are concerned. However, rather than facing the challenge head on, the ‘Millennials’ seem happy enough to grasp their youth for as long as possible, as they begin to appreciate why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up!

Shân Pritchard