Editor's note: Allison O’Keefe Wright is EVP, managing director of research and strategy at New York-based research firm Open Mind Strategy.

Millennials are now the centerpiece of the new family dynamic. Nine in 10 new parents today are Millennials (ages 22-38) and so if your goal is to “talk to parents” – especially parents of younger children – you need to understand how to talk to Millennials. As data from Open Mind Strategy’s Youth IQ syndicated insight tool (which surveys over 1,500 respondents between the ages of 13-37 twice a quarter) clearly conveys, Millennial parents are a cohort who is approaching parenting with a new lens, making new rules, taking on new roles and not necessarily following in the footsteps of the parents who came before them. 

They want to carve their own parenting path and showcase their unique family experiences (and parental expertise) for all the world to see but deep down they are questioning themselves every step of the way. Our firm has the honor to consistently study these new, often stressed, always striving parents, both quantitatively and qualitatively and we’ve uncovered some major shifts, powerful dichotomies and significant unmet opportunity to better serve and connect with this critical cohort.

There once was a time when parents were the boss but when Millennials were kids that was no longer the dynamic – Millennials were often the boss of their parents. Those in the “baby on board” generation were their parents’ rising suns and the CTOs of their families. But what happens when the “boss child” becomes the parent? They want to give their kids the same respect that they were given but certainly don’t want to relinquish control or give up their own personal pursuits and passions to only fulfill their child’s. The result? The new family dynamic: We’re in this thing together.

Millennial parents have a different concept of “me time.” Eighty-six percent sa...