Friday, May 28, 2010

The Modern-Day Parent?

There's an interesting documentary on the CBC tonight, 'Hyper Parents, Coddled Kids'.  It's presented how parents these days are getting a head start on making their 'Mensa' child while it's in the womb (Baby Einstein, holding $4000 birthday parties as an "accomplishment" (I'm paraphrasing) for turning one).  Private schools, lessons after schools (ballet, tutoring, gymnastics et al.), and the parents are keeping a constant sort of tethered 'leash' on their kids (cell phones, GPS units in the cars when they're out driving, spy cams).

Parents are even helping their kids set up at college (filling out their applications, speaking to college presidents about their students grades and why they're not doing better and threatening to bring in their lawyer if they don't get moved from the Chemistry teacher they don't like - I wish I was joking).  Parents are also being known now for attending interviews, helping their child set up their desk at work (say, if they're in an office) and speaking to their child's boss when there's problems, or even negotiating salary.  It then presented how these kids are reacting as they're growing up.  Kids are meeting anxiety in college (feeling pressure from parents to keep up performance) and it's no wonder because they haven't been able to go out and experience life and learn to problem solve on their own.

They put the spotlight on this one girl who, out of college, has changed up to 4 jobs and with those not working out borrowed money to start her own company.  But it failed and she's claiming bankruptcy (after being ... I think it was.. $89,000 in debt) and having to call on her parents for help, receiving a sort of allowance from them until she gets a new job.  Do you see what's happened?  IMO, the parents are subconsciously setting their children up for failure because I think they want them to come back. They want to continue to be the hovering parent.  They don't know how to let go.  The child ends up going back to the parent for help because they're insufficient to deal with it on their own.

When I went to college, I left home as soon as I was 18.  They drove me there, they dropped off me and my stuff, but I did everything else on my own.  I had to register for college on my own and if I didn't understand something I had to ask for help from my peers around me.  That shit was hard at times and I was scared but *I* did it.  But I digress...

It will be interesting to see how the Generation Y'ers parent when it's their turn.  Will they become an even more hovering parent, or will they learn to loosen the reigns?  Something we won't see for a few years yet.  Perhaps we should be asking why the parents of these children have an inability to let go.  What happened to that (my) generation to make them want to provide so much more?  What happened to the generation just before me who has a problem letting go of their teen child?  I have a few thoughts on this, but perhaps another time.

I know this may all seem a little choppy or poorly written, but I'm tired and tried to get all my thoughts into an entry before I fell asleep, so I apologize in advance :)


hydra said...

My life was like yours. Sent off to college to cope on my own. Found ways of making extra cash, by singing and playing piano in bars. Never asked my parents for a penny, unlike several members of the younger generation I know, including my own flesh and blood!!!

Perovskia said...

Yeah, I never asked my parents for money, either. I didn't dare.

They said on the show Gen Y'ers feel a sense of entitlement. I just can't understand why they think that. Is it wrong of me to think it's selfish?

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