Latching on…

I’ve written a couple entires dealing with "helicopter parents". This is a term referring to parents who seem to hover around their child even after they’ve left the house for college and so on. These parents deal directly with professors, line up job interviews and then complain when their child doesn’t get the right grade or the best job.The worst offenders in the helicopter parents category write their child’s reports for them.

Apparently the trend is continuing within the children themselves.  According to CNN.com:

Almost everyone experiences occasional homesickness, but many young people suffer from a particularly intense form that interferes with normal activities, according to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics offers tips to physicians for recognizing risk factors among patients who are leaving home for the first time.

This is just getting ridiculous. I had a hard time when I first left home, I missed my parents, but I thrived at college. I found my niche, I learned a lot and grew up as an adult. I think the environment of parents and children is becoming more symbiotic than relational. I fear that parents in the US are more and more focused on having children as an accessory and less focused on training their children to become independent, individualistic adults.

In the past the whole goal of child raising was to have people who could continue your trade or work your farm. As a result, you learned skills, trades and the basic mechanics of everyday life. Today kids seem to be no more than the latest iPod or an accessory to make them appear younger.

I got my Dad Season one of House MD, a television show about a sarcastic doctor who tells it like it is. In one memorable scene a mother brings her daughter in so the doctor will tell her that sugar is bad and the little girl needs to lose weight. House, in normal fashion, hits the nail on the head when he tells the mother that all she wants to do is dress the daughter up in cute matching outfits so people will say "how cute, you must be sisters". House says the mother doesn’t really care about the daughter, but more about having the daughter make her look good.

This phenomenon means that most kids when hitting college have no real life skills. They don’t know how to balance a checkbook, wash their clothes, make a simple meal or organize their homework and studying. A gross overstatement of this came from a reality show I was watching about some rich girls (no it wasn’t Simple LIfe) and the one girl was home alone and wanted to make nachos. She headed to the local grocery store and wandered around for what seemed like forever. She even stopped one of the employees and asked what the best cheese was for nachos. It was painful to watch because the girl was in her mid-20’s and couldn’t make something as simple as nachos. Not teaching kids how to be adults will only increase the number of college kids and older children who remain at home, afraid of moving out and being their own person.

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