Gen Y’ers are “special” and have a different point of view of the world than everyone else. This story on CNNMoney portrayed a young man that graduated college and got a job but is living with mom and dad because why should he have all the responsibility of being an adult when his parents don’t force him to be one?
Gen Y’ers are facing a tough road. They are graduating college in a horrible economy and there is a 13% unemployment rate among the group. But, left without any coping skills from parents that coddled them they are woefully unprepared to meet the rigors of being adults. Luckily, their parents welcome them home with open arms and do everything but wipe their asses for them.
I learned this lesson up close and personal. I offered to pay my nephew’s college tuition, get him an apartment, furnish it, help him get a job and buy him a car. All of this support to launch him from being a 19 year old kid living with his parents without a job to functioning adult was a dream come true for him and his parents. That is, until it required him to actually function as an adult. Getting up before 2:00 p.m. and showing up to work and attending class was simply too much for this able bodied young man.
His parents blamed me, instead of their complete lack of parenting and preparation for adulthood for their child, and I watched as the kid went down in flames. He walked out of his part-time job mid-shift because it was just hard and he thought he might get fired. He failed out of community college because the pressure of two classes was simply too much to handle.
When I told him I was sending him back home to his parents he stole money from me and got a tattoo. When I dropped the bomb he couldn’t take the TV or the car I bought him he took a baseball bat the car because that wasn’t fair!
His parents rewarded the complete failure of their child to meet the minimum requirements of adulthood and by blowing the chance of a lifetime by taking him on vacation to Florida.
I beg those of you raising children to not be their friend, but their parent. Discipline, expectations and accountability build children into adults…not positive reinforcement and no boundaries. I can’t imagine how my life would be different had I had an uncle that removed the obstacles and challenges I faced at that age. But, then again, maybe without overcoming those challenges I would not have become the man I am today. In other words, not a pathetic failure.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so hard on family, but then again who the hell gave me anything at 20 years old?
As a Gen X’er that suffered from the same sort of hate from the Baby Boomers I wonder if my criticism is just a sign of age? Possibly. But, to see kids that grew up with such great technology at their fingertips and the amount of information available to them to learn from it is disappointing to see their amazing shortsightedness. Gen Y’ers live in the now. That may be great when you’re 25 and don’t want to “be rich” but what about when you’re 32 and don’t have any idea how to wash your own clothes or pay your own bills?