Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Growing Up By Proxy

Helicopter parenting, the practice of hovering anxiously near one’s children, monitoring their every activity, is so 20th century. Some affluent mothers and fathers now are more like snowplows: machines chugging ahead, clearing any obstacles in their child’s path to success, so they don’t have to encounter failure, frustration or lost opportunities. – NYT

Snowplowing, more appropriately known as bulldozing, is a large reason why millennials, and now the GenZ cohort, are having trouble in life and at work.

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A third of millennials fail to even make it through their three-month probation periods. It appears when left to their own devices as young adults a great many of them fail to make the cut.

‘Of the reasons for failing, 62 per cent is poor performance, 50 per cent is absence, 25 per cent is lateness and 30 per cent is gross misconduct.’ 

Sadder still educators say GenZ college students are uniquely bad at dating. Dating, for crying out loud! Sure it’s always been stressful, but a stress that teaches you how to cope with rejection and failure: two things no parent today wants their kid to experience.

Welcome to Gen Z dating. Educators say the current generation in college is uniquely bad at romance. Online dating has created a (false) feeling of an endless buffet of romantic choices. And mobile technology—which this generation has never lived without—has been a security blanket of sorts that has kept them from developing solid in-person communication skills.

Experts say that members of Gen Z, born starting in about 1997, also show a striking lack of resiliency. Micromanaged by parents, teachers and coaches since they started school, they’re more sheltered and less independent than previous generations.

So it’s not just parents anymore. There’s an entire fleet of bulldozers out there, prepping the ground for youngsters before they’re allowed to take their first step into the real world; a team of enablers willing to scorch the earth if necessary to pave the way.

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No matter how well-intentioned, removing all obstacles in order to provide short term protection results in psychologically fragile children who don’t know how to survive as they’ve never been required to develop coping mechanisms, never been left to their own devices to work through a problem. Children whose entire lives are surrounded by bulldozers will never learn how to successfully navigate a bump in the road, regardless of it’s size. They won’t know how to decide whether to plow through it or maneuver around it. Is this not obvious?  It doesn’t end well, you either end up with a young adult who cannot cope at all or a complete ignoramus who thinks they know it all, and believes that anything that goes wrong is somebody else’s fault.

Image result for alexandria ocasio-cortez wells fargo“Here I am in my very important House hearing wearing my ‘I’m 29 years old and know way more than you old farts ever will’ face.”