The case of a University of Cincinnati student, who secured a restraining order against her parents because they were monitoring all her communications and decisions while she was away at college, was used as a dramatic example to illustrate this trend: children of the baby boom generation and baby boomer parents are not able to live independently.
Yes indeed. Cyber-powered communications has enabled parents and children to literally be tethered through daily life regardless of physical proximity - thus blurring the line between the separate lives of parent and child.
Henderson sites economic and emotional reasons why it won’t change soon: money is tight, jobs are scarce, Millennials are living at home, and parents feel guilty about the economic mess of the “too big to fail” financial housing crisis. She also addresses reverse trends where some parents rely upon their children in time of financial need.
Peggy Harper Lee, Rocklin mom and author, has become an expert on the problem of entitlement through her financial planning business. She found that most of her clients’ financial issues were rooted in their parent-child relationships. Essentially, baby boomer parents trained their children to be dependent upon them.
Lee encourages parents to consider that the conditions of economic hardship are not new and that setting expectations for a cushy, cyber-powered lifestyle could be examined as a part of the problem and point to a resolution.
“Yes, children are moving back in, but is that a reason or part of the problem? If we didn’t make it so comfy for them, would they stay so long? Why struggle with rent and a low-paying job when one can sleep until midnight, surf the net looking for a “real job” for a couple of hours, and then go hang out with friends, all with maid and food service provided?”
Lee suggests that perhaps, contrary to Henderson’s conclusion that there is no quitting the co-dependency soon, it is a matter of being mindful and decisive as parents.
“We may have reached the tipping point,” Lee said. “We can now see that giving our children everything does not make them happier, better adjusted, or ensure their success and in fact may be equivalent to cutting the chrysalis from the cocoon to help the butterfly spread his wings with disastrous results. We can quit. And in quitting, we give our children what they really need.” (Read more of Peggy Lee’s opinion on this topic).
Read more of my opinion on this topic: Joanna’s 2 cents
- Parenting in the network
- Parental authority in the network culture (See Chapter Three on The Folly of the Modern Parenting Culture: purchase on Kindle)
- Peggy Harper Lee
- Listen to Peggy Lee talk with Three Moms and a Mike about the entitlement culture
- CyberParenting Topics on The Fish 103.9FM Tuesdays
- Follow Joanna @CyberParenting
- Like Banana Moments
- Like Three Moms and a Mike