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Section A: General News


Editorial: How we arrived at a generation of 26-year-old ‘kids’




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About politics and other things
January 2, 2013 | 1,491 views | Post a comment

It didn’t begin with Barack Obama, but his health-care law did move the idea along. Thanks to ObamaCare, children now can stay on their parents’ group health insurance plan until age 26.

Some parents might roll their eyes at this. They’ve been working to see their kids grow up and become independent adults, only to find that society says it’s OK for them to stay on with mom and dad. In fact, as part of the entitlement generation, many young people are unwittingly forced into dependence on their parents. They have been protected from reality, so that going out into the real world is a rude awakening. They got their diploma and fully expected job offers to come with it.

Kids used to work their way through college, but not today. In our day, those who did not get the few scholarships that were available went to school and worked part time to pay tuition. Colleges even had work-study programs. This allowed students to gain formal schooling as well as practical experience, making them much more well-rounded young adults. By comparison, kids today graduate from college lacking real-world experience and having false expectations.

They are slower to grow up. Oh, they want to have adult privileges but not the responsibilities. In the past, it was not uncommon for 16-year-olds to marry. They were grown up and mature far beyond that of most of today’s youth. Students now might get pregnant at 16, but are less likely to get married. They might seek a taxpayer-funded abortion, or expect free birth control. They expect a car and a college education, but do not expect to earn these privileges.

Still, there is a great dichotomy within our society when it comes to raising children.

On the one hand, you have parents who insist on treating young children like mini versions of adults. They push toddlers into sports programs or onto a stage wearing makeup and high heels to be ogled by adults. Instead of forcing them into roles so that parents can experience the vicarious thrill of audience applause, thereby enjoying what they may have missed, parents should let kids be kids.

Pushing a 3-year-old into a sport that requires coordination and an attention span beyond their ability is a bit unfair to the child. It may be fun for the competitive parent to watch little Johnny or Jenny run up and down the soccer field, but kids that age would be better off playing in the sandbox.

A shovel and sand and a little unstructured playtime go a long way to help develop eye-hand coordination with much less stress than trying to kick a soccer ball down the field. The misplaced pressure to win can take all the fun out of the game.

On the other hand, there are parents at the opposite extreme who shun competitive sports at all costs for fear of the trauma of failure. These parents discourage actual winners and losers.

Everyone gets a ribbon. Don’t keep score on Little League games. No one is allowed to fail.

These extremes are both wrong, but such is the situation with today’s young people. They either have too much stress or no stress. They go to momma and daddy, not just for insurance, but for gasoline money, food allowances, and spending money. They have not earned anything, but think they are entitled merely by way of being your offspring. I think I liked the old way better, but this is the world that we have created.
 

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