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Weekly Reader 10.11.10

Guiding Emerging Adults

As we have noted, “emerging adults” are the media topic du jour.  But while dissecting the subject may help, what happens when you actually live with one?

Psychologist Jennifer L. Tanner asked that question in a Psychology Today blog post, “Understanding 20-somethings is different from knowing a 20-something.”  Dr. Tanner writes,

 The issue is this: no one knows what to do with this new-fangled way of growing up. Parents are confused as to whether they should encourage 20-something children to work toward what they know to be markers of adulthood (like this: “stay in school, get a job, find the right person, settle down and have a family…. “) OR….should they embrace and support, and even encourage them to explore before they settle down?

So what’s a parent to do?   She urges us to have patience and realize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. 

A Do-Over?

 When adult children move back home some parents see that as a second-chance, according to an article in the Montreal Gazette,  “When Kids Return: An Opportunity to Parent Differently?”

 Reginald Bibby, a sociologist at the University of Lethbridge who has extensively researched Canada’s baby boomers and millennial generation, says in all the chatter about boomerang kids, one possibility is ignored: many parents are happy to have them back in the nest. With waves of women entering the workforce and fundamentally changing family dynamics, boomers have struggled throughout their parenting years with work-life balance, he says, and adult children returning home may provide a welcome do-over opportunity for their parents.

You do have to wonder though how the “kids” will react to this hands-on approach again.

Generation Gap

 The results of an  Esquire magazine poll apply to men not women yet still fun to read! Esquire compared answers to the same questions from men in their 20s and those in their 50s.

 While, as expected,  younger men were much more likely to text, use Facebook, and  play video games,  there were other differences beyond tech tools.

 When asked to pick “your favorite spectator sport,” the 20s were much more likely than the 50s to choose “ultimate fighting” (26 percent vs. 7 percent) and correspondingly less likely to pick football (33 percent vs. 57 percent).

Then there’s music. Asked to say which decade in the past 50 years “produced the best music,” nearly three-quarters of the 50-year-olds chose the 1960s (23 percent) or 1970s (49 percent); more than half of the 20-year-olds chose the 1990s (22 percent) or the 2000s (34 percent), though many did give the nod to the 1980s (23 percent).

 Asked to name an electronic device they couldn’t live without only  9 percent of the 20somethings choose a television while 34 percent of the older crowd did.  Probably didn’t want to miss any of those football games.

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