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Weekly Reader 6.7.10

The Resilient Generation

What’s the impact on our adult children of all those sports trophies for showing up and the endless compliments to nurture their self-esteem?  Judith Warner ponders that question in the “Why-Worry Generation” in The New York Times. She writes:

As they’ve entered adulthood, they have inspired a number of books on how unmanageable they are in the workplace, with their ubiquitous iPods, flip-flops and inability to take criticism. Stories abound about them as college students, requiring 24/7 e-mail access to professors and running to Mom and Dad for help with papers or to contest a bad grade. A consensus has emerged that, psychologically, they’re a generation of basket cases: profoundly narcissistic and deprived of a sense of agency by their anxiously over-involved parents

According to statistics cited in the piece, an astounding 41 percent of recent college  grads have turned down offers for what they consider less-than-perfect jobs.  Is this generation delusional?

No, says  Warner, who  believes that all that nurturing against a background of Columbine, 9/11 and parental job loss has produced a generation of emerging adults who take obstacles in stride and keep hoping–and expecting—that all will turn out well:

 with their seemingly inexhaustible well of positive self-regard, their refusal to have their horizons be defined by the limitations of our era, they just may bear witness to the precise sort of resilience that all parents, educators and pop psychologists now say they view as proof of a successful upbringing.

 Keep Paying Those Bills

Many Baby Boomer parents have found, through either first-hand experience or from friends, that the bill paying for adult children doesn’t end with that last college tuition payment, especially if there’s no job on the horizon.

Just how many bills there are to pay was detailed in “Daddy’s Little Money Pits.”  Wall Street Journal reporter Karen Blumenthal notes the handouts that are  the most challenging to cut off:

Health insurance:  The new legislation will keep many young adults who are lacking in their own insurance on parents’ plans—and premiums—until age 26.

Credit cards: New  rules require parents to co-sign for  new credit card unless a young adult can qualify on her own income. 

Cell Phones:  Often the cheapest plan is a family plan so you’ll only be costing that grad more money if you kick him off your plan.

Housing:  If you do succeed in getting your Gen Yer to move out you’ll most likely have to co-sign a lease unless she has a well-paying job.

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