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Little Kippers

It was with some trepidation that I clicked the place your order button for my most recent purchase from Amazon. The book titled ‘Slouching Towards Adulthood- How to let go of your kids so they can grow up’ appeared to be a sort of self-help guide to stepping back from the helicopter style of parenting prevalent amongst my Baby Boomer generation.

As I’m fully aware that I have an UNCRONTROLABLE urge to help fix all my son's problems I decided that it was high time I faced the truth of my meddlesome, overprotective, worrywart ways and started dishing out some tough love to Rockstar and Genius before I destroy any hope of them becoming completely independent adults. However having finished the book I am more confused (and guilt ridden) than EVER.

First of all according to the author (Sally Koslow) we Baby Boomers have created an unholy mess on this planet for our young folk to deal with having foolishly raised them with a bunch of completely CRAZY ideas that everything they do, think and say is totally UNIQUE, AMAZING, and FABULOUS. Secondly (along with the help of a pitiful education system that discourages most types of punishment and awards everyone prizes so no-one feels left out) we send them off to the best colleges paid for out of our dwindling retirement funds CONVINCED that they will emerge and slot straight into the glamorous well-paid jobs of their dreams. Because God forbid they should suffer any hardship WHATSOEVER and certainly they should NOT be expected to do menial jobs for minimum wage after graduating from Ivy League schools with double majors.

Unfortunately while they were away getting a top class education (AKA having fun with their friends) we Boomers were doing a terrific job of DESTROYING the economy to the point that our Kippers (Kids in Parents Pockets) are graduating with very little chance of employment in ANY field.

It’s really not that bad though, because Mommy and Daddy are old school and so are still working themselves RAGGED at the dead end jobs they have been in most of their lives, determined to provide nice clothes, cars and vacations for the Kippers. We Boomers grew up with corporal punishment in schools and parents who really didn’t care if we were fulfilled in our careers as long as we were off their hands and financially independent by twenty one (or earlier if at all possible.) By contrast we’ve produced a generation of over-confident, self-entitled, dissatisfied twenty-somethings who don’t see any problem bumming around for a few years while they sort things out and if mom and dad are happy to help then so be it.

What is inspiring about this generation is that they are exactly what they NEED to be to survive in the chaos that’s been handed to them. They are self-motivated, flexible, multi-talented and with their mastery of all things technological, completely capable of getting the answers to everything they need to know WITHOUT our help. Most of what they know of true value is self-taught so the thousands of dollars we handed over to educational institutions was probably a COMPLETE waste. Yes they may job hop for a few years, travel the globe, move back in with us because they can’t afford rent but eventually they will figure it out and when they do – WOW. They think nothing of starting their own companies, finding funding to start entrepreneurial enterprises, moving halfway across the country and back again. Nothing fazes them. I truly believe that most of them WILL be successful and more importantly they will ultimately change the current status quo so radically that we will look back and wonder how we ever thought our way was better.

I wish I had an ounce of their DNA. I would love to give up my demanding job and stay home cuddling the dog and writing bestselling novels. But I don’t have the balls and besides I need my salary to help support MY little Kippers as they build their businesses, and launch their careers.

Little do they know that the shoe will soon be on the other foot. Having funded their enterprises, education and adventures we will be PENNILESS (and homeless) in our dotage and asking to move back in with THEM! In the meantime I’m thinking it might be nice to take them away for little family vacation. A break from the traumas of self-employment and/or job hunting. And here’s the rub……my little Kippers ARE the smartest, most unique, AMAZING and fabulous people, so Mufasa and I would rather spend time with them than anyone else we know.

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