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Getting Older, or Just Wiser? [Frankie Says...]

Frankie says…

Get off your lazy ass, you 20-something.

Having just turned 28, I feel I can now say things like, “That generation…” and “Those kids…”

Twenty-eight is decidedly ‘in your late 20s’ and there’s no skirting around it.

So, as a late 20-something, I’d like to express my extreme disappointment in all the early 20-somethings. They have this grudge they carry around, this expectation that the world owes them something, yet they haven’t done anything to deserve it.

They believe that holding four different consecutive jobs over the last year (picking crops on an organic farm, bartending at a bistro, working at a record shop, and nannying) somehow means they’ve lived, that they know the world. Because they moved across country and stayed with their aunt and uncle for four months and tried making it work, they think they’ve traveled. And all the while, one or both of their parents are paying their cell phone bill and/or car insurance and/or rent.

What is wrong with them? What in god’s name did their parents do to them to instill this horrid sense of entitlement? And why is it across an entire generation? It’s as if all parents in America read the same shitty magazine article somewhere between 1986 and 1991 where they were told that A) praising your child, no matter what, is good; B) positive reinforcement is key; and C) don’t say ‘no,’ talk about it instead.

I have been catching up on Mad Men (thank you Netflix screening), and even though at times The Draper’s child rearing seems harsh, those parents were raising self-sufficient, driven and ambitious children. I’m deliberately ignoring the fact that they were also probably terribly sexually repressed, but let’s just focus on the social for now and forget the psychological. Just look at the late 1980s-90s – one of the most productive decades we’ve had in a while.

Now, we have lazy 20-somethings who think that they’re incredibly gifted and productive human beings adding to America’s society.

News flash: You’re Not.

And now I’m seeing a wave of this parental coddling all over again. I babysit as a side job (see my post a few weeks ago re: holding multiple jobs as once), and parents with newborns to 5-year-olds are ruining their children. It’s going to be another whole generation in 18 years chock full of lazy brats.

I can’t say it better than comedian Jim Jeffries (loosely quoted): “America is number one in confidence and number 23 in academics – so we have stupid confident kids. China is number one in academics and dead last in confidence. And look who is the more productive country…

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featured image credit: dnnya17