Parents today are faced with many challenges. From media influence to lack of role models to a general decay of societal standards, parents have to fight enormous battles to ensure that their kids are growing up to be good, responsible, contributing members of society. Many parents are winning these battles, but there are some that have sheltered their children into uselessness.
Take John, for instance. He was raised by a single mother who did her best to raise a son and a daughter on her own. She worked hard, provided a safe, clean home and showered her kids with love, affection, and support. She sheltered them from every possible danger and raised them in a church family, giving them a solid, moral foundation.
John is now in his mid-twenties, but has little to show for his life. He lives in his mother’s home, where she cooks and cleans for him. She makes sure he gets up in the morning to go to school and makes sure that he pays his few bills – although he pays them with the money she gives him. He is not required to raise a finger to help her – not to clean up his own messes, mow the lawn, or help her in any way.
John’s mother feels that she is protecting her child. She is afraid of what will happen to him if she’s not there and she’s not alone. In 2012, according to a new study by the Pew Center of data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, 36 percent of adults age 18 to 31 were living with their parents.
What John’s mother is missing is that she is not, in fact, protecting her son – she is crippling him. After speaking to John for a short while, he makes it plainly evident that he prefers his life as it is. He has no interest in working and because he does not have to, he simply chooses not to. John is clearly aware that he is taking advantage of his mother and sees nothing wrong with it.
Like John, there are thousands of grown children who feel they are entitled to the continued care from their parents. They have never been required to care for themselves and many do not feel compelled to start. That may work for the time being, but what happens when these parents die? Will their children suddenly begin taking care of themselves? Will they learn life skills overnight? Will they make it without the guidance that most children were given as pre-teens and teens?
Those questions go to the heart of the matter. In a world that is suffering from a despondent economy and social programs being cut right and left, what will become of the children who rely on aging parents for their every need and how much strain are they going to put on those whose parents raised them to be responsible and productive?
If this kind of parenting doesn’t concern the general public, it should.