Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Responsibility.

Do you remember when we were supposed to grow up? You know, that time when your parents expected you to get a job, move out, and act like an adult. It was time to fly the nest, cut the apron strings, things like that. I doubt those expressions are even heard that much these days.

Childhood was an accepted time of your life. You were forgiven a lot of naughtiness, allowed occasional tantrums, and encouraged to make friends, play with your toys, explore the world around you, and read books. Meanwhile, everything was done for you. You never had to think about the food on the table, the clean clothes that were there every day, or being able to depend on the protection of your parents at all times. But there came a time when that childhood would have to end, and you would be expected to become responsible for your own choices and actions. They prepared you for that as you grew. There were warnings about having to contribute to the family expenses once you were working, and having to help out around the house with some chores too.

Perhaps just as importantly, you anticipated that change. You wanted to become an adult, and be part of that next generation, continuing the good example shown by your own parents. You wanted to be able to drive a car, travel to new places, and take your place in society as an adult. It was a bit scary of course. You would have to make your own decisions, and be responsible for your own actions. You would have to fund the things you wanted to do too, and everything you wanted to buy and own. But despite all that, the idea of branching out on your own and eventually living in a place outside of the security of home was exciting. Excitement was good.

Looking around in 2018, I wonder where that has all gone. It seems to me that children rarely want to grow up anymore. Thirty is the new twelve, and elderly parents still have responsibility for their children to the grave. When the youth of today make bad decisions, it is rarely their fault, and they refuse to accept the consequences of their actions. They can have children without thinking about all that entails. Turning to others to look after them, provide entertainment, subsidise gifts and excursions, or just always be at their beck and call. They can buy things they can’t afford, and then throw themselves on the mercy of family to sort out their debts.

And moving out now seems to be the last option. Why pay rent for a small room, when you can continue to live in the house you have always known for nothing? When your food is still prepared and served, your clothes washed, and you don’t have to do anything except just lay on your bed? Why learn to drive, when your doting parents are happy to run you around like a free taxi? Why bother to accept responsibility for anything, when it is always someone else’s fault? After all, you didn’t ask to be born, live where you were put, or be expected to grow up and take some responsibility. Hardly your problem, is it?

Before you rush tell me this doesn’t apply to every family, and certainly not you and yours, I know. But it does apply to so many, and that number is increasing every year. Confused parents mollycoddling teenagers, stopping the natural process of development. Determined to be different to their own parents at any cost, and to do things their way, they are raising a generation of dependent adults who no longer know how to cope with life, and refuse to accept any responsibility for anything. Sit around long enough, and someone will feed you. Throw all your clothes on the floor, and someone else will eventually wash them for you. Do nothing at all, and be sure that it will all get done.
Just not by you.

I won’t be around to see it, but I would be fascinated to get a glimpse into a future where millions of fifty year old people wake up one day, realising that their parents are no longer around, and nobody is left to clean the house, pay the bills, prepare food, or drive them to where they want to go. A future inhabited by ‘elderly children’, who have never grown up, and don’t even comprehend what responsibility means.

60 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. As a parent of one teen and one other not-quite-teen, I really like this post and agree wholeheartedly. Mine are already expected to contribute to household chores (but do their best to avoid them) and will definitely be expected to pay rent etc. later. We get a hard time because we stick to age ratings on movies and games and don’t spend huge amounts of money on them. One day they will thank us for it (probably when they have their own children and realise how difficult it is!!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear that you are doing the right thing. They may not like it now, but you are giving them a better preparation for life than by just pandering to their every whim, something sadly done by so many modern parents.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so TRUE, Pete!😣 I have met so many individuals that still have their parents do their laundry and fix their meals @ 30! This still shocks me because I have been on my own since I was 15ish. I understand certain situations like if the kid is in school full time or helping take care of the elderly parents because of their finances or illnesses but so many people do it because their parents keep treating them like children and/or they are lazy. My kids will be getting jobs to have money to go out if they want a car and stuff in high school and they will move out when 18 or be paying rent or a fulltime student and helping around house until they find their own place but that’s just me. This is a great discussion, Pete and it’s great to see everyone’s views.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dani. it is worth discussing, I believe. If not, it will be too late for that generation of dependent 50-somethings who have nobody left to turn to.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

    1. I haven’t even heard about this, Kim! I will have to look it up now.😀 I don’t have cable but was lucky to get an awesome internet service first month free and 10$ a month for low income families so can now check it out via net!😁 Sorry for my rambling!!🤣 I just can’t help myself sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know if maybe with the type of job I do I’m surrounded by career minded people who all took off on their own as soon as they could, which is added to by knowing lots and lots of immigrants but I’ve not experienced this much. I do think with the cost of renting and buying these days especially in the South East there is quite a challenge for a lot of young people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your take on this, Abbi. Certainly, house prices are an issue. But most of us would sooner have shared a rental, than continue to live in the parental home. Maybe that’s because 1960s/70s parents expected you to contribute, and also do jobs around the house. I cannot comment on the immigrant community back then, as I didn’t know any. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      1. I lived at home till I was 23… mostly cos my mum needed me to contribute. She had to sell the house when I moved out. Little O will absolutely have to contribute if he lives at home once he finishes education. All of that said even shared accommodation now is so pricy. Single rooms for £700/£800 per month in London for absolute shitholes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your thinking is unfortunately right on track. It never would have occurred to me to live at home or depend on my parents once I graduated from college. Support was emotional support, not money and housing. Today is a different story. It starts in preschool with many parents doing everything for their child. If the foundation of independence is never established, then you reap what you sow. Excellent post, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see them now, Mary. Looking out of windows waiting for someone to bring the food, and come in to tidy up and do the ironing. Slowly starving to death wearing an un-ironed shirt, surrounded by rubbish all over the floor 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It reminds me of the Billy Joel song Captain Jack, which came out maybe 1978ish, and contained a line close to “21 and still your mother makes your bed, and that’s too long”, so then the kid gets stoned and defers thinking and responsibility. Maybe everyone is just overwhelmed and afraid, and yet those of us who are older are overwhelmed and afraid too, but still have to do for ourselves, although I have to admit that if I weren’t married I would have to live in one of those cardboard boxes myself since health would prevent me from working enough to fully support myself without receiving disability benefits, which I have not applied for.

    It does remind me of Regency male youth in the sense that they often gambled away the entire family fortunes, including the sisters’ dowries, and ruined a lot of families because it was expected to not pay tradesmen’s bills, since they were in trade, but money lost gambling was ‘a debt of honour’ to be paid immediately even if it destroyed your family to pay it and it was paid in their money, not yours. At least the Regency youth often dressed better while ruining their families and culture and country…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only the very rich Regency Youth of course, Donnalee. 🙂
      I know what you mean though. The older generation (like me) have their own issues and problems to deal with, yet are still expected to be totally responsible for their ‘defenceless’ children into very old age.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When those coddled children lose their parents and the support from their parents, then they will spend the remainder of their days lying in their own filth or living off the efforts and good will of somebody they have convinced to take them in and care for them. I have a transgender son who is exactly like that! He finds someone to “Room” with and ends up becoming a dependent until the provider gets tired of it and kicks him out. If he had of gotten his way with me a few years ago, he would still be living under my roof, rent-free — being provided with board and room and never paying a cent for it — He would have become a 52-year-old permanent dependent if I had allowed it … which I did not … so he now has others to work his magic on and he complains a lot but all in all he seems content.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The ending prediction caught my imagination. By then, there will be A.I. running things and taking care of the aimless and apathetic. I blame it all on the cell phones. Why learn anything? Why do anything? Your phone will tell you all you need to know. It’s discouraging individualism and killing imagination. We’ve got a generation of slugs on our hands. There. Cynicism for cynicism. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone else I know, including me, gets boxes from liquor stores and supermarkets since there are tons of them for free and they are designed to be sturdy enough to carry bottles of liquor and jars of sauce etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha… so true Pete. I wonder how much of this comes from your own personal experience? I couldn’t wait to leave home and lived in a tiny attic bed-sit for several months with a two ring hotplate and no fridge. I ended up back at home though whilst I planned my next escape! I brought my kids up to be independent and they were, except the middle son who liked being at home. In fact it was only when I sold my house that he moved out, and even then it was last minute! It will be interesting to see how my grandchildren get on with life. So far the eldest still lives at home and has a ‘part-time’ job, no real objectives in life. Has always been thoroughly spoiled and wants for nothing. Hey, ho.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just general observations, Jude. Nothing that personal or specific of course, as I have never had children. I listen to the dog-walkers around here, most with older family members still living at home in what I once thought was ‘middle-age’. 🙂 Even those who have left frequently return, and expect it to all be like it was before.
      I just genuinely worry that the future will turn out to be a place where nobody thinks they have to do anything…They are going to get a shock.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yikes, Pete…gloomy Sunday… But all too true for some, as a result of the nanny state, nanny parents and seemingly a lack of personal responsibility Aaargh….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Unfortunately it is true, what you’re saying here. But, when you think about it, whose fault is that? Environment, society and mainly parents, who raise those adult kids. Many times I have heard, oh we would like to have them better life than we had, when we were kids. So, 300-400 pounds minimum spend per kid in Christmas Time; instead camping, luxury holiday abroad and all this technology Xbox, PS4, new iPhone, tablet etc. are own by little children. And why is that? So parents can enjoy competition with another parents. And this is just disgraceful. And you totally right, it is getting worse and worse every year! Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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