Baby boomer children – what’s wrong?

Jane Lubchansky Adams has written a disturbing article, The Kids Aren’t All Right, about the privileged children of the Baby Boomer generation.

In the main, she seems to be speaking about the children of her peers, the upper middle-class children of college-educated parents. (She is a graduate of Smith College.)

She make some interesting observations about boomers:

Even the most idealistic baby boomers didn’t expect to achieve their career goals without a long apprenticeship and a lot of hard work. They didn’t feel entitled to a lifestyle marked by extended dependence, or expect to enjoy the same standard of living at 25 that their parents spent decades attaining. Baby boomers were eager for their independence, and by the time they had the responsibilities that come with it, they were (mostly) ready for them.

and their kids:

The truth is that some of those kids, who are in their twenties and thirties by now, are not all right. They’re failing to thrive. Despite having every constitutional and environmental advantage—including healthy minds and bodies and loving and intelligent parents—many of our children are not growing into the independent, generous, kind, happy, successful, law-abiding, contributing citizens we expected them to be.

and this result:

The result of all this is a growing population of angry, scared, resentful, worried, embarrassed, and guilt-racked parents who can’t escape the feeling that their children are missing out on life because of something they did or failed to do when they were younger. One woman related her frustration at watching her 27-year-old daughter move home for the third time since college and sit around the house, aimless, depressed, bulimic, unemployed, and in debt.

and this:

Meanwhile, parents are putting off all the things they said they’d do when their children were on their own. They’re waiting for their kids to clean up their act, show a little character, take on some responsibilities, or take care of the ones they already have.

To me, it seems like the classic third generation of any dynasty. The original generation is ruthless and barely legal. They put their children in the best schools and challenge them to succeed. This second generation creates a sheltering environment for the grandchildren, who grow up feeling entitled to wealth and privilege. It is a rare third generation scion who has grandfather’s will to succeed in spite of all obstacles.

Children of adversity are not mentioned in her article, although they may appear in her book, When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway, and Getting On With Our Lives.

I think that children of adversity are made of sterner stuff, but I may be wrong.

Read her article. I would like to hear of your experiences and hear your thoughts on this.

UPDATE: I must have had a senior moment. I failed to credit Linda of C. Little, no less for finding the article in the first place.

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