Our over-coddled kids

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Gen Z job applicants are bringing their parents to job interviews, reports the New York Post.

As it goes, for several decades America’s children have been over-coddled by their “helicopter parents” — parents who zoom in to resolve any challenge their children may face, even as they become adults.

Now they can’t even conduct a job interview without mom or dad holding their hands and guiding the outcome?

Geeze. That makes me kind of worried.

Aren’t the Zs the generation I’m supposed to count on for paying my future Social Security and Medicare checks?

I’m not exactly sure where American parents first went off the rails, but I suppose this latest “helicopter-ism” is a direct result of the way social media has impacted childhood.

According to Market Insider, some 20% of our young people spend more than 5 hours a day absorbing TikTok — the Chinese propaganda outlet where they learn how evil America is and that the values of their parents and grandparents are incredibly wrong and outdated.

It’s no wonder our children are so confused.

They are being impacted daily by messages in the palm of their smartphoned hands that contradict what their parents and grandparents are desperately trying to teach them.

I suppose it is no wonder, then, why parents are staying so close to their children nowadays.

I suppose parents are doing their very best to control the many outside influences their children are getting.

I also suppose that is why the tough-love approach that was common before social media has evolved into the hyper-coddling “helicopter-parent” approach in which parents are accompanying their adult children on job interviews?

Maybe. Maybe not.

All I know is that over-coddling anyone never worked and never will.

It’s true that older generations often think younger generations are messing everything up — but then again, I can’t imagine ever asking my dad to be my chaperone at a job interview:

“I wouldn’t hire this boy,” he probably would have said. “He was late for school every morning, never took his homework seriously and, by the way, he wet the bed until he was 11.”

Dads from his generation were masters of tough love — because they knew we needed to be tough and alert to flourish in an unpredictable, highly-competitive, often nasty world.

And they were right.

The world is just as unpredictable and competitive as ever — and with our bottomless sea of bizarre social media posts, it’s certainly more confusing than it has ever been.

Sorry, kids, but in today’s world we lack the time or the luxury of having mom and dad accompanying our overly sensitive young adults to job interviews.

Try as they may, no parent can prevent their child from eventually encountering the harsh realities of being an adult in the real world.

Sooner or later a nasty boss is going to snap at all of us, and running to mom and dad is not going to be an option — if we wish to keep our jobs, anyway.

Sooner or later an incredibly stressful situation is going to happen, and you better have the fortitude to navigate it with clarity and good sense.

The lessons taught by my tough-love dad were unpleasant as I learned them, but his wisdom prepared me for some very unpleasant adult situations.

Including going to my first adult job interview alone.

Copyright 2024 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Purcell, creator of the infotainment site ThurbersTail.com, which features pet advice he’s learning from his beloved Labrador, Thurber, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Email him at [email protected].