The Go-Nowhere Generation?

March 15, 2012

2 really great and thought provoking articles about the state of child rearing in the US. First I read this article called the Go-Nowhere Generation in the Times that essentially says college age kids won’t move to a new state or city even if it holds the promise of a new or better paying job. It says they’re less active, more apt to stay at home and online and not learn how to drive. Yikes! That’s pretty scary!

Then I read this article in the WSJ. It talks about a project 10 years in the making that dissects family life. One of the recurrent issues seems to be that: The families had very a child-centered focus, which may help explain the “dependency dilemma” seen among American middle-class families, says Dr. Ochs. Parents intend to develop their children’s independence, yet raise them to be relatively dependent, even when the kids have the skills to act on their own, she says.
(YES!!! Exactly!)
It goes on to say: When the fathers came home, 86% of the time at least one child didn’t pay attention to him. The researchers theorize that stems from a tendency in U.S. society to adapt to and focus on the children, rather than teaching children to focus on others. And, Americans tend to encourage children to pay attention to objects more than faces, emphasizing colors and shapes, for instance, over people, says Dr. Ochs. In Samoa, children are expected to be attentive to others from a very young age, and parents stress focusing on facial expressions, says Dr. Ochs.

I don’t know about you - but this makes me want to get on the chores train. Not only do I loathe the nightly clean up but my daughter is old enough to clean up after herself. AND I think it will set a good example for my son ;)