Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Parental involvement extending longer these days?

We are renting our two rooms in our new house to help pay the mortgage. We’ve had a couple of people in their young 20s come take a look (and one of them lived with us a few months). When the first guy came with his parents, that seemed reasonable, as he was from Germany and had never been out of the country on his own before. But recently, two more American 22 and 23 year olds have come by, both with their parents.

I think of myself at that age and my parents had no involvement at all in my rentals, housing or jobs. I was completely independent. Perhaps life would have been a bit easier if they’d helped to ensure a safe, convenient rental. At that same time, I wonder how and when these young adults are going to become independent if they still rely on their parents at this age.

A friend of mine told me that a recent graduate who she hired came into the office with her mom to wrap up some logistical details. Her mom started to ask the boss if her daughter would have certain days off, because they had family vacations planned. While this office happens to be very flexible about time off, no one appreciated having to promise the time off to an employee’s mother.

“We’ll see,” the supervisor said.

“But it’s a family vacation that has already been planned,” the mom said.

“I kind of thought it would be useful for someone to tell her that it’s just not cool to bring your mom into the office,” my friend said. But perhaps this is the new generation.

Were your parents still guiding you in your 20s? At what age do you plan to set your children out on their own?

1 comment:

LazyBones said...

I was very independent by my early 20s, and would never have wanted my parents to be so involved in my life. I prided myself, to some degree, on being independent. But my younger sisters, in their early twenties now, want and expect my parents to be more involved in their lives. It seems to be a generational thing to me (I'm in my early/mid-thirties now).

Sometimes it baffles me, but other times I think it's nice that kids continue to be close and communicative with their parents as young adults, instead of resentful and rebellious, which I saw a lot of in my peers.

The mom coming into the office though? That definitely seems over the top! Maybe mom could coach the daughter on how to be assertive and negotiate what she wants from the workplace, but then let her do it herself. And sometimes you can't get the exact vacation you want when you start a new job. Accepting that is part of being a grown up.