Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Extended Childhood

I was sitting in the department head's office this morning waiting for water to boil for my tea. No one else was in there, so I answered the phones for a couple of minutes.

This woman calls lamenting her daughter's struggles in college algebra with the usual variety of reasons: the lab manual won't work for the course, the instructor is foreign and she can't understand him, she works 30 hours a week, she's falling behind in the course, etc. etc. All I could think of, besides welcome to the real world sweetheart, was why in the hell is this girl's mother calling us to complain.

Have today's teens become soo infantilized that they can't take care of their own college course problems? God forbid the mother tells the daughter to go talk to people herself and see what she can do. Maybe the daughter would grow up a little if mom stopped doing her dirty work for her.

This woman, and everyone else, should really read Robert Epstein's The Case Against Adolescence which argues that adolescence is a destructive concept and that many teens are much more capable that given credit for if they are just given the opportunity.

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