I was at coffee with a good friend of mine, and she was upset about her son. He has graduated from college and still lives at home with no job, playing computer games and living the good life. The good life isn’t so good anymore, as this boy’s behavior has taken a toll on her marriage. My friend was asking, “Where did we go wrong?”
A recent survey of American freshman revealed results every parent should be concerned with. This survey has been ongoing for the past 47 years, and has studied more than 9 million kids revealing that college students are more likely to call themselves superior and gifted even though their test scores don’t reflect this subjective rating. In fact, their test scores show the opposite. Their time spent studying has gone down, their handwriting has grown worse, and although they rate their drive to be successful as high, it was actually much lower. The survey shows that kids expect more from doing less.
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Of course we all look for whom to blame. Is it MTV, reality TV such as the Kardashians? This show’s plot (if there is one) is how a wealthy, good-looking family can break every rule, act immature, and live the good life. Social media gets a lot of the blame as well. Your friends are “virtual,” and since kids spend up to 80% of their waking hours in a virtual world, whether it is on games or reading and commenting on other people’s Facebook page, it’s easy to see how they begin believing they are celebrities in their own life. They post photos, get comments, and with games they begin embracing the assumption that they are bigger than life. They have become heroes if they kill enough opponents. Gamers will tell you this builds self-esteem and confidence, but so will doing chores and being held accountable at home. It could also be the grade inflation that our generation created in our schools, or the “everyone plays policy,” which means whether you are capable or not, you get a chance to play. Have we all focused so much on building our kids up that we built them up for a big fall later in life? Part of the study also talked about the rising numbers of narcissism, depression and anxiety in this generation. No matter how much you like yourself, when you find out that others don’t like you so much, or that you aren’t the king of the hill, something has to give.