'27-Year-Old Teenage Girl' Sparks Debate With Post About Her Parents Helping Her Practice Her Commute — 'This Generation Is Infantilized & Proud Of It'

Most saw a sweet depiction of the parent-child relationship. But it made others wonder if Gen Z'ers are overprotected.

27 year old whose parents help her practice her commute @stizzchung / TikTok; @HannahBerelli / Twitter

Gen Z'ers are some of the most thoughtful, boundary-breaking people around. But are they also a bit overprotected? That's what some are asking after one young woman's recent TikTok showing a day out and about with her parents. 

To some, it showed a heartwarming portrait of the parent-child relationship. To others, it reflected a major problem with today's young adults.

The self-described '27-year-old teenage girl's' parents help her practice her commute to a new job.

From practically the moment Gen Z was old enough to walk, the debate over whether their so-called "helicopter parents" are going way above and beyond the call of duty to protect them from the world has been raging on and on.


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Of course, every generation is viewed as "too soft" or too weak by the ones before it. But something feels different when it comes to Gen Z, and TikToker @stizzchung's recent video has landed at the center of a debate about how coddled some people feel Gen Z is.


The video shows TikToker @stizzchung having an adorable outing with her parents as they help her navigate her way to a new job she's starting soon. Over scenes of Stizz and her mom and dad riding Seattle's Link trains and walking the streets to her new office, Stizz wrote in the onscreen text, "POV: you're a 27-year-old teenage girl starting a new job next week and your parents insist on practicing your new commute with you."



In the TikTok comments, many found the video adorable, and were touched by the obvious care and closeness between Stizz and her parents.

"These are great parents. Good parents never stop parenting," one wrote. Others commented that they wished they had parents who cared this much. Some also shared anecdotes about their own parents helping them practice their routes to their very first jobs as teens or from their dorms to classes in college, for example.


But of course, there's a huge difference between that and helping a 27-year-old grown woman find her way to work, and that seemed to stick in the craws of many others online.

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Some felt this was evidence that Gen Z has been coddled to the point of dependency.

TikTokers may have been loving Stizz's video, but on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, much of the response was very, very different. One woman on the platform tweeted a screenshot from Stizz's video with a caption stating that Gen Z is "infantilised and proud of it." In a follow-up tweet, she quipped, "bring back shame."

That's a pretty harsh take, of course — and she got lots of pushback. Many mused about how it seems to make many people really angry nowadays when young adults have supportive, loving relationships with their parents. It's hard not to wonder if jealousy is at the heart of it. 


Others pointed out that Stizz makes it clear both in the onscreen text and in her TikTok caption that it was her parents who wanted to run her through her paces, not the other way around. Some suggested the whole thing was probably a light-hearted joke in the first place that, in the words of comedian Ashley Ray, "everyone is taking seriously because you don't have lives."

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Still, plenty of others were put off by the video. One woman pointed out that if the 27-year-old in question were a man, we'd likely be having a very different collective response, and it's hard to imagine she's wrong about the double standard she felt the uproar represented.

Gen Z is facing a major anxiety and depression epidemic, and many think 'helicopter' parenting is partly to blame.

There's no doubt about it — in a lot of ways, Gen Z'ers are really not doing very well as they come of age. Forty-two percent of Gen Z'ers have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and the American Psychological Association has found they're far more likely to say their mental health is "poor" — 27% of Gen Z'ers say so, compared to just 15% of Millennials and 13% of Gen Xers.


Studies have repeatedly shown that overprotective or "helicopter" parenting could be to blame, because it can create kids who don't feel empowered to make decisions or navigate the world, increasing the risk of anxiety and depression that can last a child's entire lifetime. 

Of course, it's just as likely that a Gen Z person's mental health struggles are simply because they have never lived in a world that wasn't falling apart at the seams. And to a large extent, neither have their Gen X parents, who are keenly aware of how much a fraying world and less-than-stellar parenting can mess up a kid. It's not exactly surprising they'd be a bit  — or even a lot — more hands-on.

As for Stizz herself? Well, it's hard to reasonably extrapolate huge, multi-layered judgments about her or her parents from just a sweet little video about them being invested in her 20-something life — especially since re-enacting teenage dynamics is an exceptionally common thing for both kids and parents during this time of life. So we should probably just smile at the cuteness of the video and leave it at that — and wish Stizz well at her new job, of course. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.