Thursday, August 7, 2008

What are we preparing our kids for?

I read this article in The Juggle, a WSJ blog that details the challenges inherent in juggling work and family.

It hits on familiar themes about Millennials, and the current crop of helicopter parents who've enabled (and enfeebled) a generation of future workers.

One of my son's college roommates had laundry service provided by his mom. While this young man is out in the workplace, doing quite well, I remember this giving me reason for pause when I witnessed it for the first time.

When I went off to college in the early 80s, I was basically on my own, both financially, and in every other aspect.

After I lost my college baseball scholarship due to injury, I wasn't long for the dormitory world. After getting married, moving to the midwest, and becoming a dad, I went back to school nights and weekends, and finished my degree nearly a decade later.

Not only did I know how to do laundry, but the university of life provided me with chops in car repair (teaching myself the tricks of the trade on a '68 Impala, and later, a '74 Plymouth Scamp), basic electrical wiring, and survival in an urban area of over 8 million people.

Those lessons learned early in my adult life have served me well, and prepared me for the complexities of the life I've grown into. They've also taught me valuable entreprenurial skills that I draw upon daily in my workforce role, as well as my writing/publishing sideline.

Knowing how to do one's laundry is Life 101, and should be learned long before heading off to college, and future success in the workplace.

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