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Learned helplessness

There was a posting 'Perpetual' by Rakesh discussing about two articles published by New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that described how adolescence is increasingly being stretched into adulthood.

Link to posting 'Perpetual' by Rakesh Khurana


Few points to note from his posting talking about the articles mentioned:
1. A new generation of American parents are involving too much in the education of their children.
"A new generation of overinvolved parents [who] are flooding campus orientations, meddling in registration and interfering with students' dealings with professors, administrators and roommates".

2. Many parents are considering thier children's education as an investment, and expect to be treated as customer by universities.
3. Youngsters are depending on their parents for everything and expect parents to solve their problems.
A bottle-fed upbringing has created a dependent generation that expects their parents to solve all their problems. The children, in other words, have been socialized into stunted adulthood. Psychologists call this dependency phenomenon "learned helplessness.

4. Parents started considering thier kids as extension of their own identities and their success/failure as their own.
this new group sees their children as extensions of their own identity. Their childrens success or failure is seen as a marker of their own success or failure

5. Kids are lifting things from their parents
The New York Times article focuses on kids "lifting" things from their parents. Apparently, there is a significant enough group of thirty-somethings who visit with their parents and raid their underwear drawers, if not the drawers themselves, to merit an article


While this story may speak only for a part of the generation in US, as argued by Rakesh, the story holds good in entirety to almost all parents in India. In India, almost all decisions are taken by parents. Starting from what to wear, What to study, where to study.... and everything about their future. Fortunately or Unfortunately, for most, Parents also decide who to marry.

While some may argue that it is good for whatever reasons they deem fit, it is definitely not good for their kids. Once these kids become parents, what can you expect out of these stunned adults who can not decide their own lives, to teach their children. There may be few exceptions, but they are really really exceptions.

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