College?

In this article, the author tells her children that she “couldn’t care less” if they go to college.  Please read the entire article before continuing with my response.

While I agree with Cathy’s sentiment, I have to wonder who is paying for this adventure of passion of which she is encouraging her children to embark.  When my children graduate from high school, unless they have jobs, they will be lacking in income.  Don’t get me wrong, they are incredibly bright and talented young women who can learn whatever they set their minds and hearts to – one is an aspiring writer at 13 (who has won Nanowrimo now twice) and the other teaching herself to play drums at 15.

The reality is that they may both have to take odd jobs in whatever industry is available wherever they happen to be.  I’m good with that.  But if they run out of money and ideas, is coming back home an option?  Returning to mom and dad’s rules and expectations for living in the community of a family within the house?  That’s really tricky from a human development perspective.  With many different developmental models to choose from, several put the adolescent (10-25 years old, roughly) as beginning to seek out independence.  However, in the 2010’s, as a western society, we are seeing more and more young people not getting jobs right out of college, not even getting driver’s licenses, and not moving out of their parents’ homes.

Cathy doesn’t mention if she will permit her children to come home discouraged or hurt (from presumably falling in love really hard and getting their hearts broken) or financially depleted.  She doesn’t say whether there’s a hefty trust fund to permit this kind of laissez faire parenting and all of its freedoms or what.  She also doesn’t say how she will deal with things like her children getting illness abroad (possibly while still riding on her medical insurance – see Affordable Care Act), or even if she will see their care and transportation as her responsibility.

I want what is best for my children.  I assume you, if you have children, want the same thing for your own.  I don’t pretend to know what that is much beyond today.  I know I want them to be inspired and to feel the full range of human experience with the very core of their beings.  And I want them to find comfort in their mother and me as emotional support and stability, as well as to find hope in a better day tomorrow.

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