Stop The Coddling!

LeiaSaeleeWhen should parents stop catering to their children and begin treating them like adults? After all, at this late stage of adolescence, teens start to look like adults, act more independently, and demand to be treated as an “adult.” This would mean charging them rent, introducing taxes, throwing them in the working world, no more funding their expenses and so on. That’s rough.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. The adult world is not as pleasant as anyone would like it to be. I’m not saying parents should just throw their kids into the outside world and completely treat them as grown-ups, but that maybe our generation doesn’t have enough preparation for the real world. If nature doesn’t teach us how to survive the outside world, then nurturing might as well prep us for it.

Once, a friend had spent the night and offered to help with my chores, and as much as I appreciated her help, she did a terrible job. I didn’t want to come off as rude, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I asked her what sorts of chores or work she did at home. I came to find that she’s led 18 years of leisure while her parents slaved at work while catering to their children’s needs and whims.

Dishes were done and the trash was taken out by her parents as well. These are simple things, but her parents also cleaned her room, cleared her plates after dinner, and so many other small things that anyone should be expected to do. I’m still not sure whether I feel envy or pity. A small part of me wishes that those things were taken care of for me, but the rest of me feels that unless teenagers learn these important life skills, they won’t be prepared for adulthood in the least.

Chores are just a small taste of what responsibilities a successful life includes. In a way, I feel that parents should be held responsible for teaching any basic life skills to their children, but it is also up to the adolescent to decide for themselves. As young adults, we should be expected to act as independent as adults with an almost-developed sense of culpability that allows us to act responsibly. But who wouldn’t take advantage of the fact that we’d have something less to worry about if our parents just did it for us? The temptation is just too real.

Naturally parents feel the instinct to provide and care for their young, but in reality, they are not babies anymore. Parents need to dampen their instincts and show their offspring the circle of life, because the real world is a harsh environment populated by competition and threats. It is better to ensure your child is well suited to survive independently and put somewhere they can thrive instead of coddling and stripping them of basic survival skills. It isn’t instinct that allows us to live among others, but the proper nurturing that parents must provide.


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