Last year, I was pleased to be featured in DreamFilm’s documentary Generation Boomerang. It’s an interesting, in-depth look at the trend of boomerang kids. Tonight I settled in to watch DreamFilm’s precursor doc: Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids. It’s a look at the lengths to which parents are managing their children’s lives and setting the standards for their achievement. The experts seem to agree that this micro-management of children’s lives deprives them of the opportunity to develop the decision-making skills and confidence they need to succeed as independent young adults, while at the same time giving them a strange kind of over-confidence that doesn’t fly well as they try to enter the workplace as young adults… and even well into adulthood, leading, of course, to boomerang kids.
I have to say, I knew many of the statistics mentioned in this documentary, but it still blew my mind to see the pattern playing out in real families. Some of the real shockers:
- A family spending $4,000 on a one-year-old’s birthday party — because turning one is a “milestone achievement.”
- Teachers talking about parents being upset when a child brings home a 98% grade.
- Parents being hugely involved in students’ university careers, including logging in to their student accounts to monitor their grades, and threatening university management when their kids don’t like profs.
- Parents trying to attend their kids’ job interviews, negotiate salary, and the apparently common trend of parents going with kids on their first day at a new job to set up their cubicle!
- A 27-year-old quitting a $90,000 job that wasn’t a “good fit” to try to start a business with no clear business model, ending up declaring bankruptcy and living on friends’ couches, but still refusing to give up “wine, coffee, and pedicures.”
You can watch the trailer for Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids below, and watch the whole doc online at http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/Doc_Zone/1242299559/ID=1405930535.