Are We Really Helping Our Kids?

by | Feb 20, 2012 | 6 comments

Our parents wanted us to go to college and have a better life. Our parents worked hard and sacrificed for what they had and to provide for us. We can thank them – today we have a lot more opportunities because of all their hard work.

What about our kids? Are we just working to pay for their college, so they can have the same life we have? It seems we are no longer bettering the generations – instead we are in status-quo mode.

Perhaps the model has changed. Perhaps we need to reconsider what we think works and why.

  • Is what we are doing offering hope, or despair to others and ourselves?
  • What are our assumptions? Are they still true?
  • Have we become lazy?
  • Do we need college?
  • Do we all need that great job?
  • Is anyone innovating anymore?
  • Do people really produce today?
  • Are we working with blinders on and not seeing truth?

I have my thoughts, but what are yours?



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Dale Callahan

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  1. Helen Todd

    The dynamic is changing. While I don’t have children, I do have six nieces and nephews. Two have graduated from college with degrees in engineering, but only one is working, and I’m not sure it is in his choosen field. Then on the other side I have a niece who while still in college has started her own photography business. She created her own website, works her network of friends to get business — why wait? I can’t say I was that ambitious in school. I do see one thing in their generation — no fear. How great not to have a lifetime of people telling you, you can’t do this or that. So I believe that is the one thing we should give our kids (nieces and nephews) it’s the freedom to follow their dreams.

  2. Dale


  3. Cassidy G. Callahan Cash

    I loved getting my English degree, but I often wonder if it did me any good at all towards my career goals. I’m still working that one out, though, because I can’t find a school that really offers what I want to do…

    As someone who works almost daily with the 15-18 year old crowd, I have to say there is a severe lack of support when it comes to being innovative and thinking creatively. Creative thought is frowned upon with the same attitude as it was when I was younger telling my parents I wanted to be an actress. Teenagers rarely have a business model (or anything concrete, really) to support their ideas (I want to play the guitar, I want to paint, I want to fly planes, etc), they don’t understand their target market, and they can’t accurately look at things from a risk analysis perspective—-so they don’t always make wise choices in that area. As a consequence of their youth and inexperience, often when they vocalize their creative side, it comes across to the parents–who responsibly operate from a perspective of wanting their kids to be productive society members–as unreliable–and in fact it IS unreliable because there’s no structure. But rather than provide the structure, by teach kids how to be entrepreneurs and start functional self-supporting companies doing what they love, instead our kids are told they need to get a “real job”. When you think about it, though, a “real” job isn’t really real. It’s a position someone else started for you. You don’t have to create anything to get a “real” job–you don’t have to innovate, or carve out a corporate position. The laziness is in thinking you don’t HAVE to provide for yourself if you’ll just work for someone else. It’s an entire culture of laziness, really. I hate to say parents are lazy, because they probably haven’t looked at it that way before, but truthfully, the laziness that makes parents think they can pass off the responsibility of educating their kids to someone else, is the same laziness that makes them think they don’t have to train their kids to reach for more than status quo. The reality of life is that you absolutely DO have to make money to survive on this planet, but what we miss is telling people how THEY are responsible for who they become and NOT the job market. NO one owes you a job, even after they hire you you’ll have to earn that position by performing well there. This sort of “you can get hired then skate by for Friday” mentality is infected the next generation, for sure.

    I think a nice medium would be if we give our kids the freedom to explore their own interests while they are young enough to fail and it not cost them their dinner, you know? That’s the entire reason I support active education and project-based learning where kids are allowed the scope and breadth to dream and imagine, with someone with the wisdom there to show them what they need to learn contextualized in what kids are excited about already.

    I have a huge soapbox about this idea so I wont regale you further, but in short, yes you make excellent points.

  4. Dale Callahan

    The alternative might be unemployment;)

  5. Dale Callahan

    Your first statement about not having a school that teaches what you want is the key. I think we as parents should BUILD the ability to learn whatever we want, so when kids get older they are not stuck in learning what someone else has packaged for them.

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