Thursday, August 16, 2007

Whose Job Is It?

I was reading a series of hints for young people facing a first job interview recently. Most of the list seemed to make sense - be on time, dress appropriately, etc. But then it said "Don't bring your mom to the interview". What?!? You mean some parents would actually want to go to a child's job interview? We're talking college grads here, not 14 year olds. That's unreal. But from other things I've read, it is all too real - the boomers aren't bowing out gracefully when their kids reach nominal adulthood and are intervening with college professors or going to job fairs with (or for) their children; so I guess going to a job interview is the next step.

I find this astounding. After all, these are parents who presumably take parenting seriously; but apparently no one told them what the point of parenting is. As a parent, my job is to get my kids ready to go out into the world on their own, make their own mistakes, find their own path. It is NOT to make sure they make the same choices or mistakes I did, much less to have them make choices appropriate for a 40-something parent. By the time my kids graduate from college, they should be ready to make their own choices; after having 21 years of my good advice inflicted on them, it is time to see if they can put it into practice. Continuing to parent them as if they were middle-schoolers doesn't help them become fully-functioning adults.

Of course our kids will make mistakes - that is their job. And many of what we call mistakes may be exactly the path or the lesson that they need then. Kids need to learn by doing, and if that means losing out on a desired job because they couldn't get themselves out of bed on time, well, maybe next time they'll get up earlier. And if they pass up a prestigious job to take a more laid-back job, then either they are too laid back to be happy with the ambitious job, or they will discover that they are bored and really want something higher powered. These should be their choices, not mine. It's their life; let them live it. And stay away from their job interviews - it doesn't reflect well on the applicant.

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