(image credit: teenlife.com)
I had a remarkable interaction with a parent of a teenager who will be ready to face the working world next summer. This particular parent just happened upon our resort to scope out potential lodging to stay at next spring while his son pounded the pavement to find himself a job. The most important part of that previous sentence are the words “to find himself a job“.
Too often over the last few years I have had conversations with parents gushing about the talents of their children and why said child would be perfect for a job at our resort. Never in those golden moments of being told how great “Johnny” was did I ever speak to “Johnny” himself. It has become the norm for parents to act on behalf of their offspring in hopes of finding them gainful employment. One of the most unfortunate parts of this new trend is that the child will never gain that self-confidence that you can only achieve by creating a resume, making that first phone call to ask about a job and securing a job with a face-to-face interview.
While it is regrettable, I am among many in the position of hiring students who inevitably put “Johnny’s” resume at the bottom of the pile. What kind of employee will “Johnny” be if he is not eager and hungry enough to seek out and secure his own job? These kids learn nothing about achieving goals if somebody else does the work. They will never understand the concept that the world owes us nothing – that you have to work for what you get. The blades of their helicopter parents are slicing away at their chance of being successful on their own merit.
Life is about disappointment, but still having that drive to succeed. Life is about making mistakes but learning lessons from those mistakes. If our future generations are to succeed, they need to learn how to try and, potentially, learn how to fail. They need to fly on their own and crash a couple of times before they have clear skies.
Thank you to that incredible dad who was allowing his son to leave the nest and fly on his own. Please send him our way. I’d be happy to have a look at his resume and chat with “Johnny” for a while about a job for next summer.
This has been gnawing the back of my mind for some time now. It started about 18 months ago and lately, it’s just getting worse and worse. PErhaps it’s because I have a son who is about to turn 10 and independence (for both of us) is right around the corner. Perhaps it is all the other stories I read. But I worry. I worry a lot–not about the things the media tells me I should be worrying about, but about the fact that we are slowly strangling our children. We aren’t allowing them to breathe. And we are not allowing them the space to learn, to grow or to be.
I agree. I watch so many parents lurking over their kids and not allowing them to make the mistakes we all did as children. That is how we learn, by being able to make those mistakes and find our own way.
There are so many parents out there who have no idea just how much damage their “helpful” actions can cause.
I agree Mike. We learned how to get up by falling a few times. We knew the safety net of our parents was there, but ours was much further away than the kids of today’s generation.
I had this conversation with my daughter and stepsons.
So, what job do you want when you turn 16? So you can have your own moniiiieeeeessss?
Daughter,13 – I’ll probably work somewhere that has good hours.
Stepson, 13 – I probably won’t get a job until Im done with college.
Stepson, 11 – I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.
It’s a boy thing. Surely…