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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Freddie the Freeloader and Minnie the Moocher



Hey, all you youngun's. If you don't know who Minnie the Moocher and Freddie the Freeloader are, look up Cab Calloway and Red Skelton.


In the advice column Annie's Mailbox of a couple of days ago (http://www.creators.com/advice/annies-mailbox/lippy-20-year-old-is-all-play-and-no-work.html), a letter writer expresses dismay that his twenty year old son bailed out of home schooling by getting a GED.  His wife had corrected all of his son's homework before it had been submitted, but the son still could not seem to handle high school.  He now works a whole two hours a day, will not help around the house, and has an attitude problem. 

The writer complains that his wife refuses to charge the son rent, and pays for his car, insurance and cell phone.  The father had to kick the son's girl friend out of the house and stopped the son from " filching beer from our refrigerator."   His wife tells the writer to cool it when he gets upset.  Meanwhile, two younger brothers are beginning to play follow the leader with their deadbeat slacker older bro.


Is it just me, or is everyone seeing more and more twenty somethings who are freeloading off of their parents with their parents' cooperation? (You can discount the parents' complaining about the kids - after all, that's what their children do). Of course, the fact that the father in this case complains about his wife but does nothing to stop her from enabling the son might remind readers of my blog post of March 9, 2010 about younger children, Recipe for Producing Frequent Tantrums in Children.  The parents' behavior, as time goes on, produces the future Freddies and Minnies.

I am certain that if these twenty somethings were dragged to many psychiatrists, they would be immediately diagnosed as "Adult ADHD" or some other bullsh*t diagnosis.

Why do children react to their parents enabling behavior in this crazy way? My theory is that, because the parents compulsively do everything for their kids and expect nothing from them, their kids get the idea that providing for children is an extremely vital activity for their parents.   If the parents fight over what to do with the kids but never come to any kind of agreement or compromise, the kids think they like to do that as well.  Far be it from children to deprive their parents of a cherished role.

Do children really give a damn about what their parents expect from them?  Readers, what do you think about all of this?

3 comments:

  1. For me it's exasperating. My brother in law is a family freeloader. He is 53 and lives with his mother who does everything for him. He refuses to pay rent.

    When he comes to our cabin he won't bring anything or even wash his sheets but if I say anything, I am the one who gets the backlash. It's a real no win situation.

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  2. Parents need to stand united against freeloading offspring/family members and make them contribute. I have noticed that parents who over-indulge their kids reap what they sow. For example, my sister-in-law and her husband are well into their 30s, and earn more than my parents-in-law, yet incessantly and shamelessly sponge off of them. They cry poor whilst buying themselves iphones, $150 concert tickets and gourmet weekends away.

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  3. Old post, but I'll respond. Especially cuz I'm in the age group discussed.

    For me, being in my 20s, I think some people get support for very old fashioned reasons actually. Some people have parents who want to see their kids go to grad school, and they think continued support into the 20s will aid in this. There is much better access to education these days and it gets expensive to go to college. Some parents actually want their kids to move back home for a while after college so they can save for a law degree or figure out what they want to do. I know one girl who graduated from NYU with a degree in literature, wasn't sure what she wanted to do, and her mother encouraged her to go to cooking school and become a chef because she likes cooking. She wouldn't have thought of it as a career, but she became a vegan chef and was able to build a clientele as a private chef through word of mouth. Worked for one person, that person told another person, and so on...I think sometimes the parents encourage the freeloading and sticking close to home in the 20s because they think it will pay off. And I do think this is old fashioned. It wasn't really that long ago that a lot of people lived at home until they got married. J. Edgar Hoover didn't move away from home. I do actually know some people who lived at home until they got married. My sister was one of them.

    Of course I know you mean the slacker moochers. 20 somethings who just seem clueless. Some of it is really just bad parenting. It's not that the parents support the kids too much...it's that they really didn't teach their kids anything. That's what I've noticed. I was talking to a community college professor, and he said young adults will show up with no concept of how to organize or study. He has to explain really basic stuff to them. And he does it because he wants them to do well. But when I say basic things, he has to explain that they have to purchase books because they think its like high school and they check out the textbooks. Or he has to explain that they should take an early bus to campus because if the bus is late the professor won't care. Even things like "make sure you bring paper and a pen to take notes with" needs to be explained. Some people just show up with nothing, throw out their syllabus, and have no clue how college works.

    I have to wonder if some of that is the way our society is now. Both parents are often forced to work and they just don't spend as much time with their kids as they should and is needed. It is for this reason that I really do think welfare should last for more than 5 years. Do we want a bunch of adults who were never raised by their parents and learned absolutely nothing about how to survive in the world? I feel bad for the 20 somethings who live off of their parents, their parents support them, and this is really the extent of that parenting. They teach their kids nothing about how to survive or succeed.

    People have blamed the 20 somethings for being moochers...but I see the parents as getting lazier and lazier when it comes to child rearing. I admire my older sister, because she spends time with her teenager daughter so they can plan her future once she leaves high school. She is very attentive and a lot of parents aren't like that. They can't even teach their kids to write thank you notes :/

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