The young conservatives

Back on my favorite soapbox again, but I’ll try to keep it brief this time. Penelope Trunk’s latest post on the Millenials suggests that they’re a basically conservative generation, craving stability above all. They’re not big-risk takers, and they’re not rebels; they want their parents to help them figure out adult life. (That we knew.) Somehow, for me, that doesn’t exactly jibe with the picture she’s been drawing of these “emerging adults” as the group who will revolutionize the workplace. Maybe that’s my traditionalist side talking there, or maybe I don’t quite get it, and we just won’t recognize the revolution when it happens.

At the same time, though, this makes some sense…how would the offspring of the “helicopter parents” have ever been prepared to be risk-takers? And what says “stability” more than staying at Mom and Dad’s for a few more years after college?

I know I’m stereotyping, and I really don’t think my own Millenial fits the stereotype, but I’m not the only one who continues to be fascinated – and irritated – by this topic. MaryP posted a long-simmering response to the article I referenced in this post on Wednesday (and sent a flock of new visitors over here – hello, and welcome!), and her post prompted an excellent response by a young man who is clearly very prepared for adulthood. (Are Canadians just more mature than Americans?) If you’re not totally sick of this subject by now, go check them both out!

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  • You know how when you have a sore tooth, you just can’t seem to keep your tongue from prodding at it, even though it hurts? I’m thinking Penelope Trunk is your sore tooth!

    It’s fascinating in one way, though: whether she (and Ryan) are aware of it or not, they are excellent examples of what’s wrong with helicopter parenting: it produces people who are chronologically adults, but in reality self-absorbed children, in whose worlds parents exist only to make their lives easier, and who have no true regard for any perspective but their own.

    Which is only what you’d expect them to be, really.

  • MaryP – I think you may be right on the mark with your “sore tooth” analogy. Maybe I shouldn’t let Penelope bug me so much. I read her blog regularly, and in some areas I really like what she has to say. There are other areas in which I don’t always agree with her – and then there’s this one, where I don’t think we’re even on the same planet. I like your analysis.

    She (and Ryan) definitely know how to be provocative, in any case. I think I need to work on building up my resistance, though, before even I get bored with my ranting on this topic.