Saturday, July 7, 2012

ENCOURAGE YOUR TEENS TO VOTE!


My oldest daughter, who just finished her freshman year in college, wants to be a nurse.  Not sure where that calling came from, since her mother has always been weak-kneed at the sight of blood.  But I love that she wants to make her living as a healer and nurturer. She will be a natural at it, too, as she has always been balm for my spirit. 

While I think she has chosen the perfect profession at a time when the world needs more healing, I worry about her, too.  CBS News reports that half of recent college graduates can't find full-time jobs.  What must the parents of these graduates be thinking right now? I would imagine they feel cheated out of a rite of passage:  The right for them to pass on self-sufficiency to their children.

And do these grads who can’t find jobs feel hoodwinked? Think about it.  From the time our children are old enough to read a book, we impress upon them the importance of learning and getting educated.  “Without a good education, it will be hard for you to find a good job someday.”  Haven’t we all recited some variation of this mantra through the years? 

Now, record numbers of young adults are moving back in with their parents, crippled by grim job prospects and insurmountable student-loan debt. There's even a name for them:  Boomerang kids. In fact, the Census Bureau reports the number of shared households increased 11.4 percent to 22 million, between 2007 and 2010. 

What kind of America are we passing on to our children – the new generation of dependents?  The last four years of an ineffective presidency -- more focused on dragging down the country with a stratospheric deficit than trying to create jobs -- has placed every parent in the uncomfortable position of having to tell our children the truth:  “It doesn’t matter how hard you work in school to get good grades, Sweetie, you’re pretty much screwed once you graduate.”

So, as my 18-year-old transitions into adulthood and takes a giant leap of faith into her vastly uncertain future, I am hovering over her as a helicopter mom one last time to encourage her to do something that will greatly improve her job prospects one day:  

           “Honey, you need to register to vote.”

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