If you want to know the secret sauce to raising a special snowflake, you could take a cue from a parent who placed an ad in England for a nanny for an 18-year-old Canadian college student attending the University of Leeds.
The parent, who is concerned about the rigors of a “demanding first year program,” is seeking someone who “can ensure my daughter eats three healthy meals a day and the fridge is always full of healthy snacks, juice etc.”
The ad, which was posted on Indeed in late December, has been mocked on Twitter, with one user commenting on the “child’s” ability to navigate in the “real world” and practice law.
“Seriously?! If she can’t look after herself as a student how the hell is she going to manage in the real world practising law! I wouldn’t want her representing me!”
Another user took a jab at the student’s assumed privilege.
Meanwhile half her classmates will be working two jobs to survive.
— Jenny Foxe (@urbanfoxe) December 29, 2019
The “child” in this case will be an undergraduate at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire and is pursuing a degree in law. Her parent said “she is Canadian and she needs someone to cook and clean for her.”
Rather than teaching their daughter self-sufficiency, independence and time management skills, it’s clear this parent doesn’t think their progeny can shop, prepare her own food and do her own laundry while studying.
I’m studying law and work 3 jobs alongside to pay my rent. She will never cope as an actual lawyer if she can’t manage her time well enough to cook lmao.
— Buz James (@BuzJ) December 30, 2019
The girl even has a personal driver, ensuring that she doesn’t have to navigate around Leeds City Centre from her “lovely apartment” or pick up the shopping.
But misplaced privilege such as this could come at a higher price than the cost of a nanny. According to Psychology Today, “the offspring of the affluent today are more distressed than other youth. They show disturbingly high rates of substance use, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cheating, and stealing. It gives a whole new meaning to having it all.”
Sociologist Rachel Sherman, the author of “Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence,” has written that “Almost all of the 50 affluent parents in and around New York City that I interviewed for my book … expressed fears that children would be ‘entitled’ — a dirty word that meant, variously, lazy, materialistic, greedy, rude, selfish, and self-satisfied.
“Instead, they strove to keep their children ‘grounded’ and ‘normal’. Of course, no parent wishes to raise spoiled children; but for those who face relatively few material limits, this possibility is distinctly heightened.”
In one national survey that looked at “helicopter” parents of college students, 38 percent of freshmen and 29 percent of seniors said their parents intervened with college officials on their behalves to solve problems either “very often” or “sometimes.”
Just several decades ago, 18-year-olds were going to war. Today, students can’t seem to problem-solve on their own without having a parent on speed dial.
We all wished we had parents who could help us financially or guide us through the confusing student years, but the question of when is it too much must be asked: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
I’ll take an attorney who can navigate the shark-infested waters and bring me back a fish any day over one who never did her own laundry.
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