I was standing in line to pay for my purchase at the mall when my cell phone rang. Let me digress for a moment and share that I had just found an amazing dress that fit perfectly for only 23.00! Every girlfriend knows it feels when you find a great bargain— it always puts you in the best mood. Needless to say, I was feeling quite accomplished and giddy as I talked to the sales clerk and answered my phone. On the other line was my son, who had recently just finished his first year of college.

He had just woken up and realized that I didn’t have my worksheet for my clients today because he had forgotten to send it to me. Let me explain, he is my administrative assistant this summer and he takes his work very seriously. I pay him the going rate for this type of work and he is quite good at what he does. He was upset and sounded like he had just woken up. I let him know that I had made arrangements to send the sheet to the client that night so “all was well”. Two things made me chuckle— one, he was so concerned about doing a good job for me and my work, and two, and he had just woken up at 3:15! Yes that’s right, he had woken up at 3:15!

I told the sales clerk that my “home from college son” had just woken up and she laughed. She shared a funny story about a friend of hers; her son was home from college and all he did was sleep. He refused to get up and get a summer job. So, this mom did the only thing she felt she could— she went online and applied for jobs for him and got him a job. The clerk shared that she got him a job in a deli and “made him go in for the interview “. According to her, he had to wear a “funny hat” to work and it was hilarious. The son was really mad that his mother insisted that he do this. Okay, girlfriends, I am not laughing.

Now, the only thing I shared with the clerk was that my son had a 40-hour week job this summer and was a hard worker. I didn’t share my feelings about her story. But when getting into my car, I was thinking about this family. Here are my thoughts— I am concerned for our future workforce. This kid is 20 years old, and shows no motivation to get his own job. But why should he? Mom will do everything for him. Mom has molded him into who he is today. I am pretty sure that mom and dad are paying for his education and there seems to be no respect or appreciation for this fact. That is a lot of money for mom and dad to shell out when the young man can’t even get out of bed to get his own job. What has mom taught this young man? How has he learned to survive in the “real world”? When will parents realize that there is a whole life beyond just going to the right college and getting good grades?

There are many other skills that children need to master other than just doing well in school. It is our job as parents to insist that our kids can become independent and take care of themselves, physically and emotionally. Please don’t come crying to me when your kid won’t stop living in your basement. So girlfriends, I beg of you, take a good look at your parenting skills and ask yourself, “Am I giving my kids the skills to succeed in real life”? If you are not, change your direction TODAY! Find some inner sass, and do it!

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