The Culture of Extended Infancy

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For this post, it’s appropriate to start off with two quotes from the article:

Child psychologists are being given a new directive which is that the age range they work with is increasing from 0-18 to 0-25.

…”There’s an increasing number of adults who are watching children’s movies in the cinema,” says Furedi. “If you look at children’s TV channels in America, 25% of the viewers are adults rather than children.”

One sociology professor, Frank Furedi, goes against the politically correct grain to note that young people are being infantilised and coddled to the point where they have lost the desire for independence from Mommy and Daddy.

“I think that what it is, is not that the world has become crueller, it’s just that we hold our children back from a very early age. When they’re 11, 12, 13 we don’t let them out on their own. When they’re 14, 15, we hover all over them and insulate them from real-life experience. We treat university students the way we used to treat school pupils, so I think it’s that type of cumulative effect of infantilisation which is responsible for this.”

I think Furedi would like Lenore Skenazy’s perspective on this topic – I know I do. I have a whole section of my blog dedicated to topics centered around this inane trend.

One topic the article doesn’t cover is the bizarre culture wherein the child becomes the leader (barely) and the parent “best friends” the child, becomes the follower, and lives his or her life as a narcissistic 20-something again, thinking that the aging clock has been turned back like a time machine. This also prolongs the inevitable – millennial adults forever living at home, escaping financial responsibility by blowing their dough on ‘fantasy must haves’ while the parents subsidize their real-world expenses. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article (‘What’s the Netflix Password Again, Mom?) about millennials perpetually staying on the ‘family plan’ for phone, data, movies, and finances. Thanks to Travis Holte for the link.

6:04 am on September 26, 2013
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