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Stats Canada tells us: “that 60% of Canadians age 20- 29 are living with their parents. Some have never left the roost and many have graduated from college/university. Scary, the average age of a young man leaving home is 27.

Many of the fortunate grads have had the pleasure to attend university for three/ five years. Your children have been blessed with and education, not a ticket to employment. Sadly, career planning is not part of the curriculum. A General Arts degree hopefully qualifies you for a job entry position.

Parents have taken their hard earned after tax dollars to pay for tuition, room and board, books and spending money. It costs a minimum of $10,000 a year to go away to school.

The heck with the costs, you laugh, Junior will now be able to cut the umbilical chord from the family wallet. He will now be able to move out and make his way into the real world. Thursday night at the bars on Richmond Row will be a fleeting memory.

Sorry folks, Junior is not going to be happy taking any old minimum wage position. Starting at the bottom working in a factory or construction is not considered cool.

The grads do not have to worry. Good old mom/dad will not throw their well educated children out into the cruel hard world. What would the neighbours/frat member think? You’ve heard of welfare. Living off the folks is called pappa/momma fare.

Mom has always done the laundry, shopping, cooking and the folks have always been supportive. Junior can always get along with a little part time work. No rent, phone bills, life insurance, utility costs, food to worry about. The moochers needs are few; a pair of jeans, money for a beer or coffee will suffice. All of your children’s money is disposable.

I recently heard two young men talking of their future. One expressed his desire to travel extensively to Europe in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter. When asked how he was going to pay for his travels he responded that he was a waiter. What restaurant do you work for his friend asked? Not that kind of waiter was the response: I am waiting for my folks to die.

Far off adventure tours to Australia for 4-5 months can help pass the time but will not solve the problem of one finding themselves. Don’t worry, Junior will return home to the feathered nest. Nothing has changed.

Solutions, solutions you readers demand. No, your perennial student/child is not depressed. He is not motivated to become self sufficient. Yes, folks you are partly to blame. Why should the moocher leave home to punch a clock when all the necessities of life are provided?

Junior need a game plan and very firm written guidelines and consequences to help him along the road to success. He is not going to leave home without some pushing. Looking for employment is hard work; out of the house by seven in the morning with a resume in hand and a written schedule of visits. Family/friends contacts can provide connections to jobs that have not been advertized. Minimum wages provides an honest days salary to pay for room and board. What do you want to bet that Junior the Moocher will move in with a friend if asked to pay his share of the family expenses?

I recently counselled a very charming 23 year old young man who did not want to pursue full time employment. He asked me to speculate on his chances at success. I told him that he was very lucky that he would marry a rich man’s daughter. He pointed to my daughter, Sarah’s, picture and asked, “how old is your daughter? ” Cute?

Do not accept your children as victims, they have volunteered for the position. Life does not come with iron clad guarantees. A post secondary education does not entitle one to a life style of the rich and famous. Reality and responsibility sadly are not part of the curriculum.

Convocation ceremonies with all the pomp and ceremonies are over. Junior could comfortably stay at home for many, many years. Relish the thought!

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com