Mrs. Linklater thinks it's time to stop raising children. And start raising adults.
So to help remove any six foot, one
hundred and ninety pound children from their comfy seats at the parental
trough, she makes the following suggestion:
This summer, drive that large body
of evidence that you once had sex to the middle of a state somewhere. Make sure you're
least one hundred miles from a city. You can even allow them to choose
which state they'll be left in. Make it a magnanimous gesture.
Give them a roof over their heads
at a local motel for one week. Allow them to have 100 dollars.
And tell them not to come home for a year.
Yes they can call you, but not collect. When they ask the inevitable questions, the answer you always give them is NO.
Call it getting back to our roots, building character, learning what it means to be an American. Call it mean.
Call it crazy. Mrs. Linklater likes to remind lazy ass young people,
who want her to use her influence to get them a job, that this country
was built on the courage of hundreds of thousands of people who arrived
with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They probably walked
ten miles to school in the snow barefoot, too. You ought to see the eyes of those kids glaze over when they hear that.
She feels that the milk
of mom and dad's misguided kindness is making us a nation of freeloaders -- little
kids in big people's bodies who aren't accountable and never take
responsibility for their actions.
That's why she thinks there's
nothing like having absolutely nothing -- no money, no car, no place to
live -- to make you dig down and find out what it is you have that
makes you a valuable person. Nothing gets to the point better than
getting stuck in the middle of nowhere without a dime. Okay a
hundred bucks. But how far does that go these days?
For purposes of clarification, Mrs. Linklater would invoke
this get up, get out, and grow up rule for adult children still living at
home jobless after six months, which is a blink of an eye these days.
She also realizes there are exceptions to this rule. And they should not include succumbing to whining and begging.
So, do your kids a favor. Let them
find out what they're worth. Let them put their high school and
college degrees to the test.
While they're gone, make sure you turn their old rooms
into something they won't recognize, an office, a studio, a mini gym or
a family room. Nothing that they can come home to.
The bad news is that your kids will always want to come home again.
The good news is they won't feel
the need to stay.After that year out in the wilderness, they will finally know how to be useful and productive
grown ups. Okay, they will still bring their laundry home on weekends
to save on quarters. And raid the fridge while they're waiting for
their stuff to dry. But now it's just temporary. Not