Point-Counterpoint: Taking Responsibility

by Olivia Capriotti

As a teenager myself, I know that growing up is both exciting and fearful. Growing up entails the arisal of new situations and problems as well as new privileges. Such opportunities include driving a car, making new friends, and working a job. Many of us become eager to experience these new things; however, we often neglect to acknowledge the responsibilities that come along with these great new privileges.

In Amy Carney’s article entitled “Stop doing these 8 things for your Teen this School Year”, the lifestyle blogger discusses eight major responsibilities that she has found parents of teenagers doing it for them. Carney discusses how parents of modern teenagers sign their children’s paperwork, make their lunch, wake them up in the morning, do their laundry, fill out their paperwork, deliver forgotten items to school, plan for emergencies, and become heavily involved in their teenager’s academics. Carney argues that all of these are tasks that should be carried out by the kids themselves, and she could not be more correct.

The lack of responsibility in teenagers may cause future problems for modern youth as they will grow up without simple, yet important life skills. What’s going to happen when they venture on into college? Parents should be teaching their children life skills instead of completing their tasks for them. These types of parents are doing everything for their children, earning the term “helicopter parents.” Sophomore Sreeja Daliparthy commented about this type of parenting,

“It hurts them even if you think you’re helping them,” claimed Daliparthy.

Photo from meds.queensu.ca


To that end, if children aren’t adapting to school-related responsibilities, it creates a situation of where they are entering adulthood without basic skills necessary in all aspects of their lives. These days, self-sufficiency is no longer acknowledged, and time after time, parents will be depended on.

Furthermore, an experiment conducted by anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her researching team at UCLA’S Center on Everyday Lives of Families studied families by recording video for a week in the lives of 32 Southern California families. The families were middle class, with two or three children between 7 and 12 years old.  Each family was filmed by two cameras and watched all day by at least three observers. The team found that these families focused mostly on their children, giving way to this dependency phenomenon of American middle-class families. When children were asked to complete a certain task, they treated their parents request as a favor and argued against completing the chore.

These results unsurprisingly demonstrate the dependence on their parents of the teenagers of middle-class America. Parents want their children to grow to become independent, but in reality, they are raising them to be relatively dependent.

NAHS sophomore Emma Gunn said, “We end up not having these certain characteristics that help us later on in life.”

Gunn is right- as we mature into young adults, we lack important strengths.

As a whole, we cannot grow up to live without an understanding of how to operate as adults. However, if we are motivated to take on responsibility, then preparing ourselves for the future will be a whole lot easier.

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