Is it possible that bad parenting could lead to bad sex? Could spoiled and selfish kids grow up to be spoiled and selfish bed partners? A recent article and book review in The New Yorker, “Why are American kids so spoiled?” got us thinking along these lines.
The basic question that journalist Elizabeth Kolbert wants to answer is, How did children become the miniature bosses of the household, doing nothing and expecting everything — even past college age. Kolbert talks about “a generation of kids who can’t, or at least won’t, tie their own shoes,” and how this has given rise to a new genre of parenting books — The Price of Privilege, The Narcissism Epidemic, etc. The latest title in this field is Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest. Author Sally Koslow writes, “Our offspring have simply leveraged our braggadocio, good intentions, and over investment. … [They inhabit] a broad savannah of entitlement that we’ve watered, landscaped, and hired gardeners to maintain.” Her advice? “The best way for a lot of us to show our love would be to learn to un-mother and un-father.”
For the record, neither Kolbert nor Koslow talk about what kind of adult sex partners these children — or overgrown children — turn out to be. But we can’t stop thinking about it. That guy who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars of his parents’ money to get a college degree then returns home to his childhood bedroom so he can sit on his parents’ couch and drink their beer… How much do you want to bet he’s not exactly the first to offer cunnilingus?