According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 are now more likely to be living with their parents than living on their own or in any other living situation [such as sharing an apartment].
This is the first time in American history that young people—32.1 percent of millennials—have been most likely to live with their parents.
While the researchers theorize that this trend is due to the fall in the number of men and women settling down romantically before the age of 35, I disagree. Even single people like their space, especially if they intend to use it for dating and romance.
I think the trend is a calamity that reflects the erosion of real self-determination in young people, fueled by their unfounded, rocketing, wafer-thin self-esteem.
We have created a nation filled with too many perpetual children—Peter and Patty Pans—who were brought up getting trophies for participating in sports, instead of winning, protected from the supposed horrors of being ranked by grades and scores and sold corrosive message by the likes of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton that everyone deserves every kind of support, regardless of the level of education they have or the work they put forward.
We have hobbled a generation, or two.
These Peter and Patty Pans are so addicted to drugs like Facebook and Twitter that blow up their egos and make them into fake celebrities that they can feel pretty good for a long time, even when their lives are going pretty badly.
They can live at home with their parents in Neverland and use Tinder to “hook up” sexually with a different partner every week, or, sometimes, a different partner every night.
They can watch the Kardashians and delude themselves into thinking everyone is content to vamp for cameras, taking lots of selfies and sleepwalking through life.
That’s plenty to make them feel special and attractive, even when they’re going to sleep in bedrooms they’ve occupied since kindergarten.
If the drugs of technology pushed by Mark Zuckerberg and friends aren’t enough, they can get always high on marijuana. It’s legal now, for recreation, in five states, with ten more likely to make it legal this year. And don’t forget the fact that twenty more states have legalized medical marijuana, with some doctors prescribing it responsibly, but others handing it out more like candy than medicine.
This is Barack Obama’s America. A super-strong central government, inhaling more and more power, while our young people are hobbled and inhaling more and more weed.
I see the fallout in my psychiatry office. One millennial after another comes to me to reclaim what should always have been their due—their birthrights as real people, ready to take on real challenges, with real intention. When they show up, we have to conquer their depression and anxiety and drug use—all skyrocketing in their age group, partly because no adult human being actually wants to be coddled like a child by parents or one’s government. It wears on people and leaves them dispirited and panicked and looking anywhere for relief. Next, we have to rediscover their goals and arm them with the willingness to suffer some pain, in order to achieve them.
This is work I am privileged to do because it is, in the end, God’s work. It is the restoration of God-given potential now being short-circuited in an epidemic way by the equivalent of Peter Pan’s pixies who make our kids think they can fly by inhaling magic pixels or magic potions or magical stories about how everyone should get everything for free, forever.
Keith Ablow, MD is a psychiatrist, and was host of the nationally-syndicated "Dr. Keith Ablow Show." He is a former member of the Fox News Medical A Team.