Do you have full-nest syndrome?

2011-05-26 00:00

ACCORDING to the Telegraph, generation ni-ni is “those adults who still live at home and are neither working nor studying — after the Spanish term ni estudian, ni trabjan”.

I could not wait to fly the coop when I was a child. In fact, despite having some interesting challenges as a young adult, the thought of going back home to crash at my mom’s in my old room has always been as appealing as being a contestant on Fear Factor and having to eat road-kill guts.

But according to the article this phenomenon is on the rise while “by no means being confined to Spain” either. Apparently, they (ni-nis) are known as bamboccioni or big babies in Italy. And not to be out done, the British government has dubbed them Neets (not in employment, education or training), or Kippers (kids in parents pockets eroding retirement savings).

“In the United States, the phenomenon has been labelled ‘full-nest syndrome’ where adults are left struggling to support ‘boomerang children’ who have sought refuge at home laden with student debts and facing few job prospects in a weak economy.’

How prevalent is the phenomenon here? The reason for the increase in generation ni-ni is blamed on the global recession, which means that there must been an increase in ni-nis in South Africa. Or is it still not big enough of a problem here for our government to notice and release its own stats? Whatever the case may be, we as parents need to be prepared to assist our children after they’ve completed their schooling.

The trend is that all jobs involving manufacturing will become more scarce in the future. Apparently, it’s all going to be replaced by robots. Apparently, the only careers that will be viable are those based on original creativity, like writing, entertainment, sports, inventing and art, etc.

It’s quite a challenging prospect to assist your children in achieving their goals after school. Unless you have a little rocket scientist living under your roof, it’s going to be continually difficult to compete in the job market. Clearly, we cannot afford to have our children lying around the house all day. The solutions are obviously as varied as the personalities of the children themselves, which is why part of our mandates as parents has to be that we are vigilant in identifying and encouraging their natural skills and abilities as soon as possible.

Take another look at your children, especially if they’re still young, see if you can spot the next Raymond Ackerman, Ronaldo, Angela Merkel, Natalie du Toit or Lady Gaga, and develop their skills now. You don’t want them to become ni nis now do you?

— Parent

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