Yes, My Adult Children are Jerks and I Am Probably to Blame

Libby Winkler
2 min readDec 5, 2022

Raising children is certainly not for the faint of heart and one must admit to the world these adults may struggle.

Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

It all started out so innocently.

As parents, at least for most, we do our very best. We make good decisions based upon the information at hand. We try to raise decent humans, at least humans other humans might not hate.

This was the plan, having decent humans to enjoy in our golden years.

I am a parent of young adults.

I am stuck between the boomer and Generation Z demographics.

I messed up.

Start Here — This Is How We’re Wired

As I was raised by parents firmly planted in the boomer tradition, there were some basic goals of parenthood. The boomer tradition had the goal of raising humans who were well-behaved, capable of reciting facts from rote memory, did not question the status quo in any significant way or at least in any confrontational way.

The concept of go along to get along was well ingrained into me.

Armed with this as my ideal in childrearing, I proceeded to attempt to arm my children with these same ideals.

Actual Results May Vary

Armed with the framework of the boomer’s expectations of children, I proceed to raise offspring.

With the ingrained morality lessons embedded in me, my default settings directed me. Mornings of Sunday school in our local congregation. Endless series’ of sports teams, soccer, little league, basketball, flag football followed. All with the intent of instilling a sense of cooperative achievement, respect for the leader at any cost, disregard for individuality at all cost.

As each developed into a young adult, I nearly broke my arm congratulating myself for a job well done.

The Joke’s on Me — Epic Fail

Sadly, I did not have the vision to see what the universe had in store for us all.

The advent of the personalization and individualization of nearly every aspect of our lives does not translate well in the boomer tradition. Fitting in and accepting only the choices available is no longer a cultural norm. Binary choices do not confine our world. Our lives do not depend upon our ability to conform.

Nothing exemplifies this more than my memory of every math teacher’s rationale for learning long division, “you won’t always have a calculator.”

The joke’s on us.



Libby Winkler

Freelance writer who loves exploring the messiness of humanity, while poking around in nooks of life and shining light on all the things that make us complex..