Poor Rachel Canning didn’t like the rules at her parents house. So she moved out. Now she’s suing them for her college tuition to be paid in full. You know, because she’s a spoiled ass American Princess! [source]
I don’t even know where to begin…
Let’s start with the idea that parents owe their children a college education. This is patently false. And if you, as a parent, are putting yourself and your family in jeopardy putting anyone other than yourself through college, you are making a grave mistake. Your financial future is more important than your child’s education. They can earn the money, take out student loans, or figure out an alternate career. Yes, student loans are devil spawn, but they are better than you mortgaging your future for a someone else’s college degree.
Canning moved in with her best friend, whose father happens to be an attorney. I am assuming he influenced her in some way, since he is paying her legal bills. Does he need money so badly? Does he truly think that an adult child suing her parents for an education sets a good precedent?
Canning has exhibited nothing but sheer immaturity. It might seem like a grown up thing to sue someone, but it’s not. It’s a cowardly thing to do unless someone has been gravely injured. Frivolous lawsuits are why lawyer jokes are told. Frivolous lawsuits are why the courts are backlogged leaving real cases to molder.
This case demonstrates the inability of children to even grow up these days. No matter what the reasons (I blame parenting, by the way) kids no longer look at the age of 18 as the time to leave the nest and start their adult lives. They look at 18 when they might go to college or might get a job. But they aren’t invested in leaving the house and getting an apartment, finding a spouse, and starting their own lives.
Parents, every single time you treat your high school junior and senior like a baby, you chip away at their autonomy. If you solve every problem that they encounter, why should they learn? I’m guilty of this myself. But I’m learning!
I’m worried about this case. What if the judge decides Canning is owed a college education? What if he decides parenting doesn’t end at the age of 18? What does that mean for all of us?
Frankly, I don’t want to be parenting my 40 year old because he doesn’t want to find a job and stop playing his XBox. Do you?
Update: Yesterday the judge ruled against Canning for high school tuition, monthly support, and legal fees. However, the parents must keep her on their health insurance policy and the subject of college tuition will be addressed again in April. [source]