LONDON - The British government has published a guide for parents of jobless graduates, urging them to show their offspring some 'tough love'.
Mollycoddling mothers and fathers should resist the urge to make home too comfortable for their recently qualified children, the government guide said.
The manual, published yesterday, instructs parents to show a bit of 'tough love' as they try to encourage their children to get a job. That means making them do their own washing and ironing, emptying the fridge of student-friendly snacks and cutting back on handouts, the Guardian newspaper reported.
The guide also has blunt advice for those with lofty ambitions: 'Yes, some people will make it as actors and scriptwriters, but many just waste away the years.'
The guidance, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, comes amid fears over a crippling shortage of graduate jobs in the recession.
Almost one in 10 people was without a job after leaving university last year, as unemployment rates hit a record high in Britain. More than a fifth of students at some institutions were left without work or a postgraduate place six months after graduation, the Telegraph said.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed recently that more people in their 20s or 30s were living with their parents than at any time in the past 20 years. Around 25 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women aged 25 to 29 still live with their parents.
Although one in three 'adult kids' said he could not afford to buy or rent his own home, others were choosing to become 'kippers' - kids in parents' pockets, the Guardian said.
The authors of the ONS report dubbed graduates who returned home to live with their parents 'boomerang children', saying their numbers were being swelled by growing student debt.
The guide, written by chartered psychologist and career coach Denise Taylor, said reality hits many young people after graduation, which can affect their self-esteem. It adds that parents have a key part to play in encouraging their newly qualified offspring to enter the workforce.
Listing dos and don'ts aimed at helping anxious parents to 'motivate, not alienate', the guide said it was okay to allow children to relax once they graduate, but those few weeks of letting them put their feet up should not slide into a few months.
On the 'don't' list is perhaps the worst sin: nagging. 'It might work in some circumstances, but most young people want a job and know there is a lot of competition,' the guide said. 'Nagging can make them feel more stressed and makes failure to get a job worse.' Parents should also look out for their children's mental health - logging changes to eating and sleeping patterns - and encourage them to see a doctor if necessary.
The manual also offers guidance to the young people, with tips like getting rid of 'compromising photos' posted on the Internet in case potential employers search for job candidates' names online.
The guide - available at www.direct. gov.uk/graduates - said parents should not dismiss children's ideas but encourage them to have realistic goals.
'People often pursue careers such as this (acting or scriptwriting) alongside a job, so encourage them to get a job to increase their independence so they can support themselves on their dream path,' the guide said.
New graduates could find they have to put plans for top jobs on hold in the current economic climate, the guide said, warning that some may earn lower wages than imagined. It also lists the different options available to new graduates, including paid or unpaid internships, work experience and relatively menial jobs.
Some advice for parents
* Allow children to relax once they graduate, but only for a few weeks.
* Encourage them to get a job.
* Make them do their own washing and ironing.
* Empty the fridge of student-friendly snacks.
* Cut back on handouts.
Look out for their mental health - log changes to eating and sleeping patterns - and encourage them to see a doctor if necessary.
* Nag. It might work in some circumstances, but otherwise it can stress out young people and make the situation worse if they fail to get a job.
* Be too supportive and make life too comfortable for the children at home.
* Dismiss their ideas. However, do encourage them to have realistic goals.
When God grants you Your Wish, Hes Punishing YOU.