DEAR JERKASS: My 18-year-old daughter has just graduated from high school. She has now informed me that she's not going on to college, like we had previously discussed, and becomes upset when we try to talk to her. My question is, should we let her make her own decision about this -- and pay for it for the rest of her life -- or continue to push her into some kind of life skill set? -- LIFE SKILLS IN MISSOURI
DEAR IVORY TOWER WANNABE: Why not let her try prostitution. It is the worlds oldest profession...
How about a trade school? If she chooses college she'll probably be edged towards taking "Gender Studies" by her peers, and subsequently dye her hair, demand she be called xhe, and end up working at a stream of coffee shops without ever trying to pay back all those school tuition's because socialism should "make it free".
Or she could learn a trade and start earning money. Since you don't live in San Fransisco, where you need to make over $100,000 a year to live comfortably you won't need a $100,000 job (although sergeants in the police dept there do make that).
You live in Missouri, and the Living Wage Calculator for a single person to live comfortably is $18,629 a year. If she becomes a single mom, it's $37,916 a year.
Here are some blue collar jobs that would do well for her:
Brick Layer $45,000
Chemical Plant Operator $40,000
Dental Hygienist $62,000
Locomotive Engineer $62,000
Personal Trainer $53,000
Police officer $50-100,000
What? Even a Food Preparation & Serving Related position would give her $18,830, and there's no Gender Studies degree needed.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: your job as a parent is to make sure that the kid is able to survive on their own before they reach voting age. If you think she's failed already then even though it's your fault, it isn't your responsibility. Stop trying to force the high horse intellectual smug superiority that you're only worthwhile if you go to college, or you'll never succeed without it.
I'd even go so far as to tell every parent to get their kids through a trade school first, and then pursue their dreams, so they will at least have a fallback to survive on.
But maybe that's just me, and maybe I'm just better than you.
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Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.