Parenting Teens: The Future
By Betsy Gallup
In the future, parents won't send their teenagers off to summer camp or junior high. The states came up with a better plan. On a child's 12 1/2 birthday, Mom and Dad would help him pack his bag and take him to the local Adolescent Processing Center. I am not sure why they had to pack a bag, perhaps it was a comfort fact dealing more with feeling like they were just going away for a few days.
At the processing center, Mom would sit with a social worker and fill out papers. What kind of music does he like? What is his cats name? What is his career choice? For an extra fee, would you like to interface weekly family reports?
At the same time, Dad accompanies Son to a cubicle where two medical professional meet them. Son is given a physical, says good-bye to Dad and is taken from the room. Dad waits. Later, a woman in a pink jacket leads him down a hall to a viewing window. On the other side of the window are dozens of teen-agers, each cocooned in what resembled a large vial. Some wearing headphones, others had electrodes attached to their arms and legs. Their limbs would jump as an electrical current rushed through their bodies in an attempt to keep them from atrophying.
The woman points toward a vial to his left. There is Son, resting comfortably in his vial--his home for the next 6 1/2 years.
While there, Son would be fed an education, memories of the football games that he has won, although he never leaves his vial. He dates, has birthday parties, goes on family vacations, only these things are just memories. In the meantime, Mom and Dad don't have to worry about sexual promiscuity, failing grades, beer bashes, early pregnancy, college fees. Stasis is more cost effective than a traditional education.
The school system saves billions by only hiring teachers for grades 1-6, no extracurricular activities, no building maintenance for upper grade school buildings. In fact, those buildings were sold years ago.
Police forces are reduced, colleges are non-existent, unwanted pregnancies and abortions are down.
Health insurance rates go down, as parents are relieved of the stresses of raising teen-agers. Cases of high blood pressure have dropped by 75%, along with that is a reduction in heart problems, the use of tranquilizers, and hair lose.
When the adolescents have grown past that stage, they are brought out of stasis. They awaken with a full set of memories and a college diploma. Corporate recruiters meet them in the lobby; many will leave with a job. This was only a dream, but still, it all seems too logical. Is it a possible alternative for our future?