Our post-college graduates are not as grown up as we think we were at that age. That was one of the messages from this New York Times story "What Is It About 20-Somethings? The signs of change: They are marrying later than we did. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s was 21 for women and 23 for men. By 2009, it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men.
The article also pointed out that, as we wait for the mature-enough-to-marry stage, we give them more help--practical and advisory--than we got when we were their age. A survey by Karen Fingerman asked parents of 20-something children whether they provided their grown sons or daughters practical assistance (money or help with everyday tasks) in the previous month. In 2008, two out of three parents said they had. Twenty years ago, only one in three parents had. We're also more generous with advice, companionship and an attentive ear: 86 percent of today's parents reported they had provided advice and the like in previous month; less than half did so in 1988.
Then there's data gathered by the Network on Transitions to Adulthood. It finds that American parents--rich, poor and in-between-- give 10 percent of their income to their 18- to 21-year old children.
This is not meant to be a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses moment--for measuring what you do against what others do. But it's interesting to have a date-driven perspective on how we're treating our 20-somethings, compared to the way our parents treated us--on average.