Ruben Navarrette, a columnist for the San-Diego Union Tribune, wrote an article about a growing sense of entitlement that much of the country has in general, but kids in particular.
He is so right on with this! Kids do think that they are special, just because their parents tell them they are. Kids do think that they should just be given things, without really having to work for them or earn them. Kids do think that “good enough” is, well, good enough. It’s not.
If everyone is special, then no one is special… we’d all be mediocre. If you’re always just given something, you don’t appreciate its true value. Good enough translates to “I did the bare bones minimum to get by, and I should be praised for my efforts, even so.”
We’ve become a society where we spend much of our time looking the other way. We don’t get involved if something is wrong, and we don’t think too much about how we affect others.
I can’t change the world, but I can help make it a little bit better by raising my children properly. I am trying my best to be consistent and fair. (Rich is far better at being consistent than I am.) I don’t always get it right, but I’m trying. If my kids say I am being mean, or they don’t like the way I parent (for real, I’ve heard that one) I figure I’m doing a decent job. I am proud to be a mean mom. The world needs more of us.
My kids have each thrown one temper tantrum. One. Mom & Dad’s appropriate responses ensured it did not happen ever again.
My kids know how to treat their elders with respect. They have been taught appropriate responses to “It’s nice to meet you” or “How are you?”
My kids know how to write a thank you note. (And they do for every gift they receive.)
My kids have been taught how to properly set a table and, I am hopeful, how to properly eat a meal there.
My kids are being taught to clean up after themselves; to clear their own plates, to put away their own clothes, to make their own beds, to clean their bathroom… (OK, that one’s still a work in progress.)
My kids will be allowed to fail or make mistakes sometimes, so that they can learn from them. (This one is really hard for me.)
My kids have chores and they earn a small, age appropriate amount of money each week.
My kids have good manners and I am not embarrassed to be seen with them in public.
When my kids do misbehave or make a bad choice, they are corrected appropriately and consistently.
My kids are learning how to celebrate a win without being cocky and take a loss with good sportsmanship.
My kids are not my friends. They are my responsibility and my job. I don’t care if they don’t like me, they know I love them.
My hope is that they grow up to be mean parents too.