Entitlement Parenting?

28 Feb


Toad, Babygirl, and two of their friends checking out the snow couch.

I keep seeing 10 and 12 year old’s with cell phones.

I know a 13 year old who gets anything she wants.

I know of a 10 year old who has been getting up and playing video games at any point in time during the night that he wants, even if it’s on a school night.

I know teens who drink only soda and who get mad at their parents when they try to push water on them. I know teens whose parents supply them with alcohol (a sip, I get, but letting your 14 year old have a wine cooler? Not okay.).

I am related to a young woman who has never gotten her license, nor had a job, who is currently pregnant, and who has no real inclination to better her situation. Who is paying for the baby for the foreseeable future? The state.

And yet I’m the one who gets looked at like a strict parent. One parent, who’s 10 year old child refuses to eat anything else for lunch except a Lunchable, had wide eyes when I said that I make my children try every lunch on the menu at school, and that if they don’t like it I make them a home lunch which consists of a sandwich and assorted good snacks. And if they don’t happen to like whatever sandwich I send them with, unfortunately that’s all they’re getting. (Babygirl is getting into a habit where she ONLY wants one specific type of turkey. Um, not happening.)

I’m not a perfect parent. I know I have a lot of things to work on. For instance if I’m in a crabby mood I tend to snap way too quickly, and I don’t spend as much time as I should, as I want to, playing with them. But I do know that my children are not going to grow up feeling as though they’re entitled.

The kids and I were going shopping for school clothes last August when a good friend of mine commented that I should enjoy the fact that I can take them to Wal*Mart now, before they grow older and refuse to wear anything that’s that cheap.

My answer was that when they grow older and it’s time to shop for clothing, they’ll go to the store that we bring them to and they’ll pick out the clothing that they like from that store. If they refuse to shop there, they will deal with the clothing that *I* pick out for them, or they’ll save their money up and purchase what they want on their own.

Does that sound cruel? When you add to the fact that I have no objection to any outfits that they put together, as long as they’re covered in the right places and wear the appropriate clothing when we have to go out somewhere nice (which happens RARELY!) or when they have a concert or something, I don’t feel that it’s cruel at all.

My mother did the best that she could, and she gave me as much freedom as she could. I still remember being furious with her, though, when I was 16 and she wouldn’t buy me a car. One of my friend’s fathers had purchased her a used vehicle, and I thought it was completely unfair that my mother wouldn’t buy me one. She would, however, match whatever amount of money I managed to save up to help me purchase my own car, but that didn’t seem like a good deal at the time. I remember saying that I would buy any child I had their own vehicle.

Now, as a mom, there’s no way I’m doing that. No Way. My 10 year old still occasionally feels like the Wii is a right, not a privilege. We’re doing everything we can to help our children to learn that while we enjoy having all of the things that we do, they weren’t given to us. Dad and Mom work very hard to make sure that we have a roof over our heads and that we can enjoy little things, like going out to McDonalds every once in awhile.

For even though I wanted my mother to buy me a car when I was a teenager (and obviously having some sort of a hormone-fueled fit), I knew what the value of a dollar was. I didn’t even think to ask to go to prom because I knew my mother wouldn’t have the money to get me a dress. I got my first real job when I was 17, working at AMES. I would’ve probably worked when I was 16 except that in our small town there were no jobs available, no matter how often I checked (when you have a town that has only two stores and one drug store, jobs are hard to come by if you’re a teenager). That was when my mother trusted me enough to use her car to drive 15 minutes away to where the store was. And, I might add, in order to be able to drive the car I had to pay my own insurance on it.

I remember living in an apartment while I was in college and being unable to afford to eat anything other than ramen or eggs. We didn’t have cable, we never went out, and the highlight of our month was when a friend would bring over steaks to cook.

Both Scott and I know the value of a dollar, and even though we tend to spoil our children a bit when it’s their birthday or Christmas, we’re doing our best to raise our children so that they don’t feel entitled.

So many of the teenagers I’m meeting today, however, do feel entitled. They act as though everything should come to them and that they shouldn’t have to work for it. And you know who’s to blame for this, right? It’s not society, it’s not the fact that they were raised during Dumbass Bush’s reign, it’s generally 100% the parents fault.

Parents, please start raising your children. You CAN be a friend of theirs and a parent at the same time. It’s possible. If you want to get your child a cell phone, fine, do it. But if they start acting completely disrespectful, calling you names or getting into trouble at school? You should have no problem yanking it and any other privileges that they have.

Remember: if you parent your child to become a respectful, responsible adult, you’re helping the entire world to become a better place.

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3 Responses to “Entitlement Parenting?”

  1. Tracey February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    My daughter has recently gotten into the brands..then has a closet full of clothes (Walmart, Target & occasional on sale items from JcPenneys) she complains she has NOTHING to wear wants me to pick it out ONLY to fuss it isn’t what she wants. Ive threatened to give ALL her clothes away and replace them with school uniforms (our school doesnt have to wear them) that way SHE would have NO choice in the matter.

    Kids will go as far as you let them go. If you give them an inch they want a mile. Just have to know when to pull the Emergency Brake!

  2. scootersbabygirl February 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    NICE!!! And I’d make sure it was an ugly uniform too LOL.

  3. pinkpiddypaws February 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Preach it sister!!!! (says the woman with no kids but sees exactly what you are talking about from so many kids)

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