Entitlement: How Did We Get To This Place & What Do We Do Now?
I-Pods, MP3 Players, PS II’s, Game Boys, cell phones, the newest cars. It’s what kids have. Not cheap, not used, not affordable, and yet many kids have them. And most young adults can’t imagine life without them. What has happened to create this sense of entitlement and how do we as parents set some limits?
It seems as if it has progressively gotten worse, from the time we became more electronic to now. First it was 8 tracks, cassettes, then CD’s, DVD’s, now the opportunity to download almost anything to anything. And every kid wants more and more. In fact, most of these kids have “more” than their parents. And now we are hearing more and more about it. Recently Oprah Winfrey chose to build a school in South Africa because of her frustration with USA students wanting more and more. It is sad that baby Boomer and Generation X parents set this into motion, failed to instill in our children the appreciation for more than monetary and material possessions. In our want to help our children, we have given too much, done too much, and created people who are “entitled” in their expectations. And in doing so, we may have set them back in their growth of values, morals, and ethics.
So what do parents need to do to stop the materialism and the sense that, “Since everyone else has it, I deserve it, too”? Start by saying, “No!”! Okay, I know this is difficult because we want life to be better for our children than we had it. Isn’t that why we worked so hard, to be able to give to our children? Sure it is, BUT when we give too many “things”, we rob them of the chance of earning for themselves. Where is the sense of accomplishment if there is no effort on their part? Where is their pride if they have no investment? As parents, we are doing our children a huge injustice by giving them too much, by paying their bills, by showering them with all the things we think they want.
Some of our children may have moved through the school system when “Just Say No” was a part of the drug and alcohol training and education. Maybe we as parents need to take a course in that. Just say “No” to giving without seeing investment from the child. Just say no; let the child get a job, or two, and earn his/her way. Just say no and give our children the opportunity to earn their dignity through hard work. Praising by giving when it is not earned only undermines our children’s sense of accomplishment.
In our desire to make our children’s lives easier, we may have actually made them harder. If we give them everything they ask for while they live in our homes, what will happen when they leave? We will either support them forever or they will become forever attached to a maxed-out credit card in their search to provide for themselves and fill their hearts with “things”. However, if we begin to take back control, limit our giving to non-material things, and encourage them to earn, we allow them the chance to re-gain their dignity, we gift them with the opportunity to become invested in their own success, and we permit the pride of ownership to be born.Tags: entitlement, stopping materialism
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor
Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist
- Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.
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