Are we teaching our children a sense of entitlement
February 7, 2007 12:58am CST
When I was growing up and wanted something special I had to wait for my birth day, or Christmas or had to work for the money to purchase it myself. I learned the art of delayed gratification and the value of a dollar because I had to work for what I wanted. I also learned to take care of my things because I knew what they were worth. Children today believe that everything can just be replaced, i.e. I broke my new toy oh well mommy will get me a new one. They think they should have any thing and everything they want when they want it. I have worked in the schools and seen this behavior first hand from K-12 grades. I wonder if in wanting to give our children more than we had are we giving them a sense of entitlement? I think we are spoiling our children as a nation and that we are not preparing them for adulthood. I have seen seniors in high school who believe that they are entitled to a new car for graduation. I remember my parents giving me a diamond necklace for graduation It probably cost 100 dollars and I was thrilled to get my first real diamond. At last years grad ceremony I watched some friends give their daughter a diamond necklace only to hear her say what no car? I was grateful for the gift my parents gave me and would have never dreamed of being so disrespectful to my parents. Let alone being that ungrateful. Can any one else identify?
• United States
7 Feb 07
Boy if I had dared to say that to my parents after getting a diamond necklace I would have been in serious trouble. I wouldn't have that necklace or the car or anything else. It's not just the parents though, it's society. They send out the message that things are to be replaced right away, that you have to have the latest gizmos, and that as you reach certain ages you should be given certian things and if you don't like what you do have well just complain you'll get what you want. If you don't have those things there must be something wrong with your family is also a message society sends out to force parents to go get these things. A few years ago I watched an episode of Brandy (it wasn't a long lived show) but in it her father gave her a brand new Saturn and she was upset. It wasn't the type of car she wanted. It was fully loaded and brand new and she complained. It wasn't "cool". So the father agreed to return it and he'd put that money towards the car she wanted but she'd have to make up the difference. The girl should have been thrilled to get a car period, let alone a brand new one. It's things like this though that sends messages to these kids that makes them think they shouldn't be grateful for what they are given. Yes some parents are to blame, I won't deny that at all. If little johnny says he wants something the parents go out and get it or as soon as something comes out that's new and improved they rush out to buy it to surprise him with. The fact that he has a perfectly good model at home doesn't matter. Then they wonder why the kid isn't grateful for anything, doesn't respect what he owns, and doesn't understand the concept of money. I don't know if there are any easy solutions to fixing it but one thing is for sure, explain to your kids that you can't have everything when you want. That they have to wait or earn the money themselves. Maybe they will learn to appreciate things better that way.
• United States
26 Feb 07
my daughter who is almost 12 has had to wait for the holidays and birthdays to get something she wants as long as she can remember, she has also been very good at earning her own money, to get things she wants, last spring she decided she wanted a swimming pool for the back yard, and found out how much it would be to put it on layaway, she already had collected a huge amount of aluminum cans and we took her to sell them, she then put the pool on layaway and continued on a daily basis to walk (with one of us) up and down our roads around our house and local area picking up cans, once a week, we made the trip into town to sell her cans and then we would go to the store and she put the whole amount on the pool untilone day, the weekend before school was out, she finally got to take it home with her, she has since then, used the money she earns from picking up aluminum cans to buy alot ot her own clothes, shoes, movies, cd's and other non-necessities she wanted, she continues to walk on a weekly basis with one of us and pick up cans when it is warm enough, it has been very cold here lately or very rainy, so I expect that the next time we get to go, when the weater dries up, that she will bring in a good load, so yes she has to work for what she gets, by the way she was told years ago that the only way she will ever get a car is that she will have to pay for it herself, because I will not go into debt for one, not that I don't love my daughter, but We are not a rich family.