My youngest daughter (she is the Cat in NieCat) shared a story with me last week that shocked me. She showed me a teenage girl who was very upset with her parents. You see her parents had given her a car. Her issue? the car they gave her was not the car she wanted. Here is the shocker, her parents purchased a LEXUS for her, her gratitude statement towards her parents was: “that is not even the car I wanted!” Well, I guess when Cat shared this story with me, she knew what I was going to say. How did this teenager become so ungrateful? Your parents buy you a car, a LEXUS no less, and the first thing that comes out of your mouth are words of dissatisfaction!!!!!! How does that happen? She was not born being ungrateful, something in her up bringing empowered her to feel as she does.
Here is the lesson for today. When we give our children things without reason or without them earning them, it gives our children a sense of entitlement. That may be cute at first when they are babies and toddlers but as they become teenagers, this will be a serious challenge that the parents are going to have to deal with!
Children MUST earn their keep, said a very wise man who raised 5 children in a Brooklyn apartment in Coney Island! This Great man (My Dad) made sure these children earned everything they had, and I do mean everything. To get allowance we had to do work around the house. I had to iron his shirts and we took turns doing everyone’s laundry downstairs in the laundromat. When we received good grades we got paid for them. We had a contract that specified exactly what our responsibilities were, our rewards as well as our consequences. Earning an A got you the BIG $$$, earning a B was also a good thing, a C earned you about a dollar and there was no way you could have brought a D or an F to 11H (that was the apartment number). The 5 of us are now grown and we all have children of our own. Believe it or not, for some of us, our children have children of their own.
I don’t know about my siblings but NieCat (my girls), understand that if they want something out of me they have to earn it. You have to earn your keep! Even my GrandHon (11 months) is learning that if she wants me to pick her up, she has to crawl towards me. Why you ask? They are only children you say! Why do you have to be so tough? You mention. Well, let us please remember that in this world, you have to earn your keep. You can’t get something for nothing, well, you can but it will probably not turn out good at the end. I wanted my girls to understand that hard work pays off. No one is going to give them a hand out! They must work, and the first job they had was keeping their room clean, that didn’t work very well, but at least they understood that in order to have privileges their room had to pass inspection! Those were the good all days!
Parents, please consider not giving your children EVERYTHING they want. Set goals, and once they achieve those goals, then, they can be rewarded with things.