Over the summer I found myself repeatedly having “fights” with my children over MY car. Ever since they learnt to drive and got their licenses, there seems to be some assumption on their part that my car has become our car and they are entitled to use it whenever they want. One day I read the riot act when they had the audacity to “vex” because I needed to send the car for repairs and they had plans (without my knowledge by the way) to use the car. To be honest I was quite livid not just with them but also with myself. How did it get to this stage where they feel it’s their right to use my car whenever they want? Anyway thankfully being the great children that they are, they adjusted immediately. Now they ask to see how I can incorporate them in my plans. Oh and by the way, since there is a responsibility that comes with “having a car”, I make them fuel the car sometimes (from their pocket money) when they need to use it.
It’s this entitlement mentality that I’d like us to discuss. Sharing experiences with friends from my generation, we typically had similar upbringing irrespective of individual family financial status. Of course there were a few exceptions but generally our parents made it clear that we were entitled to the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, education and any other thing they believed would prepare us to be independent and productive adults. In many cases this included being expected to read and do well in school; do household chores without being reminded; being held responsible for our choices & actions and disciplined to curtail any bad behavior. Almost every other thing was a privilege!
Something tells me that because we had what we considered “strict” upbringings we decided to be more “sympathetic and understanding” than our parents by pampering, overindulging and over sheltering (physically and emotionally) our children. The result is a generation of entitled children who expect their parents to satisfy their every whim.
The dictionary defines an entitlement mentality as a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe that privileges are instead rights, and that they are to be expected as a matter of course.
Entitled children believe that simply by being born, their parents owe them what they need to have a pleasant, fun-filled life with minimal stress and effort on their part. The fact that majority of parents suffer from the “trophy children” syndrome has further exacerbated the situation. Failure to deliberately address this entitlement mentality issue will result in breeding a generation of adults that are ill prepared for life. Rather than put in the required effort to be productive, they will live life expecting someone to pick up their tab and cater to their every need – Unfortunately the real world doesn’t work like that!
Children will be who they are – children! They want to be babied and pampered and a good number of them have learnt how to push our “mumu” buttons to get what they want. It’s our duty as parents to raise them to be responsible and productive adults. As long as we keep granting their desires irrespective of what is in their best interest on the long run, we are aiding and abetting the entitlement mentality.
Enough said for now. In our next posts we will discuss further on this entitlement mentality issue. Please share your views and be a part of this discussion and other insightful parenting tips and gist. Also follow our blog – www.parentinvestment.com, invite your friends, send us your comments & contributions. Let’s join hands to make the necessary parenting investments that would continue to yield positive returns in our children’s lives.