I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I have raised 3 spoiled, entitled kids. It was unknowingly, and certainly unwantingly, but still it happened. Matt and I have noticed lately that our kids seem to think themselves very deserving of…well, everything. It’s a real slap in the face too, because we’ve made them work hard, spoken often of the value of hard work and smart spending, and have disciplined them regularly. But, they have literally never had a need for anything and have wanted for almost nothing. Haley just had her 8th birthday in which she could not think of anything she wanted for a present. What??? Can you ever remember a birthday where you didn’t have a laundry list of wants? On one hand this can sound very nice, because the Bedlington kids have no desire for things they wont use, but there still are quite a few expectations. Ms. Haley certainly expected a party with all of her friends of whatever theme and excursion she decided on. Braden thinks nothing of letting me know he needs new cleats or that he need yet another set of mallets for band. And Britt sure enough thinks that us only paying for half of her car for her sweet 16 this month is a rip off, because many kids she knows gets not only a car having put no money into it themselves, but new ones at that.
So when they are told they actually can’t have something, they are in shock. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are told no all the time. No, your not allowed to have a TV in your room, or no you will not get your own computer, but we say yes way more than no. We’ve set some boundaries, but Matt and I have been so busy giving our kids what we never had, that in some senses we’ve raised kids who think nothing to ask for more. Then when the answer is simply, “we can’t do that” or “do you think we are rich?” we see the selfish, ungrateful, spoiled side come out. The narcissist rears it’s ugly head, and then we are arguing with them and they look at us like we are the crazy ones getting upset for no reason. “I can’t believe you are making such a big deal about this”. It’s exhausting.
Did we do everything wrong? No, but I think we did a big disservice giving our kids as much as we have and not making them understand our sacrifices to get them there quite enough. I don’t want them to feel like they have to worry about asking for every little thing, but a bit more gratefulness would be quite nice right about now. The problem is, I think, as parents we want our kids to get the party they want, the car they want, the gift they want. On one hand, I think I’m ready to quit asking. If I don’t ask, I feel like they would be grateful for what they got. Because as sure as you ask them, they think they deserve everything they ask for.
It’s a tough balancing act, and all I know is, Matt and I don’t have it figured out.