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An open letter to my children:
I think I have failed you. I think I have raised you with an entitlement gene that renders you incapable of actually working for things you desire.
I take full responsibly. I think that all parents want to give their kids more than what they had, but in doing so, I feel like I have handicapped you in ways that I couldn't foresee.
For example, you think that if you whine loudly enough that I will buy you anything, including a $25 personal blender. Why would a nine year old need a blender? When told no you fall completely apart and say things like "Why don't you love me?" or "I can't wait till my birthday, it's too long."
It's not even just things you WANT. It also an inability to clean up after yourself. It's like you feel entitled to make a mess and see who else can clean it. Or, worse yet, you act like you have no idea how to clean it up.
Middle and oldest told me they didn't know how to hand wash dishes because they've never done it before? Really, this is something that needs to be taught? It's not something you just know how to do?
Let's talk about the morning when the cat, dug all the liter out of her box and then peed on the floor. Did my oldest really think she could swifter that up?
The problem is so deeply rooted in our house that other than spending time on a missions trip, I'm not sure what to do.
My children think that $90 calculators should just be handed over. They think that if they rip their favorite jean shorts from Justice they should immediately be replaced. They think that expensive blenders are toys.
Maybe giving everyone a trophy even if they suck is a bad idea. Maybe rewarding everyone makes everyone believe they deserve to be rewarded. Maybe in an effort to preserve everyone's self esteem, we have created generations of children who think the world owes them something just for being in the world.
Don't get me wrong, if given enough time, my kids can figure out how to wash the dishes or clean the cat crap. They can clean the van or pick up their room. They can help paint the fence and vacuum the living.
So what's the problem, you ask? After they do it, they seem to think that because they did what needed to be done that there should be some type of reward, that there should be a trophy.
I worry that when that trophy, or that pat on the back or that "way to go" doesn't come, they will feel dismissed and unvalued.
And I blame myself.
- I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.