Those of you that know me, know that every year I take my family on vacation, usually to a warm beach in Mexico over Christmas break.
This year we decided against it and the reason was that my three spoiled teenage kids don’t seem to appreciate it. Did I mention “spoiled kids”? Ungrateful, also comes to mind. One to two-week Mexican vacations are not cheap and would a few “thanks mom and dad” be too much to ask? Not when you’ve been made to feel entitled.
When I grew up, we drove to Sarasota, FL and stayed at the Days Inn and swam at that pool. It was great and I loved it! I think the first time I flew in a plane for my 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.. When was the first time you flew anywhere growing up?
I know we are not the only parents that have spoiled the heck out of our kids. Have you ever sat down and thought about all the things you do for your kids that you had to do for yourself growing up? How about all the stuff (electronics, clothes, shoes, etc.) they have that you would never have dreamed of having? Look around your house and their room if you need a reminder.
For example, many kids have a $600 iPhone. What was the first thing you owned that was worth $600 and how old were you when you got it? Do you think they appreciate it or feel entitled to it since all their friends have one too?
The first thing I remember having that was valuable was a used car when I was a senior in college and unlike the iPhone, where parents pay their kids monthly usage bill, I had to pay for my own gas back in the day. I bet you did too!
Do you have kids that have played travel sports? (Travel Sports, Are they Worth the Price?) My partner pointed out that with your travel athlete, for those that are good enough to play in college, you are really pre-funding a year’s worth of college costs when you add in all the team fees, equipment, travel and lodging costs for the 10 plus years your son or daughter played travel ball. Our generation didn’t grow up with travel sports and we usually rode our bikes or walked to get where we wanted to go. My son’s talked me into buying more gloves, bats and accessories for baseball than I could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, like many parent’s, I’m still waiting for the full appreciation of all the time and money invested in that too. Time is also a huge factor. Most of our parents didn’t spend their days at soccer, volleyball or baseball tournaments. Never could have envisioned this is how parenting in the 2000’s would turn out. Yes, I’m more than a little frustrated.
Of course, my daughters have their “needs” too, including multiple pairs of UGG Boots. When my mother comes over and sees the ridiculous number of shoes we have she is in total disbelief. “Why do you need so many pairs of shoes”? She’s right. Again, when my wife and I grew up we wore our gym shoes until the sole was worn out or had a hole in it and we were perfectly fine with that.
Not all spoiling is monetary. How about all of us parents that drive our kids to school while we live less than a mile from away? Didn’t we move close to the school so they could walk? I know my neighbors and I are guilty.
When did all of this change? When did so many parents start spoiling there kids SO much?
Sorry for the ranting blog, but I felt like getting this off my chest. I’m guilty of spoiling the heck out of my kids and not particularly proud of it. In 2015, part of my resolution is to purposely cut back on spoiling my kids and try to slow down the sense of entitlement I have helped create. Is it too late to reprogram them to appreciate their parents a little bit? I could use some suggestions by parents that are going or have gone through this with their teenagers. It is quite possible that this teenage phase is somewhat normal and to be expected and I am over reacting (I’ve been a little angry and feeling sorry for myself lately because I wasn’t sipping a cocktail on the beach in Mexico last week) to the sense of entitlement that I have created with my own children.
Your feedback is always appreciated.
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