Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Want It All and I Deserve It

I know, I should be posting on all our wonderful Christmas plans, traditions we have begun, and the REAL reason of the season, but something has been on my heart for a while and frankly, all my friends around here are probably tired of me ranting about it. So, I thought I would share with my blog friends. I know, The Park Wife on her soapbox again! Just indulge me, it is the holiday season. Oh wait, indulge…that is exactly what I want to talk about.

As the holiday season approached, I was in several stores and overheard many conversations between parents and children, heard many tantrums in the aisles over not getting what the kids wanted, and so many more things that disturbed me about the generation we are raising.It seems that young Americans in this day and age have a sense of entitlement that far exceeds those of previous generations. Where did this come from? How do I, as a mom who is trying to raise men of Godly character, guard against getting sucked into this? How do I, myself, guard against feeling this way?

Going into debt to buy Christmas gifts, making sure they have the latest fashions and gadgets just like their friend Suzie, making sure they get to play in a game the same amount of time as the other kids, oh the list goes on! We are hurting our children and society as a whole. We are not allowing our children to develop character. Instead we are raising kids who can not cope and have unrealistic expectations about life. We are sending the message that they deserve things for facing adversity. They feel entitled to getting things because their parents feel guilty. Believe it or not, children are very intuitive to our motives and learn how to manipulate at an early age, hence the tantrums in Wal-Mart, and absurd demands for large sums of money as a reward for doing nothing.

When I was young, we "tried out" for the school athletic teams. And only the best made it on. That's as it should be (and I'm sorry for the folks who are clumsy or otherwise unable to play sports well... but God gave you a separate set of gifts). Nowadays, everyone is "entitled" to play. In real life, the professional teams don't take everyone that tries out. We aren't rewarding excellence in those children who do exceptionally well at something (whether it's chess club, drama, sports or whatever). If we don't reward excellence, then why should anyone pursue it?

This does not just pertain to the 8-year-old in the electronics store not getting the latest greatest gadget or the kid on the soccer team who never showed up for practice and only a few games, but got a trophy for their “hard work and determination” during the season. I have heard repeatedly from many friends and family out in the workforce that workplaces are poisoned with attitudes and entitlement. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are accustomed to being served and do not know what real hard work is. They are never satisfied and do not understand why they are not being recognized for their minimal effort work. Where is their trophy for showing up? And, constructive criticism is not an option, their defenses go immediately ~ because of course, they know it all ~ isn't that what they have been allowed to believe their whole lives?

In organizations across the country, I bet you will hear:
"What have they done for me lately?"
"This company owes me more than this as an annual raise. After all, I put in my eight hours a day." (Never mind performance)
"They're not being fair."
“I just graduated college, I can’t believe they did not give me that CEO job of Google.”
“I deserve a publishing contract from the publisher I sent my completed novel to. I "tried out", didn't I? You mean everyone doesn't get to "play"?”
(Would you like a little cheese with that whine?)

It's no wonder that bankruptcy filings are up (you mean I'm not entitled to buy whatever I want? I can afford an $85,000 home, but I really wanted the $350,000 home, so I bought it. What do you mean they are going to foreclose?), crime is up (If you have it and I want it, I get to take it - whether that's your purse, your car, or your life), and work ethic is down, down, down (companies can hardly fire a substandard worker for fear of a lawsuit).

We're all different, with different gifts. I want to show our kids how to be the best they can be, not the best their neighbor can. But if we don't give them a reason to excel, why should they? We want them to know the difference between right and wrong.We want to show them how to do their best and to help them figure out their strengths. We want them to be hard workers, not mediocre, I showed up, reward-me-kind-of-people that refuse to take the blame when things go wrong and are always trying to take the praise for others hard work.

Our goal for the Buckaroos is not to make them happy by immediately gratifying their natural lusts; we want to build character. This is hard work and we don’t always get it right. We pray for the insight to be able to do this successfully for much depends upon it.

Thank you for INDULGING my soapbox rant.

The Park Wife


Anonymous said...

WOW! What a rant! But, I couldn't agree with you more! Those Buckaroos are going to grow up to be honest, hard-working kids (when I have some :O) are going to have some great cousins to look up to! Can't wait to see ya'll! Love you!

Anonymous said...

I hear you! You're "preachin' to the choir", here! lol! :D

Merry Christmas!

OKGardners said...

Parenting is not an easy job. It is really on-the-job training, as you have found out. You are doing a fine job of keeping it real for your sons. I am proud of you and your choices.

Love & Prayers,
Betty in Oklahoma

Lisa said...

I so agree, and I could have written the same posting myself. I see it in my own adult children. It just is a different society now than it was even 10-15 or 20 years ago. We certainly are living in a time of entitlements, but I think there will be some major changes coming soon, I think hard times are going to hit and some people just will not know how to deal with it! Poor them, but some of us will be fine! And I would like to think that will include me on the just fine list! Hard works pays off in so many ways!

Joni said...

I agree completely. Thank you for your courage & conviction. When I went overseas -- the younger people on my military team, only wanted to work 8 hr shifts & have weekends off -- my comment "We are in a combat zone not a mall. This firebase is 24 hr/7 day missions. We are not a democracy but are defending a democracy. Upon returning to the "world", I found the "ladies" in the office worried more about breaks, lunch, surfing the net & QVC then actually putting in a days work. You give me hope for the future & that what I did overseas was not in vain. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I so do agree with you. As a parent we don't realize it until it is to late.

Rachel M. said...

I totally agree with you. I have to catch myself sometimes to keep myself from worrying about the future of the United States. Worrying doesn't do any good, but prayer and strong moral leadership does. Raise up your sons to be leaders, because the world will soon need them!

Darlene said...

I'm not at all surprised at this generation's feeling of entitlement. I was in shock in the changes in the school from the time I went to the time my children started school.

By the time they were in high school they had the power. One day my girls came home from 7th grade and informed me that the teachers at school told them their rights and they should call social services if they didn't like what their parents did. They tried to tell me I had to do what they wanted or they would make that call. I told them "go ahead and call anytime you want. Social Services will remove you from this home and when they do you will NEVER come back." I never said anything to them that I didn't mean nor did I ever lie to them so they knew I meant it and I never heard another word.

If there is abuse, yes call. But not what the school was advising.

Sorry for the rant but I'm still angered by the schools behavior, then and now.

God bless and never doubt that homeschooling is the best way to go. I wanted to for my kids but there wasn't any info or supplies at the time. Thank God there is now!!

njskog said...

How well you said what I believe about today's atmosphere!! Wish there were more people like you in the world! Maybe we could get it back on the right track!

gtyyup said...

Howdy~~Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

You have an absolutely beautiful family.

You are sooooo "right on" with your rant...I sure wish the rest of America would "get it"...America is falling...falling...falling...I hope it can get on it's feet again, but without the right work ethic and respect for family, friends, neighbors as well as strangers it's going to be a long haul.

I don't have children...and actually would hate to be in your position as a parent raising a family in these times. But, you're doing something right when your Lil' Buckaroo comes out dressed for the "president position"...oh so cute and how fulfilling for you to see his decision making. You must be very proud.

Patriot said...

I think more of us agree with you than the media and politicians want us to believe. Keep standing up for what is right.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What you said is so true. I just wish more parents thought this way. I have a twenty year old son that I am very proud of. He understands that it isn't all about things and that you have to work for things you want.

C. Wright