Isn't it amazing that we have all contributed to a society of kids and even adults who feel that they are owed something. On any given day you can find a little human barely entering middle school being handed the latest and greatest new tablet or iTechy thing. I must admit that I too am on occasion guilty of wanting my kids to have something fresh and new to be able to get the (as my family would say) "yerrrr luuucky" card. I mean at some basic level we have ALL went through that stage. When I was in school it was Pepe and Lawman jeans that were the latest and greatest. Boy am I glad that my parents made me work and earn my own money to get them. If you would have asked me then I would have told you that I was severely mistreated and that all my friends were the lucky ones. Not to say that my friends who got them back then weren't lucky. I just appreciate now more then ever how hard it must have been for my parents to just get the basics and still be able to get me ANY school clothes at all.
I seem to hear a lot of people preaching about "all these kids who seem to have this sense of entitlement" nowadays. And yes, maybe some kids flash it a little more vividly but in reality the majority of kids "nowadays" have some level of the entitlement badge that they so proudly wear. And...I'm gonna lose a few of you right here...IT'S YOUR FAULT! It's MY FAULT!! The more I look at it from an objective point of view I realize that we all give our kids entitlement. We have become a society or reaping rewards for every "well done!" We have become exactly what we are complaining that "society has become." Now hey, I am super proud that I have one successful adult raised and doing great in life right now. But he and I had a discussion not too long ago about how back when he was a kid and birthdays and Christmas's would roll around he really didn't have it so bad after all. But I can remember MANY a Christmas's and birthdays when I felt like I wished I could have given him so much more. Because at the time I had in some way failed to solidify that any gifts were a blessing (in his mind AND in mine.) It's sad, really, because I realize now that you set them up for disappointment in one way or another when you do that. As you become an adult, the Christmas presents and birthday cards and gifts taper off. Life would be so much easier for all of us if we started at a very early age with our children to teach them to consistently sacrifice something in order to gain something else. Like purging some toys the first week of December before any new ones arrive. Buying 1 gift with their Christmas or birthday money and putting it up as a reward for a future "atta boy/girl" moment. I mean isn't that the way it works as an adult? You have to sacrifice for a period of time to be able to enjoy something you really want and THAT YOU HAD TO BUY WITH YOUR OWN MONEY!! It is ideas like this that will give your children a taste of seeing themselves through the eyes of their own children one day.
Not everyone is going to agree with this. But I think a great number of you will.
And I am sure that all of us also do some form of the things I mentioned above but is that the majority of the time? Or only on occasion? Not too long ago my daughter and I moved into a small apartment. For me, it was a happy step in a life cycle change. We got the items we had in storage and because it had been a few months she had forgotten about some of her toys. When we got them I sat down with her and we purged. She is 4. We filled 2 bags, a little doll house and a tote of princess mega blocks and took them to a local Goodwill. She had a hard time at first being accepting of the idea but when I showed her the 1/2 we still had and explained that somewhere someone else would have so much fun with her toys and things she was super stoked to give them away. I'm not telling you this to get a back pat, my only point is that it's been a few months and she hasn't missed NOT one of those things. I am trying every day to teach her the value in being kind. The value in being grateful for the blessings we have. The fact is that there is no greater blessing to bestow than our character to others- strangers, friends or acquaintances. I've thought about setting a spending limit this Christmas and taking 1/2 of that amount and allowing JAC to go "shopping" for another person or child. I want to teach her early that you can always find happiness in very little if you focus on the happiness instead of the "very little."
You are entitled to do the same.