Today, an epidemic threatens American children. Encouraged by parents who fret over their supposed delicateness more than they challenge their inherent strength, these children may be doomed to remain children forever. Where sixty years ago, the greatest generation overcame the odds and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps after the Great Depression, kids today show signs of becoming generation “me.”
A few years ago as I sat folding laundry for four for the first time, I woke up to this stark reality. I realized that I was not empowering my daughters to become the successful adults I know they can be. Instead, I coddled them in a childlike state where, I realized, I kind of wanted them to remain. That isn’t REALLY what I wanted for them, but in the moment, it was what felt good. To care for them and protect them. To do nice things for them. To give of myself for the people I love. These actions in and of themselves are not detrimental, but the day can easily come when, in doing these things, we deprive our children of their independence.
I realized that it was time for me to rethink how I approach parenting. There are so many things that I want my children to be, do and have but I can’t do it for them. They need the skills to do it themselves. It starts with being appreciative of what we have so that our children will be appreciative of what they have. None of us is perfect, but we can all do better.
What is one way you are working to tame entitlement in your children?