Yeah I come from that generation. The take, take, me, me, mine, mine, now, now generation.
There's a lot of history (I blame YUPPIES *wink*) as to why a lot of folks my age and younger have this sense of entitlement but I'll just say this: our parents really wanted us to have what they didn't have. This was a blessing and a curse.
Thankfully we now have freighter ship loads of parenting books to help us not to swim into the deep end of parenting and let our own children grow up to feel as though they deserve such and such right now just because.
Thankfully with this recession we are able to tell kids, "No you may not have that new Nintendo Wii Fit just because you got an A+ on your Microbiology quiz even though you're only 8-years-old," a lot easier.
And thankfully we've got people like Karen Deerwester around to write awesome books with practical tips on how to raise children with the, "Me, mine, now" attitude called, The Entitlement Free Child.
But what is an Entitlement Child and how do I get them to become an Entitlement-Free Child?
An Entitlement Child is one who thinks they should have a cell phone just because everyone else and their dog has one at school. They are the child who got a D on their paper and blames the teacher - they're too difficult. It is the child who breaks their friends toy and doesn't feel any sort of remorse or responsibility. They are that kid. A parent's worse nightmare. The Veruca Salt to Roal Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Entitlement Free Child is the one who asks what they can do to earn a cell phone. The child who will not only own the responsibility of not getting a good grade on a test but a find a way to do better next time - fix the mistake so that it doesn't happen again. It is the child who will tell their parents that they broke their friend's toy and wants to figure out what they can do to fix and how they will tell their friend. They are the Charlie - who does go into the Bubble Room and flies around with good ole Grandpa but owns up to at the end and rides the glass elevator. The angel child. The child that all parents wish they had.
So how do we get to that point?
Well Deerwester gives plenty of examples of "Entitlement issues" such as "my son says he hates me whenever I tell him to do his chores" and then provides Entitlement-Free Perspectives" like not trying to convince your child that you are right, particularly when emotions are high or help your child identify constructive alternatives to reactive behavior.
Or other examples like allowances - should I give my child an allowance? Or how do I handle a tantrum in public?
Whatever the issue Deerwester's book contains great advice and perspectives on how we should parent our children today. Now I'm not saying every parent should get off their tucus and go out, buy this book, and take it as the gospel. If you buy this book, read it - read it again and write down notes THEN see if it's really something that you could use for your daily life. The ultimate goal is to have a family and future where everyone can connect their feelings and thoughts to their choices and actions - where they are able to see the world from many perspectives; think before reacting, where the children become problem solvers and leaders.
But don't forget parents it's YOUR job to raise the Entitlement-Free Child - they don't just get shipped to your door from Stork, Inc. The parent too has to get rid of any sense of entitlement to be able to raise one. And I think that's a real downfall these days with the go-go parents; always on the go - much easier to find a quick fix than to really take the time to parent.
For me a lot of the perspectives Deerwester mentioned were already common knowledge for me but I'm thinking it's because I've been exposed to so many different types of families around the world and cared for so many different types of children. I'm not saying that I'm Super Nanny or a parenting expert but I have enough data to make some pretty sound judgements when it comes to raising the Bambino.
When he's old enough to take out the garbage - he'll be taking out the garbage but not because I will have ordered him to do so. He'll do it because he will realize that he's not just doing a chore but making a contribution to our household and children love to feel as though they do something to make their home. Humans love to feel as though they are doing their part for the greater good.
Anyway, The Entitlement Free Child, is a great parenting reference book but I really only suggest it for the parents who have really lost their way. Otherwise everything in there is pretty much common sense.
And now onto the Giveaway!!!!!!
The awesome PR Peeps for the book and Mom Select were kind enough to pick me to read, review and giveaway a copy of the book so here I go..... :o)
How to Enter:
Leave a comment and be sure to leave an e-mail address I can reach you at if you win.
The contest runs from today, November 10, 2009 until next Friday, November 20, 2009.
Oh and for FTC purposes - this is a sponsored post however all opinions expressed in this post are solely mine - MINE!!!