Mothers, do you sometimes feel like you have the Burger King logo around your neck because your kids expect you to make it their way; right away? Do you ever feel more like a cab driver and a short order cook then the queen of the castle? Is that the way it should be?
So many kids nowadays grow up with the idea that they deserve the best their parents can afford (or not afford). This entitled attitude ends up hurting our kids in the long run.
Let’s consider life back on the farm. About 100 years or more ago, parents were grateful for each of their kids because the more kids they had the more hands there were to help on the farm. If you were to ask one of those kids how he or she was a benefit to the family, the kid could easily come up with a list of several duties they performed each day on the farm to help support the family.
What kind of answers would we get today if we were to ask our kids what benefit they bring to the family? Could they say, my parents are lucky to have me as a kid because I do the laundry, mop the floors, and have dinner ready for them when they get home every night? Could they say, my parents are lucky to have me because I take care of the car completely so they never need to worry about cleaning it or getting the oil changed? Could they say that they take care of the family pets and always clean up after them without being asked? If the answer is “no” to all of these questions, then we may be sending the wrong message to our kids.
Love and Logic encourages parents to take care of themselves by not allowing their kids to take advantage of them. For instance, rather than a parent nagging the kids to clean up after themselves, he or she could say, “I will be glad to cook dinner when the house is clean.” Rather than the parent feeling like a taxi driver he or she could say, “I’ll be glad to take you to the places you want to go when I feel like you are contributing to the family.”
Parents that say things like this send messages to their kids that they need to pull their own weight in life. Parents like this raise kids who value the things they receive rather than complain if it’s not the latest and the greatest. Parents like this help their kids overcome the plague of entitlement that is sweeping across the youth of America.
Thanks for reading.
Shiloh Lundahl, LCSW, is a child and family therapist in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona. He is the founder of Parent Arizona and Counseling Services and is part of the Arizona Family Institute.
He provides parenting classes using the Love and Logic curriculum, classes for parents of children with ADHD, step-parenting classes, and advanced trainings for foster and adoptive parents. He also provides in-home therapy in Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Chandler, and Tempe, Arizona.