Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Parenting / Society
"I want to give my kids what I didn't have."
This statement can be heard from many parents from the Generation X crowd. Society gives kids trophies for just showing up. Hard work is eliminated in lieu of removing competition from sports, games, and life.
"We don't want to harm their self-esteem." Are you kidding? Competition, success and failure, is what creates self-esteem.
Now these children have grown up feeling entitled to first place when they did not bother to even sign up for the marathon.
These quasi adults cannot function. Coping skills have never been taught to them. They skate through life living in their parents home without jobs or responsibilities.
The role of the parent is not to give a child everything you didn't have; parents are supposed to give their children the tools, emotional and mental, to be successful in the world. The world outside of the home is formidable. The world is harsh and uncaring.
Parents need to teach their children how to handle injustice and sociopathic behavior found at work. Teach how to correct these errors with kindness and resolve. For denial of justice to one person, is a denial of justice to all.
Instead parents have not set boundaries or limits to their child's wants, needs, or expectations. As parents, do we fail our children because:
- We don’t understand the future implications of giving them everything they want right now
- We want them to have the life we didn’t
- We are afraid to tell our children no because we know there will be backlash or because we think they will feel loved if we say yes.
- We want them to fit in with their peers because it’s hard to be different.
- We feel it’s often easier just to give in
- We struggle with a bit of affluenza ourselves
In your life, have you failed yourself by exhibiting these behaviors:
- Do you frequently buy things you do not really need?
- When shopping, are you unable to control how much you spend?
- Do you envy the lifestyles of the rich and famous?
- Do you feel bad when your neighbors have things you do not?
- Do you measure yourself by what others have?
- Do you ever use shopping as a means of escape?
- Do you use your possessions to impress others?
- Do you compare your possessions with what your peers have? If so, do you experience a feeling of superiority that yours are better?
- Do you speak often about the things you want?
- Do you find yourself complaining about the things you want but cannot afford?
- Do you think of spending your money more often than saving it?
- Do you often think your life would be more complete if you had more money and possessions?
So as a person and a parent are you too suffering from the signs of Affluenza? Perhaps adults need to reign in their negative tendencies and be a good role model for their children.
Maybe the best solution to the situation is to turn off television, start living in the moment, stop wanting what others have, and become a real person. The first start is to tell yourself: no. Then your friends: no. Then your children: no.
No, it's not feasible. No, it's not responsible. No, we cannot afford that. No, that's not happening ever.
Society and culture vis-a-vis the television, movies, and magazines are not there to raise you or your children. It's entertainment. A fiction wrapped in a pretty bow.
What is real is knowing your limits and setting them for you and your family.
Affluenza is not an excuse. It's not even a word. It was made up to keep a child who murdered four people out of prison.
Don't catch what doesn't exist. Be a good parent and just say: "no." No is a powerful tool that raises great adults.