Why My Kids Are Not Entitled

entitled

Nix Entitled in your vocabulary.

The word entitled should not be in a parents’ vocabulary. Oh, we might not say it, but we certainly think it.  How do I know? When our six were in school, every end-of-summer, we had discussion with other parents. We had our ideas of which teacher we hoped our child got that year, and certainly the teachers we did not want our child to have. Yeah. I had some ideas, but I assure you my kids never knew what we thought and hoped. During the 22 years our half-dozen were in grades K-12, we went through over 250 teachers. Sure, we had our favorites, but our kids never knew.

The reason I had high hopes for which teachers we “got” was because I wanted a teacher who could handle a spunky kid, or who made sure the kids learned, or who’d love my awkward tomboy. Yet we believed and trusted God to orchestrate things so our kids got what was best for them.

Never once did we visit a principal to request for or against a specific teacher for any of our kids, but we prayed. Once, only once, we visited a principal about a classroom concern and continued up the line to the Superintendent, who resolved the problem. Once, only once, we visited a principal to tell her the type of teachers we felt would be a good fit for our foster sons. We didn’t specify which teachers, but merely which type we felt would meet their needs after what they had endured in their short lives. Then we prayed.

This is life, folks. We can’t give our kids the best all their lives. They need to learn it now.

entitledHow to feel entitled

What does it mean to feel entitled? Here’s the definition:

believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

The world does not revolve around your child – and parents ought not to act like it does. They should know this by the time they enter school; but if you’ve taught them otherwise, then help them unlearn this attitude.

So what if her best friend is in a different classroom? And if the group of guys he’s hung with for five years is split into different classrooms this year, so what? So what if my kid doesn’t get the teacher I really hoped he’d get? Life is not fair, and the sooner our kids – and their parents – learn this, the better.

Don’t teach entitlement to your kids. You do this by paving the way for them, by making crooked roads straight, by taking down hindrances to insure the best possible year for them. Your kids will not feel entitled unless you spoon-feed it to them. They won’t feel entitled if you don’t do their work for them, don’t fudge on projects with them, and refuse to write essays or term papers for them. They’ll expect entitlement when they hear you talk about it to others, when they hear things like, “My child . .  ” as though this child is more important, more special, more gifted, more deserving than anyone else’s child.

The real world has no entitlement

In the real world, there are co-workers and employers who are difficult to work with – yet we try to “protect” our kids from teachers and peers who are difficult. In the real world, the one who deserves the promotion does not always get it – yet we try to make certain my child or my grandchild gets what he deserves.

Every stage in our child’s life is a time he can learn and become prepared for what life is truly like in the real world. Stop going to bat for your kids and instead, help them learn to deal with the hard knocks in life. They’ll be better adults, and you’ll be better parents.

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Photo credits: Tibor Lezso`fi and Pixabay

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