Momaical is a humorous look at trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Cursing & copious coffee involved.

Momaical: [mom-mahy-uh-kuhl] = (Hybrid of Mom and Maniacal.)

5.23.2013

Generation: Entitled

As a teacher, students constantly said to me: "I need a pencil."  To which I responded something cheeky like: "And I need an iced coffee.  What's your point?"  After a few rounds of "And I need someone to pay off my AmEx bill" I finally said: "Or...you could say SeƱora Winslow, may I please have a pencil?"  

Somewhere along the path of raising children with high self-esteem, a generation of entitled assholes was created.  What started off as breeding strong children who believed in themselves, morphed into children who feel they are owed whatever they desire because they breathe in and out. Stephanie at Mommy, For Real wrote this open letter about parents losing control of their children and instead becoming doormats.  It's not the exception either.  Unfortunately it has become the norm.  


Then political correctness emerged into parenting, school and sports.  Everyone WINS!  No more honor society awards nights because the kids that didn't get on the honor roll will feel badly.  Oh, poor pumpkin didn't get a first place prize?  Ok - no more keeping score!  It might hurt their precious little eggshell feelings.  Awww. Poow baby.  Did you just REPRIMAND your child??? For shame!  Let them discover right and wrong and learn only what they want to learn and do what they want to do when they feel like doing it.  Manners? Someone else will teach my child manners - unless it's telling them no.  Because we don't tell Little PainInTheBalls "no".

But, you know what?  THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE.  When these kids get into college and then the real world they are going to get their asses handed to them. Or, they're going to end up on major depression/anxiety meds.  Because there's always going to be someone who is better or smarter or more beautiful than you.  You have to compete for jobs against real people and then PERFORM at them.  You don't get paid just for showing up - regardless of how much your mommy told you that you are the bestest, cutest, mostest perfectest thing that has ever crawled out of a vagina.  Guess what love, you are just a social security number in a sea of other Mama's cherubs.  It takes WORK to stand out among the millions of people who have the exact same resume as you.  

Your children should grow up to feel loved and secure. To know that no matter what they can turn to their parents for support.  To understand and RESPECT others and their differences.  And that as much as they may be the epicenter of their parent's world - they are NOT the apex of the human race. They are not going to be the best at everything. They may actually suck at some things AND THAT'S OK.  Not every person can be a Bill Gates/ Mariah Carey/ Oprah/ Einstein/ Giselle Bundchen rolled into one package. If they could - then no one would be special.  We'd all just be a bunch of beautiful, smart, compassionate, nerdy, supermodels - and it would be the norm.   It's okay to say no when they ask if they are the smartest person that has ever graced Earth.  Because, most likely, they are not. And then help them to find their "thing" to excel at.  And it's not up to teachers to train your child to have manners. THAT needs to come from home.  Manners, respect, good behavior - all things that need to start being taught from birth - because if you wait until they're teenagers - IT'S TOO LATE. 

I look at these birthday parties people are throwing for their children and think WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO DO FOR MILESTONE EVENTS? Amy at Carriage Before Marriage wrote about a 1 year old birthday party/wedding.  It probably cost more than my first car.  Kids do not need 7,000,000 birthday gifts to feel loved.  They just need to BE LOVED.  And appreciated.  And listened to - most of the time.  (Sometimes they just need to be ignored like when they're having an epic meltdown in the middle of the grocery store because you are the MEANEST MOM EVER because you won't buy a box of Sugar Coated Crack).  And, if you give your children a parade every time they do something like turn another year older or show up at the holidays - you are also making it difficult for your future adults.  Because then they expect to be fawned over for every event - and most people will not measure up to these impossibly high standards - your pumpkin will be disappointed in getting a "normal" gift. 



I am very aware that I could create a couple of assholes to unleash unto the world.  We are extremely fortunate and are able to provide a lot more to my children than my parents were able to provide to me.  And, like most kids, my girls ask for everything that crosses their line of vision.  They "need" this and "want" that.  Actually catering to every one of those whims will not only be ridiculous and unnecessary - it will be adding two more entitled jackasses to the population.  I created a fictitious "birthday list".  Every time they ask for something I say "I'll put it on the birthday list."  Then on their birthday we take them to the store and they're allowed to pick out ONE gift.  Not one million.  Not one for every year they have graced our presence on Earth.  One. Freakin. Gift. 

Do they cry it's not fair? That they deserve more?  Nope.  Because they don't deserve more.  As parents we are required to provide love, food, shelter, clothing, education  - all the basic necessities.  We are NOT required to put an iPad in every child's hand or a buy a treat for them every time we enter a store.  And being a good parent is hard work.  It's so much easier to stop the whining by giving in to it.  Saying "no" all the time is hard.  Being "on" your children constantly to make good choices is exhausting.  But, in the long run, it IS best for them.  Pinkie swear. 

Am I saying that I am the best mom on Earth raising the best kids on Earth?  Oh HELL NO.  I struggle with parenting every single darn day.  But I do know that my job as a parent is to try to put the best people I can out into the universe to make the world a better place.  Yes, you want to give your children all you can - but don't do it at the expense of their futures.  Because entitlement doesn't help them in the real world - but creating respectful, hardworking, contributing members of society will take them everywhere they want to go.  

60 comments:

  1. AMEN Sister! SO now we just have to teach the rest of the world, well America they they're doing no favours to society by breeding these entitled self centred ass holes. I for one am doing ALL i can to let my kids know that they are not the centre of anything but they are a part everything, good and bad!... Thanks for speaking it out.

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    1. Me too. People think I'm a bitch at times with my kids but I'm just trying to teach them how to be good people and not spoiled brats.

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  2. Kelly M5/23/2013

    MUAH!! No entitled assholes for us! Missed having time to read my daily dose. xoxo

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    1. Glad you've found one millisecond to breathe Kelly! Missed you! And, no, no entitled assholes for us. You KNOW that won't happen in our family!

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  3. Yes. Exactly this.
    I love the birthday list idea. Genius.

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    1. That way you don't have to ever be the bad guy and say "no". You just say "I'll put it on the list" and then they choose what they want anyway for their birthday. No whining!

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  4. Amen, amen, amen!!!!!

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  5. I work with a few of those of that generation who have grown up and graduated college. They each come in to a rude awakening and then either get with the program or go running someplace else that will appreciate them while mommy & daddy still foot the bill. I want to spank them. In a mean way. Not the enjoyable way.

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    1. I worry about these kids. They are going to have a very difficult adulthood because being a grown up is hard enough without feeling like the world OWES you.

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  6. One culprit I think is the whole college panic. I totally believe in college and I want that for my kid, but if you spend 18 years planning for it, you're probably making the wrong choices. Parents grade grubbing instead of teaching kids about failure and hard work, all for the sake of the perfect school record. Taking intensive violin/soccer/karate instead of, you know, making friends or working for minimum wage at the mall - the stuff that actually teaches you about functioning int the world, but apparently it doesn't get you into college.

    What's the solution? What are the few things every parent could do to stop this in its tracks? Write that next please!!

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    1. Ok, I'll make that my next preachy post!

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  7. Generation X was raised in the world of self-esteem. They in turn, raise their kids the same way. The babies of the 70s raised the so-called "millennials" that encompassed all of the 90s. The 80s babies are now raising kids and they're even more entitled than the previous kids. In the last decade or so, stories of admissions officers and hiring managers having to deal with applicant's parents are all of a sudden a thing.

    This is not new, but it's definitely getting worse. And for the most part, the people that need to treat their kids like independent, sentient beings don't read stuff like this. They think they're awesome. And maybe they do read blogs, but they read the ones they agree with. Confirmation bias exists and is rampant.

    For god's sake, look at weddings!

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    1. Agreed - and we strong parents who are sick of the spoiled brats need to make extra sure we are raising a group of respectful kids who understand that rewards come with work - not just for breathing in and then out again.

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  8. I think a lot of parents think it's easier to buy them things than pay attention to them, just my opinion, but whatever. The self esteem they have now isn't coming from a real wellspring of confidence and a strong spirit but is based on numbers of facebook friends, how many texts they get, and who knows anymore, I'm kind of out of the loop on the parent thing cos my son was preInternet distractions. We played outside, read books, did crafts, and talked a lot.

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    1. There's the guilt factor that so many parents deal with - so instead of taking time with their children when they can - it's much easier to squash that feeling with material possessions. I can't remember something stupid out of the gumball machine I begged my mom for - but I certainly remember the times when she taught me how to knit.

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  9. Fantastic post, though sadly it's not just the kids. There's a whole slew of parents out there too who are way too obsessed with what their rights are, with nary a thought as to the responsibilities that come as the flipside of that same coin. In fact, I would bet that there's a high correlation between those parents and entitled kids.

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    1. I'm sure of it - you plant apples, you get apples. Generally when I had a problematic student I could pick their parents out of a lineup.

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    2. When I was teaching, I was once in the discipline office with a girl with a dress code violation. She had to have clothing brought in by her parent. Lo and behold... in walks mom in booty shorts and a tube top. I didn't even know tube tops were still made...

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  10. Totally agree!!! My kids hear the word NO come out of my mouth FAR more than they year YES. My youngest wanted to go see Austin Mahone in concert in September. She found tickets online for ONLY $105 each. I told her if she wanted to go, she needed to earn money to go. She's 13. That kid posted on our HOA group on FB that she was available to babysit, petsit or do odd jobs. My neighbor is moving. She hired 13 to help her move boxes. Guess who raised enough money after 3 weeks to purchase Austin Mahone tickets. We need to teach our kids responsibility at a young age or they'll expect everything handed to them on a platter when it's too late.

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    1. GOOD for you!!!! I wanted a Guess jean jacket when I was younger. My mom was not about to spend the $100 for it. So, I babysat and worked odd jobs to save up enough money. Boy did I appreciate that coat when I finally purchased it. And THAT'S what kids need to learn - that things are earned and money doesn't grow on trees.

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  11. Oh how I can relate. If the students are bad, their parents are worse. And if it's annoying in the classroom, it's unbearable on the soccer/baseball/football field. I am SO OVER parents giving their kids STUFF because they don't want to give them TIME. And I honestly feel that's the reason for entitlement today.

    Aaaand end scene.

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    1. Time is a precious commodity and I get it that at the end of the day everyone is tired. Honestly, I could go to be at 8pm every single night. And it's HARD to constantly stay on your kids about their manners and behavior. It takes WORK to create loving, grateful kids. But in the long run it's what's best for them and their futures.

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  12. Tracy, this is genius. And huge thanks for the shout-out; glad so many people are reading this post. It is important. It is hilarious and entertaining, but more than that, it is true, and people should pay attention. Cheers to you, lady!

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  13. Ooooh, I am loving on you so hard right now. You said it. There was one year that my daughter didn't deserve anything for Christmas because she was an asshole and guess what she got? Love! She was not a big fan, but guess what she wasn't the next year? An asshole! It's so simple! My mother was horrified about the lesson, but it worked and THAT'S real life. Being a professional asshole doesn't pay...well, it shouldn't pay. Anyway, thank you so much for writing this! Afuckinmen.

    Did you see the "You are not special" commencement speech from Wellesley High School in 2012. It's a MUST SEE. This guy is ballzy AND 100% correct. http://youtu.be/_lfxYhtf8o4

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    1. Yes, I love that speech. It's magnificent! And, good for you with Christmas. The girls can ask Santa for 3 things. And that's what Santa brings: 3 things. They have enough crap. More crap just equals more things for me to clean up. And screw that noise.

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  14. Love this! Reminds me of a family friend a generation or so back who used to make cookies that were purposely different sizes. Sometimes kids got a big cookie, and sometimes they got a little cookie. Why? Because life is not always fair and you'd better learn to deal with it at a very young age.

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    1. Excellent lesson! We say "You get what you get and you don't get upset" because be glad you got something!

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  15. I have a 14 year old and my husband and I are depriving the poor child because he "only" gets 200 texts a month. He was told we had no problem changing phone plans, he could go to the "I have no phone plan." He was pretty happy to keep his 200 a month! All kidding aside I have been careful to let them know they are not entitled to anything. My father is always thrilled that when the two of them go out Tom reaches in his pocket and offers to pay the bill, or tip. Being kind to people and respectful is one of the most important things I feel we can teach our children. I do feel having a good self image is important but I think you get that from doing well, being praised appropriately and given time together as a gift. Thanks for a great post and some really great comments.

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    1. That's my go-to as well when my kids complain. I usually say "You have two choices: You can have this or nothing. Which do you prefer"? Not too shockingly - they don't choose the "nothing" option. Yes, it's important to believe in your own self worth - but not at the detriment of the rest of your life.

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  16. This is such a great post! My cousin recently got her five year an iPad for her birthday and wanted to rent a pink limo to drive the girls to the party place. And we wonder why there are so many entitled kids out there. It took every power of my being not to scream at my cousin and tell her that all of those ideas were TERRIBLE! It drives me crazy when she does stuff like this. They treat her like a princess and still call her a baby. I know that she is an only child, but there is no reason not to tell this child, "No!" They always justify her behavior with it's ok, it's just Carmen and I always look like a Nazi because I discipline my children. I don't know if she has ever been yelled at in her life.

    And don't get me started on sports not having scores. Kids need to learn how to win and lose gracefully because that is how life is going to be when they are adults. I could go on for days about entitlement and people being too fair. Life isn't fair.

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    1. Completely. Life is difficult, challenging and rarely "fair". Kids need to learn that things don't always go as planned, that you don't always get what you want and sometimes you don't get things that you deserve. Once they understand these things, they're able to figure out how to play the game of life more successfully.

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  17. Awesome article!! I'm so tired of parents dancing to their kids' tunes and expecting us to follow suit! I don't know why they don't realize the irreparable harm that they are doing them!

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    1. Thanks Roshni! The worst is when they're angry for you reprimanding their child. Your little cherub just almost pushed my daughter off the top of the play structure. You BET he's going to get a piece of my mind - especially since you won't!

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  18. Is it weird that I both agree and disagree with you? Yes, our children need to make do with less. My kid has always been the one with the fewest toys and the least amount of stuff. But I wonder how it's all going to shake out in 15 or so years. The cost of college is skyrocketing. Jobs are scarce. The middle class is shrinking. We're destroying the planet. In the not so distant future, we will be handing this disaster over to them. That doesn't seem so entitled to me.
    Regardless, let's hope we all eventually realize that our kids have a lot to gain when they don't have a ton of crap laying around and create consistent boundaries. Thanks for getting me thinking!

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    1. I feel like kids need to learn how to accept responsibility. Yeah they're inheriting a planet that's completely different than it was 50 years ago. BUT if they don't learn to step up and take action - then things are going to get a WHOLE lot worse. It's not my problem can only fly for so long.

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  19. Amen. I **am a high school teacher who is dealing with these kids as teenagers. They want an A for writing their names on their papers. They want A's for trying. They become incensed when they DON'T receive these things. They say things like, "I don't have paper" and expect someone to run over and hand them some. They eat food in the school courtyard and then throw trash on the ground, rather than in the trash can three feet away -- because, "That's the custodian's job to pick it up." I kid you not. We have some lovely, mannerly, sweet children too...thank goodness. But they are becoming harder to find.

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    1. Oh, I absolutely had some wonderful, sweet, polite, amazing students! The kids run the gamut - and clearly there are extremes in either direction. It is unacceptable for a parent to complain to the principal because their child failed a quiz that they clearly did not prepare for. How is that the teacher's fault? Or an acceptable practice for parents?

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  20. We've had this discussion many times at our house. People are really doing their children a disservice when they are raising them like that. We want our kids to be healthy and well adjusted, but not to think that the world owes them anything. It's going to be a lot of lessons hard learned, and we're not always going to be the most popular parents.

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    1. Good for you. I am told that I'm the meanest and that so-and-so gets things that my kids don't. Well, good for them. THIS is the family you were born into and THIS is how we roll. You want to go live with a family that caters to your every whim and you can boss around - here's the door. Good luck with all that. (PS - the one time she took me up on the offer she moved out under the trampoline and was back home within 25 minutes).

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  21. Oh, holy hell could I feel your emotion coming through in that post. I have many of these frustrations too and something I'm having difficulty with is getting the grandparents to at least adhere to a tiny bit of this philosophy. It tends to undermine all the work that we do with them at home.

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    1. Then you have to deprogram them when they get back to you. We hear all about how "Grammy lets me do this...". All I can respond is "Well, feel free to do that at Grammy's house then."

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  22. I could not agree more. I, too, get those disparaging looks from other parents because I actually say No.

    We've had other parents tell us how mean it is that we didn't let our daughter have a cell phone in middle school because "All the kids have them." And these were the parents! Um, the reason all the kids have them is because none of the parents want to be the only ones to say no? They tell me of the trouble their kids get into with phones, but they won't take them away because that would make them the mean parents. I don't get it. (I came from the Hump Day Hook Up.)

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    1. Glad you came over to visit! And, it is so annoying when you KNOW you're being judged for disciplining your child. But, we will be able to stare down our noses at them in a few years when their cherub is caught shoplifting and doesn't care about the consequences.

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  23. Not much more I can add other than "Halle-freaking-lujah"!!! I couldn't agree with this post more. I admit to being guilty of spoiling my oldest when she was an only, but I learned the error of my ways and corrected MY behavior before the damage was irreparable. Now I have 3 daughters, and they are told "no" pretty often. At Christmas, they usually get 3 gifts from Santa, with the explanation "if 3 was enough for Baby Jesus, it's certainly enough for you!" Our family has also been humbled over the years as the result of some tough financial times. At one point we had more than enough, took it for granted, and then.... we didn't. So living with less has been a staple mantra in our house for awhile now. I always stress to be thankful for what you do have, without focusing on what you don't. And honestly, I believe they get it. I'm very aware of the importance of raising well-mannered, respectful, grateful, compassionate, honest, and productive humans who know the value of a dollar. It's crucial. I also believe that teaching children how to lose is more important than teaching them how to win, and I could rant all day long about how angry the 'everyone gets a shiny trophy' mentality makes me. But I won't.

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    1. That's also what Santa brings to my kids - 3 presents. Teaching about value of property and respecting what you (and others) own is challenging. My little ones have a "Well, Daddy will just buy us a new one if this one breaks" mentality. Until Daddy emptied my oldest one's bank to "pay for" damages to her sisters toy. What's the best way? Who knows. I just know spoiling kids rotten only produces rotten kids.

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  24. Yes. This. Exactly! Whoever started the self-esteem movement did the world a load of harm. I'm beginning to think the kindest thing I do for my kids is say "no" once in a while... okay all the time.

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    1. Yeah - I say "no" more often than I thought I would. I've also pulled out a few "Because I said sos" as a parent. But, manners are super important in the real world. And that's LEARNED - not inherent - behavior.

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  25. Love this post, It drives me insane that sports have became no scoring, and everyone plays, my munchkins are relatively spoiled, they have a lot of things, and I do try to say yes more often than no, but not when it comes to giving them things or letting them do things that they shouldn't be doing, I go crazy on birthday parties because I love party planning, but I do not go crazy with gifts and I actually do not spend a ton, anyways a lot of what you said reminded me of a part in my Birthday Letter to My Daughter Where I pretty much tell her that she'll have to hate me because as much as I want to give her the world I also do not want her to be a douchebag!

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    1. Of course! And, party planning can be SO much fun!!! But, every single day kids don't need to be given presents - and that they're not always going to be picked first (or even played) sometimes. It's just as important to teach kids how to lose - or boy will they struggle in the real world.

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  26. OMG the pairing of Veruka Salt and American Girl Dolls was just SO brilliant! I don't even want Barbies in my house - they are like the gateway doll. ;-)

    I totally agree - I've met waaaay too many adults already that are entitled jackasses, I am NOT going to turn my kids into that. Already struggling to "fix" the 5yo who we may have given just a little too much due to our guilty over her 3yo twin sisters getting more attention now that she does.

    It *is* a daily struggle!!

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    1. Oh, absolutely. If it wasn't a struggle to try to not create a flock of assholes - everyone would have angels. It's MUCH easier to be a doormat and cave to the whining. And, sometimes you do - because you're just at that point. It's a long road laden with flat tires, potholes and crappy gas station snacks to get the kids to adulthood.

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  27. Word. My sister gives her kids extravagant gifts for every occasion. A kindle for Easter a smart phone when they turn 5. So when I go to give them a "normal" gift that I shopped for at a local toy store so that it would be unique & something that they didn't have (b/c they have everything from Toy R Us), they sneer at my gifts. So I gave up. I stopped trying to find them special gifts. A tee-shirt from Target? Sounds like the perfect gift. They don't appreciate anything anyway.

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    1. Or just stop giving them anything except a small savings bond. If they're going to scoff at your remembrance of their birthday - then forget it! Who needs the hassle??? After all, gifts are really supposed to be a memento that says "Hey! It's a special day and I care about you. Here's a little something to celebrate you!" Not, whose parents go bankrupt spoiling their kids first competition!

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  28. My boss laughs and says, "I'm so glad I'm not your kid." (He's joking of course.) I'm tough, and I expect a lot, but the reverse is that I'm there to stand up and protect them in ways that they never see. This past week I met with the school about my daughter's 504 plan. I told the counselor, "Cady will not know what's in this plan. I don't want to provide her with an excuse to be a lazy student." We teach her that dyslexia is an obstacle, not an excuse. We all have challenges to overcome. Giving in doesn't help them overcome those challenges.

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    1. Yes, it would be kind of awkward if your boss was your kid. ;) I think it's AWESOME that you don't want her to know what her IEP says because you're right; kids use that as a crutch or excuse for sub-par performance. Teaching them to overcome their obstacles is a ton of work - but best for your child in the long run. Good for you!

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  29. I couldn't have said it better myself! Oh my goodness, this is my favorite blog post ever. I have five kids and I hope I am raising them right. It is very hard though when none of their friends ever have chores, are punished, are told no. I'm glad we are poor because they get what we can afford, not what they want.

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    1. Thank you JJ! Yeah, I'm the "mean mom" because I have too many rules and don't cater to my kids every whim. But I know when my little ones are with other people they use manners, aren't obnoxious and usually come home with a good report. It's hard to be strict - but it really is best in the long run. Thanks so much for coming to my blog!

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  30. I feel like I have this conversation with everyone in my life on an almost daily basis.
    No, dear husband, you should not buy the kids a toy EVERY FREAKING TIME you take them to the store- I don't care if it was only $3! No, mother-in-law, it is not cute when my child demands things, quit giving in and make him ask nicely, he knows how to say please and thank you! No, noisy neighbor, you shouldn't tell your kid to put down a toy just because my little asshole says he doesn't want to share, he'll never learn to share if you don't let him practice sharing.
    I'm a young mom and I was raised in a somewhat counter-culture environment. Now that I'm grown and no longer sheltered, I look around at my peers and I feel like a lot of the adults my age (early 20s) were really set up for failure by their parents. I can't tell you how many adults I know who work full time, should be able to support themselves in a modest lifestyle, and yet their parents still pay half their bills so they can afford to live beyond their means. And then, because they think its normal and good, they pass on those same entitled beliefs to their own children. It becomes a vicious cycle which will only get worse with each generation. I know people who think they are a genius and can't figure out whey they only got Cs in college. Obviously there was something wrong with every single one of their professors that they didn't recognize genius when they saw it. It couldn't possibly be that the work was only worth a C.
    Ugh, now I'm ranting. Thank you for this post. I couldn't agree more. Sadly, I think the people who need to hear this the most won't put any weight into what you've written.

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  31. I reaaaalllly loved this post. I am totally sharing this one with my friends.

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