Psychologist might have fooled us! Richard Bromfield basically warns in his article Indulging our kids, ourselves spoiled. You might wonder if your parenting style is raising monster kids? Take the quiz here
A lot of us have been advised to feed our children’s esteem by making them feel great in everything that they try and do. Parents got advise like reward their every step forward, or even backward. Answer their every question and also reward and celebrate their curiosity. Make children feel good about themselves and reward every attempt with affirmations like –
“What a great job you did getting dressed.”
“Great job even though you come last in your race.”
“What a great job you did chewing and swallowing your three candy bars!”
However, could it all have been too much and the source of the problem of today’s “popcorn” generation? This excessive praise might have robbed our children of some of the opportunities to grow that we had as kids.
How did we learn to wait? We learned patience because our parents kept us waiting.
How did we learn to appreciate what we got? We learned to have thanks because we did not get so much.
Monster Kids In The Making?
This generation is an on demand generation. They want to order a new pair of shoes, they want it now. What about the newly released phone? they line up for it. Want to order coffee from Starbucks? they use the app to order and pick it up without waiting.
This current generation of parents and their children have the relentless assault of advertising and social media pressuring them to keep up with the Jones. This pressure causes them to keep going further and wanting more. According to finance coach, Nimi Akinkugbe, “do not keep up with the Jonses’, they are broke”.
Today’s parents are not only tempted to overindulge their children, they are equally tempted to overindulge themselves.
Are Parents Entitled?
As mothers and fathers lament their children’s entitled attitudes, wondering perhaps where it comes from, they themselves live entitled lifestyles. They buy cars on lease once they come out, they upgrade their phones when a new one comes out, and then hand off the “older” version to their waiting young child. What we are teaching them is to be materialistic and to want more, more, more and now, now, now. By responding to the stimuli of the constant barrage of new trends, new products and new shiny toys, we are encouraging our kids to do the same.
Instant gratification is the mantra! and this kills delayed gratification and patience. You know the saying, your children learn from what you do, not what you say.
What can parents do?
Start by looking into the parenting mirror and reassess your home life. It is never too late to grow less indulgent. We can start by giving our children fewer things, expect more of them and share your values. Remember that you are the parent and it would be good for your child to hear no sometimes, to have limits and to be expected to obey their parents.
As parents do not overprotect them from life’s inevitable frustrations and limitations. After all, only by facing and mastering such experience do children grow confident and resilient. Lastly, as parents watch the examples that you set and be sure to spend time explaining to them. This generation is a “Why” generation who thrive on explanations.
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As parents our core mission is to raise independent adults who have the skills and resources to survive apart from and without us. Just as T’Chaka, the father of the Black Panther told his son, a father has failed if his child(ren) cannot fend for himself or herself when the parent is gone from this world.