Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Parents, we are failing our children. When did we become so stupid? Yes, stupid! Why is it intolerable for a child to experience unfairness, adversity or pain? Why? Are adults so irreparably damaged that we need to completely shelter our young from the harsh realities of the world?
When trying to protect our kids, we do so without recognizing we’re raising a generation of assholes. I realize that at least one of you will take offense, “Stop calling our children assholes! They’re children!” Hey, you, overly-sensitive parent, your child is likely an asshole.
If you’re wondering why I’m incensed, blame this.
Informal poll: hands up – how many of your parents explained to you why Billy got better stuff than you for Christmas? Or why your Santa appeared to be more generous than Suzie’s Santa? I wonder how many of our grandparents coddled our parents this way. Or our great-grandparents.
No, I imagine conversations were more like this:
Child: Waaaaahhh….All my friends got (insert ridiculously overpriced fad-toy of the era here) and I didn’t. It’s so unfair!!!! Why didn’t Santa bring me what they got??!!! *ugly cry*
Parent: Shut your mouth and be thankful for what you have. There are starving children in the world and some kids get nothing for Christmas. If you don’t knock it off, we’ll give all your presents to those kids.
And you know what? That is the right answer. If you choose to share the Santa myth with your kids, do not feel you have to take away from it, or justify it, because other kids are less/more fortunate than yours. That is life. Allow your children to EXPERIENCE life.
We live in a Capitalist nation. In such an economic circumstance, there will always be grave disparities between those with much and those with nothing. Some kids will always have more than others, no matter how many social welfare programs we create or impossible education standards we attempt. Children are remarkably bright, intuitive and resilient. They know, no matter how you try to shelter them, people are not economically equal in the United States. By parading this false equality, you are not convincing them to change the system or to see others differently. You’re convincing them that they are entitled. You are raising an asshole.
My suggestion, if you’re still reading, is to reflect on what the hell is wrong with you. Discover what is lacking in your life that makes you unwilling to allow your children to live in reality. Then, talk to your children about economic differences throughout the year, not just at Christmas when they’re whining about unfairness. If you don't know what to say, here's something to get you started: People with more money have more buying power. They have nicer things. Some people earn their money. Some people inherit it. Some have lots and lots and lots of wealth. Some are homeless. Some children have more affluent Santas. If you find that intolerable, be active. Be loud. Demand change. Live your life doing good things. Help others when they’re down. Give without expecting anything in return.
And finish the conversation with assigning a chore. “Take out the trash, Joey, or you don’t eat today.” Enough with this generation of Entitlement.