As a parent and an educator, I often think about how I am doing in helping to mentor/teach/shape/mold, or other similar word with the young lives in my life and career. With all that is going on in the world, privilege and entitlement are two concepts cycling through the many thoughts the little voice in my head thinks about every day.
Entitlement has been rearing its head over the past couple of days. How does one develop a sense of entitlement, thinking that because one wants it, one should have it? That the people around you serve at your pleasure? That saying it should be, it is?
What has been churning around my brain is, is it because of us adults, especially at home.
Forgive me, as I’m going to be very general, knowing there are extremes on both ends of any spectrum and most of us fall somewhere more towards the remaining middle 60% after accounting for the outer edges.
Some things that came to mind about creating entitlement were:
- Driving our children to wherever they want to go when it is possible for them to walk, bike, or ride the bus (taking age into account) to their destination. Rather than letting the child then decide if they don’t want to do one of the alternatives, then I guess they don’t get to go.
- Making a meal, but then making a separate special meal for the child who whines they don’t like what is on the menu (and not because of something such as an allergy). Rather than letting the child decide if they don’t like the main meal, then they either skip the meal or eat what is placed before them.
- Participating in sports, band, or other club requiring a fee and paying the entire amount, and not making our child participate in fundraisers. Rather than setting an amount which they must raise through odd jobs, allowance savings, fundraising participation, or a combination of the three, if they choose not to help with the cost, then they don’t get to participate.
I am not making a judgement as I have done some of these things myself. I’ve done even more if I were to continue listing some of the things we adults do for the children in our lives of which they are capable of doing themselves.
My wondering has been how much of what I’ve done/do as a parent, has helped ingrain this sense of entitlement? How much can be contributed to what they see via media and social media? How much can be contributed to peer observation? How much can be contributed to factors we don’t know we don’t know?
What are your thoughts?