Okay, it’s about time I admit something to you guys; something I am deeply embarrassed about and have been in denial about for some time…my children are spoiled. Hi, my name is Debi and my children are more spoiled than expired milk left in a Sippy cup in your minivan for 2 years.
I don’t know when it happened and I didn’t even know that it happened. I still stand by my original comments that you cannot spoil a baby but let me tell you, you can definitely spoil a child who is age 2 and up because they are smart little people and they can fast bloom into master manipulators. Believe me, my 6-year-old has been a pro since she was about 4.
It started easy enough; my baby cried, I picked her up. Why let her cry when she didn’t have to. Then it became she wanted something else to eat than what I had intended to make and, no big deal, I switched her entrée. Then it became clothing, I’d lay out an outfit and she wanted to change one piece and it didn’t seem like a big deal and it was more of a hassle to argue about something so inconsequential, right? Wrong it had big consequences. Those girls were testing their boundaries and seeing how far I would bend for them. For the record, like most parents, I bent until they almost broke me; mentally, emotionally and financially.
Here is why you don’t do it, now at 6 and 8-years-old, it feels like my girls argue every single point with me just because they think they can. They have become entitled. I work my ass off, like all of you, to provide a good home life for my girls and pay for private school, ballet classes, gymnastics and swimming. I buy them nice clothes from high-end department stores because I never want them to feel singled out for having less than some other kids. I give them everything I never had because I know what it feels like to be a kid and go without while watching all of your friends have everything.
I pay for violin lessons and encourage them in everything they have an interest in. I take them to see the latest kids movies, I buy tickets to the theater, ballet and museums to keep them well rounded and cultured. I take them to the neighborhood pool and they have play dates. They go to amusement parks, zoos and aquariums. They travel. They have every toy a child could ever want and I feed them healthy food. We give them our time and attention and love. There is no shortage of kisses and cuddles. They want for NOTHING! We teach them how to ride their bikes, go for family walks and take them to ride their scooters and jump on the trampoline with them so they can get some exercise and still they always want more. MORE!MORE!MORE!! What more can I give?
I have nothing more to give. I have to work to pay for these things. I want to work because I love what I do. It keeps me sane. It makes me feel like I have a value as a woman aside from just being a mother. But my girls are spoiled and they don’t care. From the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed, they want more of me. More than I can give because I already give them everything. The 1% that I have finally regained for myself, they are tugging at and pulling it away from me. I am holding on for dear life.
I don’t think any of this would be so bad, if they actually appreciated what they have and what their father and I do for them. Don’t get me wrong; they are polite and they don’t get into trouble and by all accounts they are great girls but this constant entitlement is driving me crazy. I’m afraid I have ruined them for adulthood.
I need to stop this. I need to teach them that “things” are earned in life. The only thing they are entitled to is my unconditional love and their free will to dream and accomplish anything they set their little minds to, everything else has to be worked for and their wants and needs are no more important than mine, right?
I know this sounds selfish but I swear it is not. If I don’t stop this entitled, bratty behavior before they get older they are going to friendless, hated and let down by life when they realize that everything in life is not handed to you on a silver platter, you have to earn it. You have to have dreams, work your ass off at it and then relish in the success of achieving something on your own.
I know these are first world problems and I thank God every day for having such good children who are healthy. Now, I am praying for the strength to be a good parent and teach my girls responsibility. I have to take things away. I expect it to be rough. I love my daughters, they are amazing. In many ways, they are great kids but I can’t let this entitled behavior get out of control or I will have failed them as a mother.
Any advice on how to teach young children responsibility and change entitled behavior?
My name is Debi and I spoiled my girls… but damn are they cute and lovable.