Are we raising an entitlement generation of children?


“Mummy I need boxers, the last set you bought turned out to be too small,” Daniel said, coming into the sitting room. “Will you buy them today when you go out?”

I gave him a surprised stare. “You think money grows on trees, Daniel.”

“Mummy, it’s not like that. I really need the boxers,” he said leaving the room to get ready for school.

“Mummy can I get a new laptop, my old one is too slow. I also need a new pair of school shoes and canvas for sports,” mine are worn out. Please buy them today so I can use them next week please,” Becky asked.

“But Becky we talked about this laptop stuff last week. I can’t afford to get you a new laptop now and the one you are using still works pretty well.”

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She folded her hands across her breasts and stumped her foot on the ground. “But mummy we are using it for Robotic and Graphics class in school. It’s not as fast as my friends own.”

“But it still serves its purpose. The other laptop is working pretty well, just a bit slow so it can be managed,” I insisted walking away.

“Mummy you promised me a new sketch pad and drawing pencils last week…please mummy, don’t forget. I also need new wool.” Debra said standing by my bedroom door.

“We’ll look into it hmm. So can I have some peace now? You guys are drowning me in requests. I shook my head…so much demands on a single parent. All their requests were sincere and I intended to fulfil them, however there are times my children have made frivolous requests which, I deliberately ignored because I didn’t feel they were important or necessary. My children know this too. I don’t entertain frivolous requests. As parents if we’re not careful, we’re going to end up raising entitlement children who feel we owe them everything.

Parents often make the mistake that can lead to entitled children. We must understand children don’t just become entitled on their own, parents unwittingly cultivate this attitude of entitlement in them and as parents, and we make the mistakes of creating monsters as children when we overindulge them.

There are times I have asked myself this question. Are the parents of this generation raising an entitlement generation? In our time we were taught the value of hard work and integrity. As a child it wasn’t everything we asked for we got but today, it’s a different thing. Children will sulk, throw tantrums, manipulate, freeze out and emotionally blackmail their parents when they are denied requests.

Children ask for things and the parents of this generation rush to fulfil their desires. Don’t get me wrong dear folks. I haven’t asked you to deny your children anything but can we just give them only what they need and make indulgence a rarity. I assure you there is a difference between needs and wants.

I have heard parents say, I don’t want my child to suffer. I want to provide for my child what I lacked as a child. Trust me, it’s a wrong mentality. And children of this generation take advantage of that weakness in their parents. When children are made to believe they can get everything they want, they become self-centered. As parents we owe it to our children to bring them up in the best possible way. We must learn to put our foot down and say ‘No’ to demands that are unnecessary.

By Benie Amirize

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