I had previously done an article on ADHD (click here to get to it). Due to the subject matter and how strongly people feel about this it has become one of those controversial topics.
I listened to this talk show the other days that was on this same subject. So for those that want to hear more about this subject from more than just me, grab a cup of coffee, go sit outside and relax and, click here to listen to radio show in question.
I hope it helps those that are struggling to find answers.
Here is a question for you: What is the difference between entitled and spoiled? And who usually causes someone to feel and act entitled?
Usually, when I write an article I get the benefit of feeling a completion of the subject, at least for 6 months or so at which time I might sense that the subject needs to be revisited. This time, however, I am still stuck on not only the comments that were in the article I referred to in my last posting but on the whole idea of sharing. Here is the main comment in that article that has me all fired up. ‘ the other mother told her son, “I guess his mom didn’t teach him how to share.”
I will keep this article short because in truth there is really only one thing I have to say about this. This concept of a parent thinking they have the right to expect another child to give up anything for their child is ridiculous!
If you read my article from last week (click here to read it) you will see I believe in sharing. There’s a time and a place to teach this lesson. We, as the parents have to decide when sharing is appropriate and when they have a right to stand their ground on this subject. Both lessons are very good ones our children should learn. It is our job to teach our children when it is appropriate and when it is not.
Another parent has no right to insist or even suggest that another child should give up something they have for the benefit of any other child. In truth, this annoys me more than a child being rude or throwing a fit because they don’t get what they wanted. What this breeds is a child who feels entitled, who thinks they deserve more than someone else, who thinks others are there to make his life better in any way he deems fit. Not a great thing to teach anyone, especially our children. As you can tell I am still extremely ticked. I hear comments continually about how our children are becoming the ‘me generation’ or the ‘entitled generation’. We know that if we allow our children to be so focused on themselves that we have caused them a big disadvantage in life because the real world out there is not going to care about what they want.
The real world will tell them to work hard if they want something and that they can’t expect anything to be handed to them just because they wanted it. So what makes us think that expecting another child to share with our children just because our child wants it is a smart parenting strategy. Our job as parents is to make our children, healthy, happy well-adjusted, productive adults. If we think other children should bend over for our child’s happiness we are totally missing the point of parenting.
So I would love to hear from all of you, what do you think? Do you think we should insist our kids share? What would you do if you heard this comment from another parent regarding your child’s actions? What can we do as parents to try to instill in our children that the universe doesn’t revolve around them?
How did trying to teach our child to share become so controversial? What happened to the good ole days when a child could learn how to play with something for a time and then realise that they should share it if someone else wanted a turn? Growing up, if we had our own toys we might not have had to share those, but we were taught to do so occasionally, especially with friends who came over to visit. But there were also ‘family’ toys where we had to figure out a way to make everyone happy and all take turns. This teaches your child about ownership, sharing and working together for a common good of everyone. This helps develop skills on how to work with other people.
However, having said that, I agree with so many things in this article. The main point the author correctly emphasis’s is this: “I think it does a child a great disservice to teach him that he can have something that someone else has, simply because he wants it.” Although I do agree, I also think we do need to know that not teaching our children to share will also be a great disservice.
Back in the day (whatever that means) it was just common practice to make your child give up a toy if they saw another child was wanting it. But what wasn’t common practice was for the parent to insist another child give up that toy for the benefit of their own child. This one fact in the article was what disturbed me the most.
When my children were younger and we were all in a public setting and we saw another child wanting to play with a toy our child was playing with, we as parent tried to teach our child to share in hopes that we would instill in them that it is a nice thing to do. The parent of the child who was wanting a turn would then come up and say, “no that is OK, my child can wait until your child is finished.” What was happening was that both parents were trying to teach their kids to think about others before themselves.
So what happened, how did that get all turned around? This article goes a long way to helping us understand the downfalls of letting children get away with assuming they get what they want when they want it, but I think the major issue is what the parents feel their child’s rights are. What floored me in this article was that the parents were upset because another child didn’t share with their child. These parents are teaching their children to be ‘entitled’. We are dealing with the parents thinking their child is better than anyone else’s and has a right to have that toy even though some other child is playing with it and enjoying it.
So I guess the question we have to all ask when we find ourselves in a situation like this is what is it I want to teach my child? Can I teach my child to think of others on occasions, to be kind and share without making them feel like they always have to come in second? Is there a way to help our children share and still teach the other child (or parent in most cases) that this is a gift to have someone give up what they are using and should not be expected? This is a loaded question that I do believe can be answered, but we have to be determined to watch and take opportunities when they arise to teach both our own children and hopefully society.
I will give you one example and then I would love to hear more examples of ways you think we could accomplish this goal.
Let’s say you take the scenario in the article and a child is playing with a car and another child wants it. What you could do is say to the child (or parent) who wants it, “my child comes here to play with that toy. He always heads right for it, but I am trying to teach him to put other people’s needs in front of his own wants if at all possible. So in 15 minutes if your child is still wanting that toy, I will make my child give it up for him, but only this once. If you come next time and my child is playing with it first, I will not make him give it up.” What you have done is put everything in a proper order. You have successfully made the parent see that your child should not have to give it up but is willing to if their child cannot be satisfied in finding something else to play with. You will also prove if that child really does want the toy by making him wait 15 mins. You have also set the boundaries for the next time so your child can play with the toy without fear of having it taken away which gives them the knowledge that you do feel they are of value and have rights as a person as well.
Let’s get brainstorming and come up with more ways to teach our children that sharing is a good thing, but do so in a way that we are not allowing other parents to enforce their entitlement issues on us.
To read the article I am mentioned click here.
With women now being able to be firefighters, mechanics or doctors, men, stay at home dads, secretaries or nurses, our gender issues need not be confusing to our children.
Parents need to provide for our families and we have come to the place in our society where we do not let ourselves get bogged down with who is making the money or who is making more. The flip side to this though is that it does make it much more important for us to be ensuring we are defining our gender roles so we can help our children to identify with who they are.
A daughter is always a Princess and you cannot be a Princess without a Prince. A son is always a Prince but not if there is no fair maiden. Our children need both mom’s and dad’s to fulfill the need in them to be what they were designed for. Girls like to be protected and boys like to protect. Girls like to *nurture and boys love to be nurtured. These things are established early on in a child. First by the example they see their parents give to each other and then by the individual attention the parents give to them, therefore helping them to develop those natural instinctive tendencies.
A daughter deserves to have her dad be her prince, to protect her and guide her along, to make her feel like a treasured female and he has to continue to do this until her life mate comes along. When he does that job well the daughter then knows exactly the type of man to go for. She will learn to look for someone that will not use his strength to abuse her but instead to embraces her.
A son deserves to have his mom be someone who is a princess and treasures the love he gives. If a mom handles this correctly she will teach her son that strength and power are to be used for her not against her. This will teach him to find a soulmate who will treasure him and love the fact that he would do anything for her without using that knowledge to try and control him. For many children today they do not have that prince and/or princess in their life. This is both sad and unnecessary in most cases.
A mother’s role is one of the most crucial elements in any child’s life, but I believe a father’s role is just as equally important. Both are needed to help establish healthy self-awareness and self-esteem in a child. For the record, a parent does not necessarily have to be biological to be a role model and be extremely important to a child’s life. There is no magic solution to help our children be stable and mentally healthy in everything in life, but our goal as parents is to try and make life and life issues as easy as possible for them.
Any child who has only a mom or a dad in their life is missing out on what they will need to help round them out to be balanced in their thinking and in their self-esteem. In this very controversial day we live in regarding who can marry who and what we all think about that, have any of us stopped to consider what we are doing to our children. Without both a strong male and female role in a child’s lives, they will not learn some critical things to help them to be balanced individuals. Thinking that either sex can do everything the other sex can and, therefore, believing they can do it all for their child is a very selfish way to raise a child.
If you were a daughter, you loved having a father in your life because a dad always made you feel protected and like a princess. If a mom tries to allow the daughter to be a princess, it turns into a prima donna concern more than feeling treasured. A son needs to feel the love and nurturing of his mom, someone who will love him no matter what. When a father tries to make a son feel nurtured it comes across as if the dad feels the son is weak.
A daughter needs to learn how taking care of those you love is what will hold relationships together and they can only learn that from watching their mom ‘tend’ to the family. Although this does not mean she does all the housework, cooking and such, she is still usually the one that ensures it all gets done. This shows the daughter the strength they possess and a wise woman will teach her daughter how not to misuse it.
A son needs a dad to show him how to protect and love by watching him do so with those he loves. They also need the approval of their father to establish the male role in which he will grow into. That approval will allow him to know his worth as a man, father, protector and this will help him establish this so it will be what he will give to his partner and then children as he grows older.
Having both parents in a home is ideal but not necessary to establish these important elements in a child’s life. With so many single parents out there trying to be both father and mother, making a living and trying to do all the chores that need to be done in the home, you don’t need any more guilt laid on you and that is not my intent of my article. As long as there are strong male and/or female role models in the child’s life it will be sufficient enough for them to see and live by. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and/or great friends who are willing to see the value of being a role model to a child. Look for people who understand a child is well worth the effort and by surrounding yourself with these kinds of people your child will become a well-adjusted, balanced adult.
Footnote: Due to negative reactions that are caused when we use the word nurture here is the definition of this word. *Nurture: (noun) the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.