According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the definition of entitlement is:
Simple Definition of entitlement
: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group
As a parent I often wonder if I am helping my boys or setting them up for failure. Each generation seems to always want their children to have more/better than what they had. At what point does that become too much?
I will do my best to teach my kids manners, appreciation, and gratitude. I want to spoil them, but not have them turn out to be spoiled brats. I never want them to feel entitled to anything. I want them to understand that you get something either because you deserved it, and/or worked your ass off for it. Not because they feel anyone owes them something.
I have encountered many people in recent years, that believe the world owes them something. I have even been accused by family members that “I do nothing for them!” I must have lost the memo that said I owed them something. Of course these same people seem to forget the many things I have done over many years, never once asked for or wanted anything in return. I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to. I feel, the
appreciation becomes expectation. I believe the more you do for certain people, they then expect more, and will never be happy with what they have, or appreciate anything that anyone does for them.
I have been reading this book called The Secret written by Rhonda Byrne. It goes over in great detail how important it is to be grateful. Grateful for waking up in the morning, grateful for the clean water you shower with, grateful for the clothes you wear… It also talks about how important it is to be positive. Have a positive attitude about things that could normally just ruin your day. It explains the laws of attraction. The more grateful, positive, and appreciative you are, the more positive things, feelings, and people, you will attract. It seems simple, but until I started reading it, I didn’t realize how I saw the negative in many things. I have been consciously been trying to turn that around. Right now it is a conscious effort I am making, and I am doing it. Soon I think it will just be my new way of thinking.
So this brings me back to my boys… How as their mom, do I get them to understand how to be grateful? I want them to be appreciative (not of just “stuff” and money). I want them to understand that no one owes them anything, and if they are given anything to be truly grateful, appreciative, and not jaded.
I want them to get a trophy in sports because they played hard, had good sportsmanship, and earned it. Not just for signing up and showing up. I also hope if my boys want to play sports for their schools later on, they earn their spot on the team. If they don’t make it (yes I will be sad for them, but…) I will tell them to get out there, practice more, work harder and do better next time. I do not want to be one of those moms that places blame on every other parent, kid, coaches kid… I want them to have opportunities. Opportunities because they have gone above and beyond and truly proved themselves. I want them to stand out in a crowd, and have accomplishments.
I want them to feel the value and self worth that really comes from something earned and not just given. I want them to have gratitude for everything/everyone in their lives. I also want them to really appreciate everything, even the little things life has to offer.
I also want to teach them the value in giving back and paying it forward. Not to expect anything in return, but to feel how good it feels when you are able to help others.
To put it simply, I want my boys to have true understanding of self worth, hard work, and to be independent. I do not want them expecting everything from everyone else. I hope to teach them all of these important life lessons. My hope is that from now until then, I don’t screw it up!