Or the prospective employee at a job interview telling the interviewer that she would have his job in 18 months! Never mind that it took him 20 years of hard work to get that job. That didn't even cross her mind.
It goes on to talk about this group of kids born from around 1984 to present, is used to getting everything right now. Whether it be texting (instant response), ipod (instant music) or kindle (instant book). They are the 'right now' generation. Combine that with the idea that everyone plays, everyone wins and everyone is special (even without actually doing anything special) mentality and you have kids that
Where did we go wrong?
--We parents are the root of the problem. Quoting from the article: We told our kids they are special--for no reason. Even though they didn't display special character or talent or skill and now they demand special treatment. example:
When the mother of a fully adult man calls to
Oh wait, my favorite. Everyone is a winner and everyone gets a trophy for participating. Yes, that's a great lesson. Just show up at your job and everyone will think you are wonderful. No, you don't even have to try hard and practice or be good or show talent. Nope. Just showing up is good enough! We are so proud of you! <dripping with sarcasm> Here's a raise too!
--We gave our kids every comfort and now they can't delay gratification. How about the 4th grader that has a cell phone. Seriously? I've gone on about this before--this sort of thing creates entitlement. I am 13 years old so therefore I deserve a cell phone. All my friends have one so therefore I must have one as well. What are we teaching them? That cell phone costs money! Actual money! Where does that money come from? That kid is certainly not working to pay for that phone.
What are the answers? The article offers up some solutions:
--We need to let our kids fail. We need to tell them the truth that the notion of 'you can do anything' is not necessarily true.
--Kids need to align their dreams with their gifts. Not every girl with a nice voice will sing at the Met; every little league star will not play Major League Baseball. It's funny but I had this discussion with my oldest daughter the other day. We were talking about playing basketball at a higher level, like college. My words were, "you are not going to play at Stanford or Duke or Tennessee. It's just not going to happen. The best basketball player that ever came out of this state played at UMaine and sat the bench in the WNBA. You aren't going to be tall enough and those girls from the south are just so much better. That doesn't mean you can't play ball in college--it just won't be Division 1. You can still be an excellent ball player and play at Bowdoin or U Southern Maine or somewhere like that. Which is still a huge accomplishment! You are just going to have to work hard at both academics and basketball." (Cripes! Just getting ACCEPTED to Stanford would be an unbelievable accomplishment! Let alone playing ball there.....)
I felt a little like I was squashing her dreams, but I hope not. I just want her to think realistically.
--Allow them to get into trouble and accept the consequences. You choose to go to a party, get caught and get kicked off the sports team--well, that was your choice to attend.
--Balance autonomy with responsibility. You can use the car, but fill it up when you are done.
I know I'm guilty of trying to make things perfect for my kids at times, but I know I am also conscious of the fact that they need to fail, make mistakes and face consequences. I hope I can pull myself back from wanting to 'fix' everything for them when the time arises.
Do you know any Helicopter Parents? Are you one?
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