Thursday, April 2, 2009

What Have You Done For Me Lately?


Good eggs, bad eggs?

If I put both my kids on that scale today, each would most certainly fall into the unknown depths of that chute in the chocolate factory. Or maybe it is only I, who would plunge into the unknown darkness, because I'm feeling like I laid an egg when it comes to child rearing, quite aware of the fact that I am the one at fault.

Enough is never enough. Too much is WAY too much and I'm beginning to believe that wanting to provide your child with every opportunity possible only does them a disservice. We do the best we can for our children. We drive them here and there, all over everywhere. We dispense cash like a personal ATM. We help with homework, go to games, shows, concerts and advise on social problems. We dispense wisdom and personal virtue; lessons for living life and we teach by example ruling gently, but stridently. We feed them, clothe them, nurture them and love them unconditionally. We ask for not much in return, besides a little love, respect, and gratitude.

After all of that, it should be of no surprise to me when a difference of opinion results in a fervent lack of disrespect. By being at their 24 hour beck and call, what do I expect? I have become their go-to-guy for sure, but on their terms. It amazes me that they are suddenly the ones handing out the ultimatums. It has become quite clear what I am doing wrong. Doing; herin lies the problem. Far too much and for far too long-the result is an entitled child who sees only what is next instead of what has been done.

At this point negotiation is not an option, the behavior warranting immediate action, the original topic now somewhat irrelevant. I have no choice but to send my children down that chute in the chocolate factory, before I send them out in the big "Chocolate Factory Chute of Life". It is the most undesirable option which lends creedence to the old saying, "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you". My other option? Sending myself down the chocolate factory chute. Today I feel like I belong there.

18 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

I learned too late in the process - it is better to raise children in a slightly deprived environment than it is to overly enrich their lives. Take proper care of the basics - food, clothes, shelter, education, health, etc. - but be lean and mean about the rest.

Let them grow hungry for all the sweets and goodies of life. They don't need the stuff we pour into their rooms, into their lives. I think if they really want that "thing" - computer, iPod, car - let them totally earn them - no gimmes.

And no to the soccer mom or dad stuff. If they want to play a sport - let them figure out the details.

Parents become nurturing slaves and, after awhile, the kiddies have no scale of values.

There's an expression that fits, "Children of the Cornucopia".

It can produce insensitive and demanding kids and young adults - and the reward to those caring parents? Not much.

Scandalous Housewife said...

Candy,
Scandy is in a similar place right now with the evil spawn from my loins! How do we get it back in check? Gratitude my ass! They don't have a clue how good they have it.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Oh...we should just start a new club. I too have failed in teaching my kids the value of appreciation, gratitude and the reward of a job well done...ugh.

I too have decided to do less...but where to start. I told my ds that I was not letting him have hot lunch at school unless he helps with dinner the night before...oh and if he doesn't, he's packing his own lunch before bed...
It's a start...

Meghan said...

Don't send yourself down the chute, just sigh and take some chocolate from the factory to help deal with the rest of the day.

B.E. Earl said...

Here is another reason why cats are better than kids. All my cats are good eggs.

Cora said...

Okay, now I have the Danny Elfman Varuca Salt song stuck in my head... Varuca Salt, the little brute has just gone down the garbage chute and she will meet as she descends a rather different set of friends....

Awww, Candy, good luck with your kids. *HUGS!!*

LegalMist said...

My cats are evil, so don't listen to B.E. Earl on that one. =]

Like you, I've always wanted to give my kids every opportunity. My husband, by contrast, subscribes to the philosophy of "The more I slack off, the more they learn to do for themselves, and then life's better for all of us." I'm starting to see the wisdom in his approach.

Joanie M said...

My youngest has no idea what gratitude is. She feels she's entitled. Boy, is she going to be surprised when she goes out into the real world!

Heff said...

Don't spoil your kids. I was spoiled, AND LOOK HOW I TURNED OUT !!!

Fancy Schmancy said...

I'm in the club with you lately.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Actually, it's not that hard. What you need to do is look at as, "I'm doing YOU a favor because when you get out to the real world because mommy will no longer be there and you will be able to take care of yourself!" And that's the truth. Remember when they called you on your vacation fighting over the remote control? Do you realize how crazy that sounds now? The greatest gift you can give your kids, Candy, is the ability to be SUCCESSFUL in life. The last thing you want to do is cripple them to a point where they are not self-sufficient, productive members of society. That would be a shame, wouldn't it?

Sassy Britches said...

I completely agree with everyone here. Less is more. (And we want to make sure it is less WITH REASONS and used for teaching rather than less TO BE LAZY--which of course you are not! I'm just pointing that out in the general sense!)

However! I never considered myself a spoiled child. I think my parents ran that middle ground really well. But, I think it is in the nature of children to not show gratitude for their parents' raising of them. Love, absolutely. Respect, hopefully if we've raised them right. Gratitude? I don't think that comes until later when we grow up ourselves and realize from a semi-outsider's perspective what our parents actually sacrificed, etc. for us. I love my parents to death, but I just came to the realization...oh, last fall...that I wasn't appreciative of them. And I'm the kind of person who if I hurt someone's feelings feels badly for the rest of my life!

So, food for thought, I guess...

The Dental Maven said...

Reminds me of that quote: "It's easy to get everything you want, provided you first learn to do without things you can't get."

It's Just Me said...

Our jobs as parents is to raise wonderful adults - this means looking past the immediate pleasures and wants and considering how it will effect the child (in the far future).

I have been busy on the other side of the coin and find that I missing a lot of enjoyment lately by being on top of raising productive, appreciative, amazing adults in my children.

Oh for us to meet in the middle....

What do all support groups say? Admitting you have a problem is the first step?

Scope said...

Where I come from, the "chocolate chute" has a WAY different meaning.

As a guy with no kids, I can say, "tough love" but I'm sure I would be the pushover.

joe said...

Veruca Salt... what a whiney bitch... i don't miss that chick at ALL

Furtheron said...

I think I agree with Bill S... too late have I realised that the privileged position I've put my offspring in doesn't lead them to be grateful at all at times.

slopmaster said...

Geez, you have it rough. Hang in there, it gets better, we’re not always such shits.