Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear sons: No one owes you anything

While driving this afternoon I was listening to a holiday commercial for a car. I've seen the television commercial version, too. There's pre-teen or young teen boy giving his request to Santa and ending by saying  "I'll be driving soon, so you better hook me up."

I couldn't help it. My mind wiped out everything else in the verbal advertisement and focused on that last line. And I thought that it was pretty arrogant of the kid to expect that. I don't like when I see kids expecting and demanding things of others. I know I grew up in a different time, but I never expected other people to do things or give me things. When I was given a gift or someone did something nice for me, I was very appreciative. Kids who get everything often don't appreciate what they do get. And somehow we've moved into this way of life where so many people feel entitled to things - they don't feel like they should work for things or reciprocate, just that someone owes them something.

I want to make sure that you boys grow up feeling a sense of appreciation for what you get. I don't want you to expect others to give you things or do things for you. As your mother, I have a responsibility to take care of you and see that your basic needs are met. That means providing food and shelter and love and keeping you healthy - not making sure you have expensive shoes or the newest generation of electronic devices. And it's only your parents that have that obligation of tending to those basic needs. No one else in the world owes you anything. If you're blessed by others, consider it just that - a blessing.


Crystal Green said...

I've griped about this very issue many times on my blog. I also feel the same way you do.

Unfortunately, though I have in-laws who give my kids and (my husband) everything that they request one way or another. So, they have this terrible attitude of "you owe me." My husband doesn't play that card on me hardly at all because he knows better. However, he does like to joke with me when he's done a long list of things for me ..."you owe me."

Emily Gaston said...

I couldn't agree more. I have two young children, but I also have two young-ish siblings. The difference between the way my parents are raising my siblings (where people owe them things) to how they raised me and how I am now raising my kids is astonishing. When did my parents shift attitudes?
It's sad to see my siblings walk through life, at the moment, as useless human beings. I hope and pray that once they leave to college things will change.
Thank you for this post. It's so comforting to find people who are on the same boat.