I’m not sure when this happened but sometime during my career as a parent my child got it into his head that he is special. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that my children are special to me, but not special.
This may seem harsh but I am witnessing a group of twenty-somethings, fresh out of college with a minor in entitlement and think that they are “special” and deserve special treatment. Okay, maybe this is a blanket statement and maybe a very small percentage actually believe this but I encounter someone daily who thinks that their circumstances deserve special treatment for no reason besides they expect it. This behavior makes me question what I was like at that age.
Of course when I was in my twenties I was working two jobs to pay for community college, living on my own (since I was nineteen) and helping to take care of my mom. I wonder if twenty year old me would be so critical of these youngsters.
I am also not saying that they did not work hard in college or are currently working hard, I'm just saying that there is nothing special about doing what is expected.
I want to teach my children that although I think that they are special, they don't deserve special treatment. If they want to have special treatment, they better earn it.
I blame the parents before me who fought so every kid gets a trophy. I hate to see my kids sad or lose but I would hate even more if they never learn to lose with grace and dignity. Sure they would have a trophy but what is that really teaching them?
My third grader occasionally comments on how much he hates his life because he has to do something that he is supposed to do like take a shower or go to school. In my overly informed mind I want to ask if he feels depressed and worries he may start cutting himself when in reality this is just a normal reaction of a child learning to navigate feelings that he is not use to but will have to learn to deal with otherwise he will never be able to cope with life.
This also has me researching volunteer opportunities in our community so that he may see how rough he actually has it.
My kids are wonderful, amazing kids but special and deserving of special treatment? I don't think so. They are only as special as their actions towards others and I pray that they will go on to do things that are special; that they will lead a purposeful life.
I also hope to instill in them that they do not deserve anything that they did not put the work or time into and if they want special treatment they better deserve it.