I’m not sure when it 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 think that my children are special to me, but not special.
I want my children to know that although I think that they are special, they don't deserve special treatment. If they want to have special treatment, they should 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. I would hate even more if they never learn to lose with grace and dignity.
My third grader occasionally comments on how much he hates his life. This almost always is 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. I worry he may start cutting himself. In reality, this is just a normal reaction. He is learning to navigate feelings that are new.
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 are. 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. If they want special treatment they should deserve it.