I have had more than six years of experience teaching the high school population. Though I’m not in the classroom anymore, during those years I had come to see that kids nowadays have this entitlement demeanor about them. Now of course not all kids roll like this, but many do and I can’t help but think we may have created this monster.
As a parent, I have come to see I am very much a part of this equation with raising my own kids. I’d first like to say that my kids are extraordinary. They kick butt in school and receive many accolades for their academic efforts. I couldn’t be prouder in that sense. But sometimes at home it’s a different story.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, along with laundry and other cleaning duties around the house all seem to be something that daddy is expected to handle. Hmmm.
Daily, I remind my kids to pick up after themselves, clean up their own mess and handle their own laundry. Papa just needs some help, that’s it!
I can’t help but think I’ve created this monster. See when the mother of my children and I split up over six years ago, I was called to run a household as a single parent. This was a big wake up call as to how much my ex-wife did around the house. After a couple months, I had a strong hold on household duties. The kids were young so I pretty much did it all.
I was definitely overcompensating for their mom not being in the household any longer. Fast forward six years, I’m exhausted. Plus between me, their mom and our parents, my kids are spoiled. They have everything they need and then some.
I believe like many of our parents, we want to give our kids everything we didn’t have growing up. Plus with a divorce in the equation, we tend to overdue it in regard to making our kids comfortable and happy. From firsthand hand experience, I see that this has some serious consequences.
I don’t want my kids to grow up and take on the world expecting that they will always be cleaned up after. I don’t want them to expect to be showered with gifts when they didn’t have to do much to receive those gifts. I don’t want them to have dreams, but feel like they don’t have to work hard to make it happen, or that someone else is going to make it happen for them.
As I mentioned earlier, they do a great job in school and I couldn’t be prouder. But for those who are in the real world, we know that doing good in school doesn’t always equate to a happy and successful life.
In my experience, being successful goes hand in hand with a great work ethic and the ability to be a team player. This reigns true with career and family home life. I do have to say things have gotten better in my household since I’ve woken up to my shortcomings as the one who leads the household. And I am proud of my kids for taking on more responsibility.
Maybe it’s time to pay homage to the old school ways of our grandparents who knew what it meant to work hard, be a team player, and take care of their own shit. Something about this mentality breeds appreciation for the things we do acquire along the way. Who doesn’t enjoy the feeling of being rewarded for the fruits of their labor? We end up appreciating those rewards more when it comes from our hard work.
So the journey continues. All our kids really need to grow up to be good people is love and to be lead in a healthy way. They don’t necessarily need all their laundry done by us, every meal cooked, or every single new iPhone that comes out. So keep showering them with love. Even if that means tough love at times.
Big Love Always.