"If your parents had to use a wooden spoon on you, then they clearly didn’t know how to parent you.”
Yep. I got that email last night after I posted my blog. I honestly had to laugh. Here was a stranger criticizing my parents. I tend to think they did a pretty good job. They raised three, well-rounded children. One is a successful HR exec, one is a journalist and the other is a doctor. Clearly they did something right. And let’s be real for a minute, it wasn’t all about a wooden spoon. It was about manners and respect.
I went home and was talking to my husband about it. He said, “This is why we have a generation of entitled kids.”
I repeated that earlier today and someone asked in shock: “How could you say something like that?!”
Because I have seen it first-hand.
At my last job, there was a young woman who was interning with our station. She showed up to work one day wearing extremely short shorts and a halter top. To work. Our news director at the time said, “You have two options…you can run home and get changed and come back…or you can just go home.” Her response came quickly and loudly: “WHO THE F@#K ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? YOU CAN’T TELL ME TO GO HOME!!”
Ahh…and there it is. The entitlement coming out. The “I have never been told no because I want to be your friend…let me give you a trophy because you signed up to play soccer even though you never come to practice, only games…I’m not going to give you a grade on this test because I don’t want you to think you’re a failure, even though you don’t study…you’re going to sit in time-out and then we will discuss why you called your mom the B-word…I can post anything I want on social media because I have freedom of speech…I won’t be held accountable at school because my parents will come and yell at the teacher for me.”
I will say it until I am blue in the face: I am thankful I was raised the way I was raised in the era I was raised in. We used the terms ma’am and sir…we said please and thank you…we wouldn’t dare look at our parents cross-eyed…if we didn’t study, we failed…if we didn’t go to practice, we didn’t play in the game…if we didn’t win, we didn’t get a trophy…if we talked back to our parents, we got the back of my mom’s hand to our mouths…if we used a bad word, we got soap in our mouths…if we acted up in school, our parents were called to the principal’s office and we served detention…if we didn’t like our dinner, then we didn’t eat…if we were late for curfew, we were grounded…if we lied, we had our toys taken away…if we misbehaved in the neighborhood, our neighbors would discipline us…if we didn’t get hired for a job, then we weren’t who they wanted.
We weren’t handled with kid gloves. Our parents let us fall so we learned how to get back up. We were told the word “NO” and told it often. It wasn’t about our parents being “our friends.” It was tough love. Why? Because they knew how tough the world is.
I’m over the “entitlement era.”
I’m nowhere near a perfect parent. I learn something new everyday. But I do know…I want to raise my kids the way I was. Because I don’t want to send spoiled, entitled brats into the world.
There is only one thing I knew: whatever my parents did…worked.
And guess who my best friends are now? Yep. My mom and dad. The ones who were “so mean” growing up.