Monday, November 21, 2005

A Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday to all

We're getting ready to go to my husband's parents for our Thanksgiving Holiday and I wanted to tell everyone that I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! Of course, we're totally swamped trying to get everything done at the last moment, that's how most of us work best!

If you don't want to hear some venting, feel free to not read the rest of the post. I was happy to spend Saturday with my son, and have some opions of my own to make known as a result of also spending the day with my former husband: (As well as my son's mentor who is the finest person I have ever met): "If you give a person everything in the world that he wants, he loses the motivation to do anything for himself. He will lose the drive to excel, and if you then do everything for him under the guise of "helping", he will have no reason to be proud of his own accomplishments. He does not value the things that are not earned himself, nor does he appreciate what goes into obtaining them, and does not respect the work that others must do in order to own their own rewards. He becomes negative and entitled and will continue to desire to be spoiled and have everything handed to him as time goes on unless he himself breaks this cycle since it's much easy to take with open hand than to work for rewards. The parent who indulges in this way is creating a dependant adult for the parent's own misguided gain, not an independent and well adjusted adult." Those are my opinions on childrearing, which force me to sometimes make unpopular decisions based on the difference between easy and fun to having rules, boundaries, and responsibilities for my child. Being the one that was "a parent" was always more difficult than being the one that was trying to always be "a friend". It's so much more than what a parent buys for their child.

Pending his graduation in 3 weeks, my son has been given: a resume written my my ex, a job through a relative that DS hasn't even yet interviewed for, a car (test driven by my ex, and will be purchased by him although my son will supposedly pay him back), a driver's license ( appointment for the test was made for him), insurance for that car, contact lenses that I always said he should earn by his behavior, and is being actively solicited for what he wants for graduation gifts which will no doubt add to his already large collection of DVDs and electronics. Things like this have robbed this young adult of much needed life skills and lessons in doing things for himself and reinforced how easy it is to be entitled, and I've not but listed a few.

This program DS is enrolled in was a fallback position because he did not do his work in High School despite mounting groundings and restrictions for his defiant behavior. It's obvious that the negative teaching of entitlement and growing up hearing how horrible "rules" were was deeply rooted, and the "cause and effect", "earn your rewards", and "action and consequences" based teaching that I have tried to counter the negative done all these years was lost to the easier path from my marriage and move from Colorado when my son was 4 years old. I am very proud of my son's progress, his academic honors, his fantastic grades and test scores, his volunteer work and his rising to the top in this program, but since it's a residential program since July, I can only surmise that he is successful since he was left to his own "sink or swim" motivations without the "easier path" being there for him. He excelled and blossomed in an environment of structure and rules without having the negativity of "those rules are stupid" whispered in his ears. He's done it on his own, and he deserves to be very proud of himself, as I am very, very proud of him. I knew he could do anything he wanted as long as he was able to do it for himself and that the environment of structure as I always fought for would be beneficial. I do hope that he can get away from the influence of entititlement and laziness so he will continue to thrive and What a shame, my heart cries out for this wonderful kid that I love more than words can express, and I sincerely hope that my son realizes what has happened. I hope that none of the single (or remarried) parents out there has to deal with anything negative happening to their child.

Happy Holidays, everyone.


Liz said...

Hrm, safe trip and fun times to you and Mark.

I've told you my thoughts on this matter already. I was raised by both my parents (still married to each other 36 years later) and am an only child.

Despite this, not only was I not spoiled, I had to work for everything I have with the exception of my first car which was a "gift" in lieu of paying for college. I couldn't afford car, college tuition, books, housing, insurance, gas and food and still go to school full time, so my parents gave me a car that ended up costing me more in repairs than the price they paid for it. But that is not the point. The point is, I paid for my own schooling, and while I was a little bitter about it at the time, I think it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Because I was paying for it, I made the decisions, not my parents and that has allowed me to pursue a path that I love and has gotten me to where I am now. I am grateful to my parents for making me become a responsible adult when they could have made my path an easy one.

I hope your son does what he truly wants, not what he is being manipulated into.

Good luck and safe travels Vicki. I'll be thinking of you.

CrazyFiberLady said...


While I'm new at this parenting thing, I have similar views. Our job is to parent, not to be a friend. The goal is to create an able body adult who can stand on their own two feet, not someone who will need us to fight their battles for the rest of their lives. It isn't the easier path, but it is the most rewarding.

Happy holiday!

Alison said...

Thoughtful post and I totally agree. My mother did too much for me and I have a few issues dealing with people now as a result. My kids are young (almost 6 and 3-1/2) and although they do need me a lot now, I try to make them do things on their own when I can. I make my oldest ask questions of guides when we go places like museums and make both pay for purchases from money they have earned through chores (they actually give the money to the clerk and get their change). They are both comfortable talking to adults. My almost six-year-old checks out her own books at the library with her own card; she helps her sister with "lessons".

Martial arts are also very helpful to independent thinking. The oldest gets help learning her stuff, but she ultimately has to stand up by herself and earn her belt; the youngest will start when she's four with her older sister.

It isn't the easiest route. It would be much easier, not to mention faster, to do things for them at times, but they don't learn independence that way.