Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Twelve New Years Resolutions for Kids: Stopping the Self-Entitled Ment ality

Twelve New Year's Resolutions for Kids:
Stopping the Self-Entitled Mentality
by Christie Barnes
Worry Less, Parent Better, and Raise a Resilient Child
(Health Communications, Inc.)
author PARENT CUE CARDS Self-Esteem Kits
Chores, Kindergarten Milestones, Swimming Essentials, etc
(South Main Enterprises)
"Mommy, what was your New Year's Resolution?"  Kids want to know what parents are trying to solve for the New Year.  They will help us parents with our resolutions but do your children have any resolutions of their own, besides doing homework and whining less? 
These are great resolutions but tackling the self-esteem mentality will set your children up for life as much as tackling the homework. 
It starts with the child who expects a reward for every trip to the grocery store then extends to an iPhone as a reward for the ordinary book report and ends with college graduates refusing to take an entry level job, expecting to start as a manager or executive.
Here are Twelve New Year's Resolutions.  Choose one or choose one a month.
1)       Helping around the house is a normal necessity (like eating and sleeping).  I just have to do it because it needs to be done without a reward.  College kids complain when their clothes don't automatically pick themselves up.  No one will be there to give them a cookie for cleaning when they grow up.  Some kids have never spent a night away from home until college because of worried, doting parents.
2)      I will not force my parents to bribe me to do things I know I should do.  Ask them to help make the list with you and get the items so they are involved and not just passive, bored observers.
3)      If I do something good, I should have a reward but not money or extravagant presents.  If your child does help, get good grades (or at least works hard) allow them some free time or some special time with you.  You could even break your one-hour of TV or computer time on a school night as long as they are on track. Just don't offer money and things.
4)      I do not deserve to cut the line at the front when I am late because I am wonderful, my parents tell me that.  Yes, your child is wonderful but you need to teach your child to respect others.  Some parents encourage grab all you can get and encourage anything from cutting in line to cheating to get ahead.  One mom had so little respect for others that she demanded that her teen daughter cut the 12 person long Starbucks line because "she is so beautiful and she is late for school."  Then don't get Starbucks…
5)      I won't be the best at everything.  I will be good at some things and not others and I will recognize that.  Parents please instill realistic self-esteem.  Some things will be harder for your children than others.  A stocky kid may be great at wrestling or football but not basketball.  We are all born with different strengths that we can play to.
6)      I won't quit something I like doing because I am not the best.  (For example, girls who don't win the top awards are prone to give up hobbies they like, like painting, swimming, gymnastics, music because they feel they failed if they weren't first.)
7)      I do not need a reward for a grocery store trip.  Parents, don't give in.
8)      I do not need something from the gift shop for every trip to the zoo or theme park.  It can be as hard for a parent as a kid to pass up that huge-eyed stuffed baby tiger from the zoo gift shop
9)      I do not need to be praised every time I do something good.  I know it myself when I am happy and it makes me happy.  As an adult, we are not praised for everything we do right on the job.  Young adults often have a hard time with this.  Some think of quitting a job because they aren't praised and cannot tell from within themselves that they are doing well by accomplishing tasks.
10)    Sometimes a science expert is needed, sometimes a math one, or a cook, or an artist.  I will be the best I can be at my specialty and I won't beat myself up that I can't succeed at everything.  Parents tell their kids they can do or be anything.  Kids have many options but they really can't be and do everything.
11)    If I work as hard as I can, I still probably won't be the best in the world.  That sounds cruel but only one person can be the best quarterback in the world, or the best lawyer, or the best top model.  Or just a few will achieve the heights of fame and wealth.  Don't shatter dreams by creating false ones.  Focus on the process, the journey and not a destination that is probably unrealistic.  If your child does become a Hollywood superstar, that is the icing on the cake; he or she needs to just enjoy the acting work along the way.
12)    I will take an entry level job at no pay.  Graduates today have lost the concept of starting at the bottom and working their way up.
Be proud of them but prepare them for real life with realistic rewards and realistic expectations.
Christie Barnes, author of THE PARANOID PARENTS GUIDE, is the mother of triplet 9-yr-olds plus a tween daughter.  She is the founder of Paranoid Parents, dedicated to stop parents worrying about the wrong things.  Her blog, website, Paranoid Parents Anonymous club, and a dozen successful mini-books are helping parents with a "parent worry" extreme make-over and helping kids with a "self-esteem" make-over.
Barnes is featured in the upcoming March 2012 Parenting Magazine (both editions).  She has appeared recently on ABC News Now.  Good Morning America parenting expert Annie Pleshette Murphy said "I love this smart book." This book was featured in the Sunday New York Times; was the 'hit' of NPR, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times and radio and television across the country.
The Paranoid Parent's Guide is Confessions of a Slacker Mom meets The Worst Case Scenario Handbook--an irreverent yet imminently practical guide to help parents shun the alarmist parenting culture while keeping their children, sanity, and their budgets healthy.

1 comment:

  1. I love this list. I don't have children, but I can see the wisdom in each of these resolutions. "Don't shatter dreams by creating false ones." If my book on retrieving buried dreams wasn't already finished, I would love to snatch this line for it! :-)