Trick or Treat: Are We Raising An Entitled Generation?

Always, the highlight of my day is picking my daughter up from preschool. The whole way there I feel guilty, wishing I had been with her all day.

I miss her laugh and smile and curiosity and am jealous of the people who get to witness this magic developing every day. But when I get there, my daughter is happily playing with her friends, laughing and running around. They all hug and kiss each other good-bye. It really is precious and my guilt fades away because I can see that she is happy without me.

She comes running toward me and says, “MOMMY!!!” and wraps her arms around me. And then the words, “Do you have a treat for me!?” come out of her mouth. And if I’m organized and planned, I have a treat waiting for her. Usually a Hershey’s kiss or a Dum-Dum lollipop. Over time, I must admit, that this treat situation grew out of control.

The treats got more appealing and larger and exciting. One fateful afternoon I made the mistake of stopping by the gas station before I picked her up and they didn’t have any individual pieces of candy. Everything was huge or “sharing size.” In an effort not to be away from her any second longer, I grabbed a King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and headed out the door. YOLO, right?

I told myself to relax and knew she would be so overjoyed. And she was. She lost her mind over this monster candy. I gave her one, which is probably more chocolate than any preschooler should consume in a week, but oh well. We went home and got on with the rest of our evening. Homework {I know, right?}, dinner, bath, stories, etc.

The next day, I showed up without a treat. And she looked at me and said, “Is this a trick, Mommy?” She was broken-hearted and I took on the overwhelming weight of guilt that I had ruined her day. She cried the whole way to the car, the whole way home. She kicked, screamed and lost her mind over the non-treat factor. She told me that I was “so mean.” She calmed herself by the time we got to the house and I was trying to wipe my eyes dry. What a riot.

The following day I tried to scale-back the treat factor. I gave her a tootsie roll. I’m re-setting the board here, right? She said, “awwwwhhhhh, I wanted skittles!” The next day I bring a few skittles and she says, “awwwwww, I wanted chocolate!” I tell her to be grateful and not greedy. I got mad thinking, “this kid has got to get a grip! How dare she not be so appreciative of my generous offer?” I say, “Fine. You can’t say thank you for the treat I brought, then you don’t get it.” Now, seriously. Who’s the 4-year-old? I’m offended and hurt and beat-down over a little girl who has learned how to manipulate this treat situation. I feel helpless, like there should be a support group for “Not bringing treats to your preschooler when you pick them up.” And we would sit around and regale our stories of shame and disappointment. I mean, how are these going to be the kids that run our country some day? They’re entitled, egocentric and BRATTY {Gasp. Can’t believe I just said that about MY angel}.

This is part of the entitlement issue happening in our homes, schools, cars, parks, playgrounds, friends’ houses, etc. And it’s bad. And it’s our fault. We have little Veruca Salts running around everywhere. There is no one else to blame but us. It’s not our parent’s fault or that we were bullied because we had freckles. It is because everything is so easily obtained.

Priorities are out-of-whack, instant gratification rules the roost. Amazon delivers things to your house in two hours. What in the world? There is a company that grows food in organic dirt, cuts it up and puts it in baggies, throws in a recipe and mails it to your house and you STILL have to cook it. And people buy it! Life is about convenience and guilt and manipulation. More moms are working and thus, feeling guilty, and thus dealing with the treat-factor. I know I’m not alone, there’s got to be someone! HELP!

But it has to stop somewhere. Limits and boundaries have to be put in place. Kids need to be “checked.” And they need to go outside and get some fresh air. And they need to be immunized, get a bee sting, and maybe some leeches from playing in a pond. Ok maybe not. The ice cream truck needs to roll around, sprinklers need to be on lawns with kids running through them. Nintendo {everyone jokes with me that I still call it that, ha.} is reserved for special times. Remember when you went into a store and your mom prepped you with “you’re not getting a single thing in here,” and you listened or else. Let’s pull back the reigns a little bit. Let’s put our phones down and dance, play, color and create.

So, again I picked up my daughter the other day after not giving her treats for a week and she didn’t say a word and I was a proud mom. I felt like a queen who ruled with diplomacy and kindness. I was in control, things were good. I figured it out! HA! YAY! We rounded the corner and a mom was putting a jacket on her daughter and I heard her kid say, “Did you bring a treat for me?!” and the mom says, “YES!” and whips out a huge goodie bag and I run for my life, but Claire hears it. She doesn’t miss a beat and she says, “Mommy, did you bring ME a treat?!” My ears bled the whole way home and I.AM.SO.MEAN!

Have you experienced this with your child? Share your experience with us!

, , , , , ,

2 Responses to Trick or Treat: Are We Raising An Entitled Generation?

  1. Ali August 15, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    It’s a battle everyday to raise these children! Thanks for the encouragement and knowledge I am not alone.

  2. Mary C
    Mary C August 15, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    Welcome, Katie! And oh man, YES, amen, sister!! We go to the Salvation Army (affectionately nicknamed “The Sal”), and my kiddos play me like an instrument to get toys. I am weak. The way I fight back is going more and more seldom, but I am weak, weak, weak. My 4yo boy has been crying over wanting the same Transformer you as his cousin for A YEAR, and I watch it almost daily on Amazon. If that price dips, it will be coming our way. It’s shameful, and I realize I’m the problem, but I can’t seem to stop!

    This generation is kind of scary, actually.