We are raising Entitled Teens. Are today's parents ruining the next generation?

I have 4 children.  2 of them are Karol's kids, and so they are my "step children", and 2 of them are my biological children.  The "step kids" are 22 and 19.  The bio kids are 17 and 15. So we have had some experience raising teens.

More and more I am seeing stories about teenagers and young adults who feel they are "entitled" to things.  I read about Generation Y and how they feel as though society and their parents "owe" them jobs, opportunities, etc.  They don't feel they have to work for things.

Case in point the story I read in Huffington Post today about a mom who got into an argument with her son.  He asked her what she had ever done for their family.  He was complaining because their family was financially strapped and he blamed the mom because she is a writer and he asked her when she was going to get a "real" job. My first reaction when reading this post was, "Why did she stand there and allow her teenager to talk to her like that?"  I know I would have sat my child down FAST and explained ad nauseum every thing I had done for him throughout his life, ad then pointed out everything I had bought for him that he didn't "need".  How my obligation to him is to provide him with basic necessities and that anything else he gets is a GIFT!


Then I read an article about a teenager in New Jersey who sued, yes I said SUED her parents for college tuition. She claimed her parents kicked her out of her family home when she turned 18 and refused to pay tuition for her private high school and future college education.  The parents claim she left of her own accord because she did not want to abide by their rules.  Ok, so yes there is a little he said she said going on here, but in all actuality where does it say a parent is obligated to pay for a child's college education??

I go to college at Old Dominion University.  There are plenty of students there with parents who pay for their education, room and board.  I have a friend whose daughter just send her the tuition bills and she just "takes care" of it.  However, there are many many students who are working while going to school, and taking out loans they have no idea how they will pay back.  In fact I took a statistics class last semester, and we had to have a "clicker" that we could use to answer questions on a powerpoint in class.  These questions were worth extra credit points.  The girl sitting next to me never answered the questions.  When I asked her why she said she just couldn't afford the clicker.  She had been in another class with me and I knew she was working her way through school.  I went to the book store and bought her a clicker and gave it to her the next class.  She was so grateful she almost cried.  She said she would pay me back, and I said, "No, just pay it forward.  Someday when you are okay financially and you know someone needs some help, just help them.  That is all the payback I need."

However, there was also a girl in a lab class I had who said she always got A's because she didn't have to work.  Her parents paid her tuition, and took out the loans for her.  All she had to do was make good grades in school.  What?? That girl bears NO accountability for her education.  What kind of life skills is she learning?  Just do a good job and someone will take care of you?? That is not reality. I read these articles and just shake my head.  I hear the comments come out of the mouths of my college peers and I am appalled.

I know there are entitled teens out there.  I know teens who are given cars for their 16th birthdays, or when they get their licenses.  These teens don't help pay for their insurance.  Many teens I know don't have jobs, and some parents I have spoken to have told me , "I don't want my teen to have a job, all they need to do is work hard in school and get good grades."  Okay, so how does your teen learn about how to navigate a job?  Or how to deal with a boss? Or even how to pay for their own things?


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