The “Entitlement Generation”

April 29, 2015

“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.




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  1. Carmen Nichols says:

    Amen, I agree 100% Me and my husband have raised our girls (one 17 & one 6) the exact way we were raised!!! And funny thing everywhere we go we get told how good are kids are, well mannered and respectful they are!!! Don’t get me wrong it has been a tough feat against all the other entitled kids out there now days but I tell my kids all the time that you may not like me right now but your gonna love me one day!!! My oldest totally gets it and I’m glad that I was hard on her because she gives it her all in all her sports, school work and has to work hard to get the mid range marks she does get but that’s ok. I don’t let her say it’s to hard, cause she know I will just tell her then you have to work harder. I am so scared for where are world is headed cause there are very few active parents left now days it seams 🙁

  2. Jeannette Walsh says:

    Well said…..I was blessed to have the same type of childhood……Can’t remember one single wack I didn’t deserved….STILL LOVE MY WONDERFUL PARENTS AND ALL THAT THEY TAUGHT ME ABOUT EVERYTHING! I MISS THEM EVERYDAY!

  3. wanda says:

    Dear Anchor Mom,
    I just ran across your page. I can not believe no one else has commented on this. You are so spot on right!!! I too am not a perfect parent. But I want the best for my children, that meant to have to discipline, say no when needed, and to instill manners, respect and politeness in them. No one wants to be around those people with entitlement issues.

  4. Tiffany S. says:

    Yes! Yes! YES!!!

  5. Mark Abbotts says:

    What a breath of fresh air. I am with you 100%. My two brothers and I grew up in a very similar environment as yours, and we seem to have had similar results. We grew up in a time where “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” , wasn’t just a verse of scripture. I fear for this “selfie” generation. I really do.

  6. Gaffey says:

    Your blog got reported on Facebook and a friend on mine commented Amen to it. Thought you’d wanna know.

  7. Frances says:

    Totally agree with you! I would have students coming in with their homework and tell me that some of the writing is different because their mom did it for them. A fourth-grader even told me that he was late getting to school because his mom was writing a report for sister in fifth grade. There are way too many parents out there that think their children shouldn’t fail. A Child has to fail at certain things in order to learn there are consequences for certain actions. We all had to learn those things just as a small child if we touched the stove we learned it was hot. There shouldn’t be any entitlements. All need to be held for their actions & suffer consequences no matter their age.

  8. Donna Lane says:

    Well said!

  9. Joe says:

    I must say it is nice to see someone else that see’s the issue with kids today is the PARENTS. If parent actually taught there kids the correct values our country would not be in the turmoil it is. My parent beat the snot outta me for doing stupid stuff, from talking back to being late. It has served me well in my life and with my 15 year old daughter that actually has a semblance of what is REAL and she does not expect to be handed everything, she asked us to get her a job so she can buy her own car next year. All of this is because we actually parented our child. I only had to spank her 3 times and she got the hint. After that she learned something called respect!!

  10. Samantha says:

    I am 25, and probably part of the “entitled generation” you speak of. I don’t disagree with most of the things you said, my parents are 80 and 70 respectively ,I was raised the old fashion way, and the whole “do things for me, I am above the law” crap annoys me to no end, most kids in my generation could use a few hundred hard day’s labor in a field…But when you mention the girl who said, “WHO THE F@#K ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? YOU CAN’T TELL ME TO GO HOME!!” I would say your argument would be stronger by altering your conclusion. Just because she said that, doesn’t mean directly that she is entitled based… What it definitely does mean, and which I’m happy you talked about earlier in your post is that she wasn’t raised to have manners or respect, which is a shame. Personally, Ive been in an internship for the past 6 months for teaching, and I bend over backwards to do everything and more expected of me because I want to a) be a good teacher and b) be respected by my future colleagues in the workplace. I would just argue that not all rudeness equates to entitlement.

  11. Sarah says:

    I agree completely. After spending a decade in the world of public education, I got fed up with the parents of the entitled kids. The pants that would tell me how to do my job, that their child could do no wrong, and that accountability is only expected from the teacher.
    Being a parent is the hardest job when fine properly. As a parent it is our responsibility to prepare our children for living life as productive members of society. That cannot happen if limits are not set and responsibility is required. Your boss is not going to bend over backwards to ensure your Egbert need is met and life is not going to adjust so you never have to deal with hardships.

  12. Teacher says:

    There are many ways to parent. My husband and I never spanked our three kids but that did not mean we did not discipline them. We were respectful to them and also had high expectations for their actions and behavior. We had a wonderful relationship with them then and now. I don’t like to brag but I believe they are kind and loving adults that contribute a lot to society. Not spanking, back handing, or using a wooden spoon on our kids certainly worked for our family.

  13. Pam Denley Marsh says:

    Amen, Sister!!

  14. mary barley says:

    I loved your comment that your neighbor was part of your “disciplining group”. In my home we knew to “mind” our neighbors too. I knew if Mr and Mrs Faulkner said, “mary,put that rock down and do not throw another one”, thatI had better not touch another one. The Faulkners were our neighbors and their daughter. Margie, was my good friend. The Faulkners were black and we were white. But I knew i knew my parents would skin me alive had i not done as the FAulkners told me. Their children would have minded my parents as well. To have sassed them would never have crossed my mind. Oh, that we could be like that today in our neighborhoods.