Should We Give Our Kids What We Didn’t Get Growing Up?


I think it is every parents dream ( at least for those of us who grew up in middle class or lower situations) to give our kids the things we didn’t have growing up. I think this is actually a huge mistake. I want to give my kids the values my father and mother gave me. The “helicopter parents” of today hover over their kids, do their homework, write their essays and talk to their teachers because they want the best for their kids. However, I’m not sure if this is what is best for kids. My father made me address every adult as Mr. or Mrs., expected me to say please and thank you, and let me use his snowblower to make money in the winter and his rake to make money in the fall and spring. Ever try to find a kid to shovel snow or rake a leaf? Might as well head out back and hunt unicorns.

I think the best thing you can do for your kid is give them a dose of real life. Make them work  a summer job when they are 16. When they are 13 or 14 make sure they rake leaves and shovel snow. Take away their cell phone or get one with three numbers ( you, 911 plus one more) and no texting. If they get a car, get a _ _ it box instead of a BMW. Their is so much we learned from our parents that made us successful that we are not passing on to our kids. What we are giving them is a sense of entitlement they don’t deserve.

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6 Responses to “Should We Give Our Kids What We Didn’t Get Growing Up?”

  1. When I was a kid I thought i knew everything, so I went up to my Dad thinking I was so smart for coming up with this question: “Why do I have to make my bed when I am just going to sleep in it again?” The answer he gave me was perfect and it stuck with me throughout the years (I will give you the “clean” version of it on here…insert curse words if you desire…) ANSWER: “Why wipe your butt when you are just going to poop again?” To this day, I always make my bed–and dang well. (the explict lyric version sounds better, but you get the point…)

  2. Yes, all of the foregoing is true. A lot of kids are not taught core values an come from 1 parent families. High school drop out rate is increasing. Kids live unhealthy lifestyles, are not lazy, not motivated and have never been taught the value of a dollar. Worst part this is the first generation who will not live to be older than their parents.
    I am very fortunate. My grandson is 3 yrs 4 mos. old, speaks english, french and german fluently (can even count to 20 in all 3) . At daycare he;s starting to learn a few words of Spanish. The way the world is going I think I’d better buy a good Chinese dictionary. The Chinese appear more recession resistant than North Americans.

  3. Jason B Says:

    Amen Coach,

    I see this stuff every day, all day between coaching, teaching etc. Drives me bananas. Unfortunately the age of the internet and tech. has help create this. When was the last time you saw a kid use a pay phone? Half of them can’t even have a normal conversation in person, their fingers do the talking either with the phone, a key pad or remote control

  4. Coach – I was just having this conversation with my coworkers yesterday! We are wondering what our country will be like for the next generation if it’s full of kids who “expect” a lot, but don’t know how to work to get it. Kids who have no social skills, no verbal and written communication skills and a lack of basic life skills because they either have their parents do everything for them, or because some of the resources that were there when we were growing up are no longer available, as schools cut programs and focus on just getting kids to pass tests.

    When I was a kid, my parents did give us a lot. More than what they had. But they made us work for these things. We had chores, we had jobs from the time we were legal to work. We were expected to make our grades by studying and putting in the hard work ourselves.

    And don’t get me started in on social awkwardness. I remember being able to have a conversation with an adult when I was 11 or 12, and as a teenager, where I could fully engage in the conversation, and use complete sentences, and not say things such as “like…” and “you know…” every other word. My brother and my friends, too. None of us had a hard time holding our own in social settings and conversations. We were expected to engage in conversation, to participate in family discussions, and to TALK to people. Now with texting, email and chatting, kids don’t know how to spell. They don’t know how to read another person’s body language. They are socially awkward, and it’s really sad to think these are the adults who will be in charge of things when we are old and/or gone.

  5. I saw this the other day and it seem appropriate.

  6. This is great Mike. I am not even close to being a parent yet, but as a coach, the kids who come in to train with me over the summer after having worked a day in construction and are paying their own gym dues are usually miles ahead of everyone else in my eyes.

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