Middle-class parents need to learn how to say “no” to their children, says a Newsweek story.
This generation of parents has always been driven to give their kids every advantage, from Mommy & Me swim classes all the way to that thick envelope from an elite college. But despite their good intentions, too many find themselves raising “wanting machines” who respond like Pavlovian dogs to the marketing behemoth that’s aimed right at them. Even getting what they want doesn’t satisfy some kids — they only want more. Now, a growing number of psychologists, educators and parents think it’s time to stop the madness and start teaching kids about what’s really important — values like hard work, delayed gratification, honesty and compassion. In a few communities, parents have begun to take action by banding together to enforce limits and rules so that no one has to feel guilty for denying her 6-year-old a $300 Nokia cell phone with all the latest bells and whistles. “It’s almost like parents have lost their parenting skills,” says Marsha Moritz, 54, who helped found the Parent Engagement Network, a support group in Boulder, Colo.
The parents need a support group? What wimps!
When my daughter said, “I want” too much, her father would sing, “You can’t always get what you want” till she begged him to stop. I just made it clear that nagging, whining and sulking never would be effective strategies. Keep asking and what you get is a mean, crabby mother.