I found this interesting article on Huffington Post by Rhonda Stepens. 

Huffington Post: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/9645450?

Ms. Stephens’ original blog post: https://rhondastephens.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/parenting-are-we-getting-a-raw-deal/

My take:


Do you know whose fault it is? It is the parents fault. I’m not saying it’s wrong to splurge on them now and then but all the time that’s spoiling and ruining kids. 

One year, my daughter got the $115 American Girl doll that looks just like her. However, I got it on sale with FREE shipping. It was a birthday gift and her dad happened to be working overseas so we had a little extra to spend on her. That probably will not happen again. Most of her accessories are from other stores, homemade, or on clearance from AG.

Yes. My boys love wearing Under Armor. If I can’t get it at a discount store like T. J. Maxx or Ross, then it has to be on the clearance rack. Wrangler, Levi, and Carhart jeans work just as well as, and probably better than, $100-$150 jeans. 

What’s more annoying is seeing people pay extra for clothes that are ripped and dirty looking.  (Listen up if you are into that thing: I’ve got 2 boys that can demonstrate how to put holes in brand new pants and dirty them up very well in less than a day. They will only charge $5 for personal jean ruining coaching.)

Kids NEED chores. Let me say that again. KIDS NEED CHORES MORE THAN THEY NEED SPORTS AND EXTRACURRICULAR CLASSES! Sports and extracurricular classes are great but they do not teach kids basic life skills. I remember meeting an Army wife that could not boil water. Seriously! She had never learned to use a stove. I had to give her a crash course in simple cooking skills. I also taught her how to sew a button and repair a hem for the cost of needle and thread; instead of paying $5-$10 for something so easy. 

My kids are 10 and under. They all know how to do their laundry, clean their own rooms and bathroom (yes the kids share one bathroom), dust, run the vacuum, clean up the yard, take out the trash, operate the dishwasher and unload it, and help with auto repair. 

My oldest is almost 11. This past summer he pushed the lawn mower with me walking next to him helping him understand how to mower in certain patterns to make the lawn look nice. He’s learning how to operate the mower (yes, for all you scaredy-cat parents, it has safety devices and I am by him the entire time). Do I trust him alone with it? Yes. Do I trust sissy parents living near me who coddle their kids? Nope. Do I leave him alone? No, for fear of someone reporting me for teaching my kid to use something I learned to use at 10! (shh, I need my steps too!) 

I’m raising my kids to never need anyone’s help. The same way that I was raised. I can do my own oil changes (even though I pay Wal-Mart or Costco to do it while I grocery shop-I’m a doctoral student so I need the time saving shortcuts). After I finish my doctorate, I will do it myself. I can change a tire if my truck has a flat. I can drive just about anything: automatic, standard, motorcycle. My dad and mom prepared me for a life of not needing a man to be around to help*. They both saw how women were trapped in marriages because “way back” when women only knew they needed man to handle everything for them. My parents are traditionalists with common sense that gender doesn’t restrict a person’s ability. 

(*Don’t get me wrong. My husband is my best friend and I need him; with his job he’s not always around. I can handle everything on my own. I love having his help and lifting some of the burden of household responsibility from my shoulders. He’s a soldier he can be gone weeks or months at a time and I’m okay with that because my parents equipped me to do it on my own.)

For the love of all that is Holy: KIDS DO NOT NEED A SAFE PLACE ALL THE TIME. Yes, home and school are supposed to be safe places. Sometimes they are not. They need a sanctuary from abuse that may happen by those who are responsible for protecting them. Sadly, child abuse does happen. I’m not talking about that. 

I’m talking about kids who can’t stand it if the person they wanted for President loses or just seeing someone’s name sends them to a panic. GROW UP LEARN TO HANDLE A LOSS.  (Neither candidate was my favorite but I didn’t throw a hissie fit and demand to be excused from classes.). It’s not traumatic or horrendous. It’s disappointing, upsetting, or frustrating. Trauma is what is experienced by soldiers, police, and other emergency workers who rush to a scene of a crime only to rush out to vomit because of the gore. It’s seeing a battle buddy shot or blown up. It happens to people who are kidnapped, raped, mentally tortured based on threats and fear, mugged at gun point, etc.  Those who yell that they experienced trauma over an election or seeing someone’s name lack mental toughness. 

Your kid will get yelled at by professors and bosses. God forbid they join the military and have to handle a knife hand in front of their face. They have to develop the mental toughness in order to overcome hard times. 

Parents teach your kids to be independent. Teach them to do every household chore on their own within reason of their ages (a 3-year-old can’t cook but a 13 year old can; a 3-year-old can help vacuum, dust, and fold wash cloths with mom or dad). Teach them to handle losses with grace; the losing team doesn’t need a trophy. Teach them to be content with less.  Here’s one that’s hard…teach them to budget their own money. It’s not easy living on your own. Start now so your not having to bail them out for rent or groceries.

Life is about balancing the wants and needs; expensive gifts with reasonable daily expectations; things go their way compared to everything going wrong. 

If a child is given everything they want and parents go out of their way to make a child happy more than the special occasion, then those parents are setting their child up for mental anguish as adults.