The Raising of the Soft and Entitled… aka the Millennials…. By Vicky Dal Molin

It hit me recently that I have been playing into what I have come to realize has become a generation of parents who just don’t parent anymore. Where and when did having to actually parent disappear?

It’s a Saturday afternoon and my almost 3 year old decides to start arguing with me when he’s told to stop doing something. I actually entertained the discussion – I allowed him to have a conversation trying to negotiate his behavior and the extent that he could continue to act up. Trying to rationalize with a toddler…. You would think I was smart enough to see that wasn’t going to be effective.

Then it was like a smack across my face (yep took 2 years and 11 months!)….. how on earth did I become one of those people not really parenting our children anymore? When did this become a democracy? That it become ok to let my son feel he can justify his misbehavior acceptable in our home? I suspect in part it has to do with the judgment and pressure we get from society to not really discipline anymore. It’s not PC to spank a kid on the wrist, to single them out for their actions, to teach them sometimes they will miss out, sometimes they wont get their way and dare I say it… sometimes life just isn’t fair.

So what has happened?

I read this phrase recently that I think sums it up perfectly – we have become very “precious” in our generation when it comes to parenting. We seem to have moved from generations of parents teaching our children to be self reliant, about boundaries and discipline to becoming “helicopter parents”! We try to protect our kids from everything. From feeling left out, feeling upset, feeling loss. Dare I say it… we are creating a society of wimps! Of soft (and frankly bratty) children.

Take even the articles* circulating today about a restaurant owner who…. after she (and the 75 other patrons) had to put up with a crying 2 year old for an extended period of time – went over and yelled for the child to be quiet. The controversy and divided opinions on what the owner did have just become ridiculous. Everyone became an expert and the judgments either way flew.

And as a mother we get judged as parents for EVERYTHING, which really doesn’t help the generation we are raising…. That poor mum that was reprimanded publically for including Oreo’s in her child’s lunch?!?!** Or the parents that are being told they have to invite either the entire class of their children or none at all for the risk of anyone feeling left out. And don’t you dare bring up the topic of spanking a child or time outs without expecting a barrage of “if you really love your kids and take the time to understand them and pamper them you don’t need to smack or do time outs!”

The ability to raise a strong, disciplined and well behaved generation disappears when we as parents let misplaced judgments of outsiders stop us from doing our job. Our role is to help navigate our children through life and teach them values and morals, respect and manners. When we decide our children were too precious to take a fall or fail or be left out and compensate for that then we are doing them a huge disservice for later in life and setting them up to fail.

So now my son gets time outs, he gets toys taken away from him if he misbehaves, he loses privileges for acting up…. And shock horror he’s actually changing from a toy throwing beast boy to someone that knows his parents don’t muck around when they tell him to stop. I even “helicopter” less and am leaving him to work a few things out for himself. And I’m fairly certain he isn’t going to be messed up later in life because we taught him boundaries and respect for his parents and his environment and society around him. Or if we let him fail or feel the sting of real life now and then.


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  1. One Response to “The Raising of the Soft and Entitled… aka the Millennials…. By Vicky Dal Molin”

  2. Hi, we met at Blogher this past weekend and I’m checking out your site. I am not a parent — that ship has sailed. But, I was very interested in this article and it did not disappoint. The fact is that the ones you and others raise become citizens of the world that we will all engage with one way or another. The pendulum should swing in the other direction of less “helicoptering.” You want people who know they can fail and recover; who can exercise judgment without being told in detail what to do; and who respect authority and wisdom from others. Nice post!

    By Kim A. Hazel on Jul 21, 2015