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Entitled children are created, not born. I became a Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me parent early on. Not wanting to deprive my princess of anything, I indulged her until she started to get used to the good life. In fact, I trained her so well that, like Pavlov's dog, when we entered a shopping mall, she didn't start to salivate or bark, but she did whine incessantly. If I passed a shop without buying her something, passed the food court without getting her a cookie (even before dinner), or didn't run around like a crazy person to find her the same super, strappy, pink flip-flops that all of her friends had, she would torture me until I gave in. But secretly, I wanted to indulge her demands. I wanted her to be happy, to love her mommy who gave her everything. I was slowly creating a live, full-blown entitled beasta child whose voracious appetite for things, for getting her own way, and for lack of boundaries was out-of-control. I knew that something was terribly wrong but was stuck in the narcissistic pattern of giving in to her 'give me, get me, buy me' demands.
Many well-meaning parents bow to the demands of their children early onnot wanting to upset the poor dears. There is a parental fear that not complying with a child's demands will create an angry, frustrated child. Parents fear losing favor with their children. The subliminal message is 'If I don't give, I am not a good enough parent.' Parents fail to consider the bigger psychological problems that can occur when children lack discipline, boundaries, and humility.
When my child became a teen, the stakes got higher. Forget toys and pink sandals. We're now talking cars and Prada bags. But, with inner strength, a lot of support, and a desire to end the Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me madness, I started to change the entitled child attitude.
In our money-centered society, this has not been an easy task. Parents who I talk with about falling into the entitlement trap utter one overwhelming mantra: 'We want to take charge and begin to get control of our families.'
Overindulgence is not just about material objects. When we are hesitant to say no to our children for fear that they will withdraw their love or have a tantrum, we are doing ourselves and them a terrible disservice. Children will have a difficult time when they go to school, begin a job, and try to have friendships if they do not have limits and boundaries. Entitled children will always want to come first, and that is not how the real world functions. They will always have a sense of frustration. Parents must take the reigns and monitor their children's activities and not give in so readily to demands. It took me a while to realize the off button is in my handsnot my child'sand in this book, I will help you to press this button.
Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me is a parenting book about the child who says, 'I want it nowdo everything for me,' and the parents who live in a world of mixed messages and confusion. Discipline in today's culture has to be navigated around a blast of media messages and through dozens of technological machines. Children are bombarded with ads, commercials, and hidden product placements. They watch shows about super rich sweet–sixteen birthday parties, spoiled sports stars, and toddlers whose parents spend thousands of dollars on dresses for beauty pageants. Of course, they want it all. It is easy to understand why parents are confused. That is why I wrote this bookto help parents turn these entitled attitudes around.
I know the social, psychological, and discipline messages in Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me are the most important ones I will ever share with parents because it is more critical than ever in this competitive world to arm our children with humility, inner strength, resilience, self-assurance, and self-determination so they can be truly happy, productive, and confident.
The following chapters will help parents learn to recognize entitlement traps; make choices that are based on shared respect, understanding, the concept of no, and the recognition of when enough is enough; and to create inner satisfaction in a child who demands 'give me, get me, buy me.'
Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me!. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442