Dear Son: The World Doesn't Owe You Anything
I'll be honest - I'm writing this after a bit of a disagreement between the two of us. They say never write drunk or angry. Well, I'm not drunk. But the discussion we had is stirring something up inside me that just needs to come out.
The world doesn't owe you anything!
Let me set the stage just a bit with a recent example conversation we've had.
I pick you up after school and we have our usual drive home discussion:
Me: So, how was your Thursday?
Me: Did you do anything eventful at school today?
Me: Do you have any homework tonight?
Me: Care to tell me what it is using more than a one-word answer?
Our conversations have been rather one-sided lately. You're a teenager now; I get it. You don't want to talk much. But then, suddenly and without warning, the conversation turns. It usually goes something like this:
You: Hey dad. I want to tell you about [insert latest "thing" you want me to buy here].
Me: Oh yeah?
You: Yeah, it's so awesome. All my friends have it and they love it. Can you buy it for me, too?
This "what's in it for me" mentality has to go.
I get the impression that you only want to "talk" if there's something you want to ask me for. Well, son. I have news for ya. That's not how this household works. From now on, you're gonna have to start to earn your stuff because the world doesn't owe you anything and neither do I.
I wasn't trying to go off on a teenagers & entitlement rant, but I guess that's what this has become. It's not just my son, though. There are a lot of sons and daughters afflicted by this "gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude. They have a sense of entitlement and I'm not going to tolerate it any more. You're spoiled. You have thousands (maybe more; I'm a bit nauseous just thinking about it) of dollars worth of toys.
And do you know how long each of them captures your attention? Mere moments and you're on to the next.
It's up to parents to change this. It's up to me to change this for you. I used to hate the old "it's for your own good" when I'd get it from my dad, but I understand it more now, as a dad. If your behavior doesn't change now, what will you be like as an adult?
You can't attend college assuming your professors owe you good grades. If you want straight A's, earn them.
You can't graduate from college (God willing) and enter the workforce assuming companies owe you a job. If you want a job, show some initiative, set yourself apart from the other candidates and prove that you're the best choice.
If you want "stuff" do something about it. I'm over just handing you things. Yes, I will still provide for you. Yes, I will continue to put a roof over your head and feed you meals. Yes, we will even take vacations and have fun. But the regular "I want" conversations are over.
The world doesn't owe you anything. If you want something, light a fire under your ass and do something about it.