Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Me' Generation Needs to Grow Up

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Me' Generation Needs to Grow Up

Article excerpt

Dear Open Mind: What is in store for a society that is rearing a generation of "me-first" kids? It's feed me first, clothe me first, tend to my needs first and make very sure you send me to the best schools because if you don't, and I fail in life, it will be your fault. Don't ever expect me to be gracious or responsible. Don't expect me to care about anyone else because I'm a me-person, and it's essential that I am happy with "me." In my opinion this is something that needs to be addressed. What's your answer?

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Many parents are unwittingly rearing a generation of "me-first" kids whose conviction that they must always be "first" leads to apathy toward social problems in society and to emotional problems for them.

Selfish kids don't serve those less fortunate than themselves unless helped to do so by parents, church or enlightened schools, which make community service a regular part of the curriculum. Children with a grandiose sense of their personal entitlement are often unprepared to cope with the disappointments, setbacks and failures that life inevitably brings as they move from adolescence to adulthood, and the resulting feelings of hurt, anger, depression and even personal inadequacy can be crippling.

Basically, when everything has gone their way for so many formative years, they don't know how to rebound when it doesn't. Parents who fear they may be raising entitled children must be careful to establish healthy family routines, to hold firm on consequences for misbehavior, to insist that a child work for a reasonable allowance and to not give in to tantrums and pleas that "everyone else" has one or is doing it.

Parents may wish to enroll their children in church activities or schools that place more emphasis on healthy interpersonal relations and personal responsibility. Remember that for many children, this grandiose sense of entitlement is a defense against feelings of low self-worth and early childhood perceptions of neglect or deprivation. …

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