Why Me?

I try to make reading a priority in my life, and sometimes there are things that just stick out to you. Today it was this:

“Why me” assumes that I should be exempt from the pain everyone else feels. “Why not me?” is humbling and appropriate.*

I have often heard of Generation Y, or the Millennials, being described as narcissistic and having a sense of entitlement. One website describes it as a result of “constantly praising children, not criticizing them under any circumstances, emphasizing feelings, and not recognizing one child’s achievements as superior to another’s. At the end of a season, every player “won” a trophy. Instead of just one “student of the month,” schools named dozens. Teachers inflated grades from kindergarten through college: “C” became the new “F.” No one ever had to repeat a grade because staying behind caused poor self-esteem.” (http://www.aspeneducation.com/article-entitlement.html)

Reading that from the outside, it’s easy for me to think how completely absurd that sounds, and how ill-prepared my generation and the ones following it are for the realities of life. But truthfully, how many of us younger parents are guilty of such behavior? Miles is only four months old, and I’m constantly telling him how handsome and smart and strong he is. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that now, but when does it become too much?

I think the truth is this: most parents would rather coddle their kids than risk not being liked by them. In my mind, to this point, Miles is fault-free. But there will come a day when he needs to face consequences for his actions. When that day comes, I have to be strong enough to make him do so and not sugarcoat the cause-and-effect way of life. Pray that day doesn’t come for a long while, would you?

* from The Optimism Advantage by Terry L. Paulson
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