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How Entitled Are You?

Here's the harsh truth: your generation is spoiled. Absolved of all failures and rewarded for mediocrity, many kids nowadays have become incredibly self-centered.
photo courtesy of The CW/Solar Entertainment/ETC

Gimme, Gimme!
When Charles, 19, doesn't get his way, he shows it. His older sister Tina says he smashes stuff in the house to prove his point. Charles once made a deal with his mom that she'd get him a Nintendo Wii if he completed another year of college. He didn't—but she got him his Wii anyway.

Lana, 13, graduated from grade school with honors and asked for P5000 from her mom as a reward. Her mom didn't oblige and gave her something else, but it became a source of resentment.

Milo, 23, recalls what he was like growing up: "I was very bratty. I always had to go to the toy store, and I'd cry when my mom wouldn't buy what I wanted." If his mom didn't give in, Milo turned to his father, who was more indulgent.

Entitlement Generation
These case give us a peek into the way parents raise the so-called "Entitlement Generation," characterized by the impression that somebody owes you something. The youth was also described by a Fortune Magazine cover story as "all nonchalance and expectation" and "the most high-maintenance work force in the history of the world."

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A 2005 survey by Florida State University states that 55% of employees thought their young colleagues "act as if they are more deserving than others at work." Author Erika J. Chopich, PhD, agrees and says, "We have absolved (children) of all failures, and endowed them with unlimited special-ness and therefore, tragically, they cannot arrive at the simple truth that there is something greater than themselves."

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Charles didn't make the grade to stay in school, but his mom gave him his reward anyway. Lana may have proven that she worked hard to graduate with honors, but was it right for a 13-year-old to dictate what her "cash prize" should be? As for Milo, his parents' conflicting answers to his demands only reinforced his power over them.

Dr. Chopich says, "When children are raised to never know failure, they can't savor the delicacy of success." As a result, they become clueless in the real world. In a 2005 report, the Associated Press says , "Modern college grads have shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties, but little willingness to take on grunt work or remain loyal to a company."

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The Game of Manipulation
"Children, being emotionally immature, cannot fully comprehend the gravity of materialism," shares Rose Galvez, mother of two. "It is the parents' duty to control their child's urges to spend."

According to Occupational Therapist and professor Jeanette Soriano, parents tend to spoil their children when they feel guilty for not spending time with them. "If the situation is such, kids will get used to the idea that they can always have the best of both worlds."

The outcome manifests later on in the children's lives. Soriano cites examples of a needy wife who will throw tantrums when her husband doesn't fulfill her needs, a corrupt politician who will do anything to win an election, or a greedy businessman who thinks profit is everything.

How should parents stand their ground? Rose asserts the need to be calm when talking to kids. "You can be authoritative without screaming. The calmer you are, the more your child will respect you."

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It is also essential to stick to your word. "I had a neighbor who took her kids to the mall one time, and specifically told them they weren't buying any toys that day," narrates Rose. "When they got home, the middle child was practically gasping for air from crying because he wanted this gigantic toy robot at the store. The mom caved in and went back to the mall to buy it. Giving in like this doesn't show your child how much you love him. It only reinforces his belief that he's in control of you."

Striking a Balance
Thankfully, living in abundance doesn't always create a spoiled brat. Take the case of Anna, 22, whose parents have always been generous with her wants. "My parents made sure my siblings and I did our schoolwork and grew up knowing how to make sound decisions. Just because we had what we wanted as kids doesn't necessarily mean adverse effects as adults."

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There are also those like Milo who learn their lessons in time. "Remembering how I was as a child made me want to never be like that again. I'm not proud of it. Now I try to work hard for the things I want."

You're not solely responsible for growing up spoiled. Parents and children unintentionally feel on each other's mistakes, one party giving, the other manipulating. Now that we can spot what's wrong, it's time to make things right. The Entitlement Generation is a growing statistic you do not want to become a part of.

For Your Parents
Friendly tips for your mom and dad on raising YOU right!
by Lorie Ramirez

  • Give your kids treats when they really deserve it.
  • Schedule a special day for the two of you when you can do whatever you feel like doing. It introduces the concept of "there is a place and time for everything" and avoids unnecessary arguments on when to go to the mall.
  • Be aware of school schedules to know the best possible time to go out and have fun.
  • Do not be afraid to explain things to them. Kids are really smarter nowadays.
  • Make them feel their opinions matter.
  • Give them a budget when you shop together (i.e. P300) It's never too early to introduce the concept of saving.
  • Always give hugs and kisses.
  • Say "I love you" every chance you get.
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Jillian Gatcheco
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A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender

Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.

Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.

It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.

Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"

Jayson Miranda 2 days ago
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