As Term 1 comes to a close it seems like just yesterday that we were welcoming students and new families to GCC on the first day of school.
While I was in Canada in the Christmas holidays, I read some excellent articles regarding “Entitlement – and How this Affects our Children.” Parenting is the most important job we ever do in life and we never receive any training beforehand. We often learn on the job and just pray that we are keeping one step ahead of the game as our children develop from toddlers to preppies to pre-teens and finally teenagers and young adults.
Just like in education, where the most significant work is often done in preparing children before they even start school, the most important work in guiding our children in other areas also happens in those early years and provides the foundation for later development as they mature in age.
One article by Susan Newman PhD began with a comment “The longer I’ve been a parent, the more I have become aware of how entitled many people seem to be and how very easy it is to get caught up in comparing what you have or don’t have with other families around you. As my children grow older, their awareness of the differences between themselves and their classmates grows. As they’re allowed more access to media and have a wider circle of friends, their desire for “stuff” they might otherwise not have been exposed to grows as well. Helping our children gain a broader perspective of the world they live in, instilling a sense of gratitude for all we have and encouraging kindness toward those less fortunate than us are all things very important to both me and my husband. But it’s not easy.
The first question which was addressed to Susan Newman PhD in this article was
Question #1 Many parents believe that children today are much less respectful than they were a generation or two ago. Some believe that more discipline would lead to more respectful behaviour and that it’s permissive parenting that has resulted in children behaving badly. What are your thoughts on this?
In my opinion, what’s happened is that so many of today’s parents don’t want to see their children unhappy, even for a single second. This fear of saying “No” can be seen as permissive parenting but what it more often is, actually, is parents who are unable to set boundaries. Unfortunately, what happens when you don’t set boundaries is that as children get older the lines between who is the child and who is the parent gets blurred. This is very often what leads to behaviour that is seen as disrespectful. Setting boundaries with empathy and respect doesn’t lead to an entitled child. In fact, it empowers your child to make mature decisions and actually makes parenting easier in the long run. Teaching your children about commitment and responsibility is one way to set firm but loving boundaries. For example, your child is on a tee-ball team and got invited to a birthday party at the same time as a game they are scheduled to play. Reminding your child that they have a prior commitment and can’t always have their way, while still empathizing with their disappointment, is teaching them much more than simply letting them choose the party. Yes, they might be sad in the moment, but in the long run boundaries let your child know what is expected of him or her.
Question #2 Does using superlatives to praise a child affect a child’s sense of entitlement?
Using superlative praise can be very detrimental to children. By doing this, you are ultimately encouraging superiority which is very similar to entitlement. To tell your child she is the prettiest, the smartest, the best artist, etc. actually gives her a false sense of who she is. There will always be someone more athletic or more musically inclined. What you’re actually doing by using statements like these is undermining your child in such a way that he thinks that because he’s already so terrific that he doesn’t have to try so hard. Ultimately, everything is much more devastating when he does, eventually, fail.
Other questions which have been answered in this article are…
Question #3 What steps can a parent take to better ensure they’re raising children who embody qualities like graciousness, respect and gratitude?
Question #4 What’s the best way to respond to a child who wants to know why a friend has more than his own family, or who constantly asks for toys, clothes, games, and more?
Question #5 What factors in our society are contributing to young children lacking appreciation for what they have?
Below is the link to the article.
Another interesting article I read about the seeds of entitlement which are sown over the years in a million little parenting decisions – all made in the name of love – address some of the most common entitlement prone parenting styles and gives a few proven fixes:
- The “Keep em Happy at all costs” parent
- The Enabler
- The Rescuer
- The Indulger
- The “Over- the-Top Parent
You may be interested in reading this article also which has some interesting information for us all as parents and grandparents.
PARENT/TEACHER MEETINGS (P -YEAR 2) AND STUDENT LED CONFERENCES (YEAR 3-6)
Next week most parents/caregivers will attend one or more of these meetings or conferences in the students’ classrooms.
In Term 3, we will be having these sessions in the library which will be a more central location. There has been considerable discussion regarding the benefits of each venue – classroom and library – so our intention is to do both this year and then survey parents/caregivers and staff to be able to make a decision for 2017 based on the overall feedback. Would you please keep this in mind as the year progresses so your survey responses will reflect a true comparison of both locations. It may even be effective to have Term 1 meetings in the classroom particularly for parents who can’t come to school on a regular basis and then have Term 3 in the library.
We trust that these Parent/Teacher or Parent/Teacher/Student meetings will give insight into your children’s learning during Term 1 and we will be working with the students in Year 3 – 6 to help them achieve their goals which will be set next week. Goals need to be SMART
Timely (have a time frame)
OPENING OF N BLOCK – YEAR 6 LEADERS AND LITTLE VOICES
You will no doubt have seen the segment on WIN TV last week or on our Facebook page and what a significant time it was for our Year 1 and Year 2 students. However what you didn’t see was a fine group of young people from Year 6 who met our visitors for the Opening Ceremony, welcomed them to our College and showed them to the Outdoor Learning Area (OLA) where the ceremony was being held. They did an amazing job chatting about the College as they accompanied our visitors to the OLA and we received many pleasing comments from our guests about their presentation and love for their school.
Our Primary Captains Olivia Ellis and Daemon Cruise did the prayer for the opening of N Block and thanked God for His provision of such a wonderful 21st Century learning facility. Our junior choir “Little Voices” sang so beautifully and the whole ceremony made us very proud.
Cheryl Bryers, Head of Primary