I’ve said it before: the hardest part of being a parent is when you have to be the bad guy. Parenting isn’t all fun and laughter. It’s full of doubt and angst. The same question runs through your head every time you make a decision, whether the answer is “yes” or “no”: am I doing the right thing?
The Fall of 2011 was not a pleasant time in KlineLand. Every KlineLand son had issues that seriously impacted all of our lives. We worried. I cried. We emptied our savings account. All because our children each made bad decisions.
I’m not really complaining. Because that’s what parenting is about. It is about sacrifice. Money is meaningless when it means the safety and future of your child is improved.
But what happens when your children aren’t appreciative and instead are carrying attitudes of ingratitude and disrespect? What happens when the attitude of entitlement overshadows everything else?
Parents (good? bad?) are forced to draw a line in the sand and stand firm. They present options, and the adult children can choose to accept the terms or they suffer the consequences.
As a parent, you sit back and ask yourself where this attitude of entitlement came from? What were its roots? What decisions did we make that planted this seed that has created children we are less than proud of? What did we do wrong?
Because we had to have done something wrong. Somewhere we made a wrong turn.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy finding that point in our parenting history. Where? When? What? If I knew, I would share it with you so you don’t make the same mistakes with your children. If I knew, I would make sure we didn’t do the same thing with our youngest.
We tried to lead by example. We’re fairly decent human beings. We’re law abiding. We’re respectful.
Still…it hasn’t been enough.