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The Teens Are Our Future- Oh My!

Updated on August 7, 2011

The Passive Parent and The Entitled Teen

In the midst ofAmerica’s deficit, we fall to the fate of today’s children to pull us through. Specifically, we will rely on today’s teenagers to drive this economy, develop new businesses, and to vote in the next presidential election. Today’s teenagers have a rough road ahead of them and a huge obligation to this generation. It is uncertain if they have what it takes, or if we will continue to struggle for the next ten years. We must look at this generation of “entitled teens” to determine our fault, as parents and as a society, or we will never thrive as a nation.

Teens demanding, “I want what I want, when I want it, and you owe it to me”, has been a parenting nightmare for several years. It is this “entitlement” attitude that has plagued this generation and has had parents pulling their hair out. What is it and how did it happen?

“The entitled adolescent expects her parents--and the culture at large--to provide her with everything from opportunities to I-pods, with no strings attached. Our culture’s conspicuous consumerism and propensity for instant gratification, along with the media and myriad technologies, have helped to create an environment in which our teenagers have developed lofty expectations”.

Parenting Styles

Past generations grew up with structure, respect, and discipline. Granted, today we have many single parent- working homes as well as two parent- working homes that largely contribute their teen's attitude. It is suggested that the overcompensating for loss time with gifts or other means of competition is "spoiling our children"; the act of just "being" is rewarded versus the act of achieving or doing something. In addition, this generation of parents feel more apathetic to their children, but don't offer guidance and teaching to establish the ability to deal with these emotions or situations. Lastly, with parents absence comes the feeling that most teens have of being unseen, unwanted, and unsupervised. They can do whatever they want, so why can't they have what ever they want?

"Don't Be Mean To My Kid"

This generation parents have been titled "passive". Passive, because we try to smother our children, protect them from harm, and protect them from a feeling of loss, rejection, or disappointment. Unfortunately, this is part of the learning, growing, and dealing that we need to instill in our children. These life skills are necessary to prepare our children for relationships, for the workforce, or for when they have children of their own.

Social and Media Roles

In the midst of an economic crisis, teens are encouraged to be all "glammed up" and partying it up. Of course, we can't ignore the show, "My Sweet Sixteen". The epitome of what is wrong with our teens today. Social and media roles play a part in the influence of the "entitlement" teen.

What Can We Do?

The entitled teen suffers from one or more of these contributors. Boundaries with repercussions, failures and perseverance, as well as encouragement for their achievements should be a parent's focus for their teen. Preparing your child for life's ups and downs is what a parent does. "I would like to be your friend, but I for your sake, I have to be your parent". Set your teen up for success and for the success of our nation.


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    • BethBrown profile image

      BethBrown 6 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Recipe Gal. Congratulations on your upcoming journey into motherhood! It's wonderful. But no doubt, teens are hard. It's great that you are thinking ahead already!

    • Recipe Gal profile image

      Recipe Gal 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed your article! As someone who is about to start the whole parenthood journey, it gave me some good things to think about. I especially liked the video by Connie Podesta. Nice work!