I haven't posted about this subject in quite some time, but I feel it's probably time again.
I continue to be shocked by the entitlement issues our adopted kids have.
The kids have been home for a little over a year and a half. They came from basically nothing. They were hungry. They came to us with the too small, unmatched clothes on their backs and that's it. And they were thrilled to have been adopted... for about a week.
Fast forward 18 months... Josh is so obsessed his computer, his video games, and with his cell phone, it makes me ill. I don't even think his obsession would bother me so much, if he wasn't so hateful about it when he doesn't get what he wants.
I know. I know. Why did I even buy the stupid cell phone? I'm asking myself that same question. If you've ever been to Ethiopia, you will know what I mean by this... Most Ethiopians have nicer cell phones than I do. Josh has begged for a phone since he arrived on US soil. The minute he arrived on US soil.
We finally gave in for his birthday this year, and that was basically because of all these soccer practices which change locations and times constantly. Basically, him having a cell phone enables me to leave him at practice without having to wait around until he's done without worrying about his safety.
He has a perfectly nice phone.
Every single day, he starts in, begging for a nicer one.
He has a computer.
He has a huge TV in his room.
He has a playstation 2 on that huge TV.
He is on a very expensive traveling club soccer team which I work a 2nd job to pay for.
Let's not forget he also has clothes, shelter, food, and a loving family...
Today when I told him he needed to leave the phone with me and go outside to ride his bike... my how the tables changed for us. I not only got the Ethiopian pout, but absolute and outright anger. Refusal to make eye contact. Refusal to come upstairs. Then he went and got in the car by himself to wait until it was time to go.
How dare I?
Luckily, Jeff was here to witness it! Halleuluia. It's usually just me being disagreeable or whatever... But he got to see it first hand.
I am utterly amazed at the sense of entitlement of these children.
I never bought into the idea that they would be grateful to have been adopted. Grateful to have a home, clothes, food... but this is something I really did not expect.
Although their past experiences influence this behavior, I can't think that I have no one to blame but myself.
I started looking at the issues of entitlement and found these "Highs and Lows of Entitlement," according to the authors of love and logic.
In an effort to make up for all the bad things that have happened to them in their short lives, we have encouraged, although subconsciously, some really bad behaviors.
I'm not saying that kids who were born and raised in their original families right here in the good ole USA don't have entitlement issues as well because clearly this is a problem ALL kids are struggling with these days.
The Highs and Lows of Entitlement according to the authors of Love and Logic.
HIGH: High need for goods and services.
LOW: Low pressure to succeed or to hold down jobs.
HIGH: High amount of time to party.
LOW: Low amount of time to devote to effort toward accomplishment.
HIGH: High expectations of others.
LOW: Low ambition.
HIGH: High resentment for those who would require them to achieve through study and effort.
LOW: Low appreciation for the opportunity for an education.
HIGH: High demand for entertainment and excitement.
LOW: Low awareness of the sacrifices made by their parents.
HIGH: High willingness to defy society's traditional rules and values.
LOW: Low respect for adults and leaders.
HIGH: High inclination to find substitute "highs" such as alcohol and drugs.
LOW: Low respect for society's traditional rules.
So that being said, what do we do about it?
How do we nip this in the bud before it escalates to ... ahem ... a surgical procedure to remove that cell phone from someone's anus...
Well number one, Josh is not getting a new cell phone. His 6 month old phone will just have to do for now.
He will also be hanging it up and having a limit on his text messages as well as his facebook time.
The computer is coming upstairs.
Our kids will be going through their stuff and picking nice things to give away to those who don't have anything.
Our kids will be re-evaluating the words want and need.
Our kids will be learning to volunteer to do things for others, and when I say volunteer, I mean without being paid for it.
Our kids will be learning that the world doesn't owe them anything. They owe the world.
Wow. Did you ever notice that these gritchy posts always come immediately following a long night at work followed by a long homeschool day and no sleep?
Thanks for listening...
And wish us good luck in reversing these poor behaviors and hopefully promoting some positive ones.