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Is Your Kid Entitled to the Exit Row?

Entitled-children-expect-exit-row-seats

What’s the worst word someone could use to describe your child?

There are a slew of cringe worthy adjectives to choose from, but Entitled would be it for me. Spoiled brat 2016 style. I’m on a mission to parent against this ugly trait running rampant in this me, myself and I generation that we are raising.

Boarding our flight home from Honolulu recently, I witnessed a braced face daughter kick her mother out of the exit row seat she was sitting in next to her husband. This teenager made it clear that she did not want to sit back “there” by herself. Trying to avert an escalating scene, the Mom succumbed and said, “fine- I guess I’ll just go sit in your seat.” “Yes, and take your bag with you Mom,” darling daughter said, as there was never a doubt in her mind that she wouldn’t be victorious.

Oh no she did not.

Oh yes she did.

Dad just sat there stone faced, silently staring straight ahead waiting for yet another Mother-Daughter scuffle to subside. Daughter wins. Family and society lose.

I wanted to yell down the aisle, oh no Momma. You can’t. Come back and regain what is yours. Witnessing this entitled exchange frightened me too as there was something very familiar to it.

We cannot give this type of power to our kids. They must know that sometimes their place is in the back of the plane because they are a child and we are an adult. We get tired and don’t want to fight the good fight because we are worn out by the kids who are power players in our family. I know. I find myself in the battle a lot. But, we have to send our daughter’s pretty behind to the rear of the aircraft because she is not in charge. When we give up our seat to keep her quiet and happy, we create entitlement. And I know none of us set out with that parenting goal in mind.

And Dad what about you? What makes you feel that taking a non existent presence is helpful to either of your women? Your role is to lead and teach. There is nothing disrespectful in helping your daughter to see that her Mother belongs next to you and not her.

Our kids were appalled that they had to be in middle seats, in different rows for the long flight home. I, too, feel much better when we are all sitting closely knit next to one another but sometimes that’s not the way the cookie crumbles and we have to go with the flow without complaint. Their reactions to their boarding passes made me realize that I need to purposefully book them into uncomfortable situations more often.

There is a difference between graciously offering a prime seat to our child and them demanding that we give it up for them. As parents, we need to tune in to the difference.

How do we raise kids in a privileged world without feeling entitled?

Let’s start by telling them to hike it on back to 30B and enjoy the ride.

4 replies
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I am so with you! I see this so often – even down to a snack or something where the parent is begging “Can I have a piece” (OF THE SNACK I JUST BOUGHT FOR YOU) and the kid says no. And the parent takes it!???

    Reply
  2. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Whoops, that was unclear. I didn’t mean takes part of the snack, but takes the abuse and is left there empty-handed, fawning over the entitled brat he/she is raising.

    Reply
  3. Amber
    Amber says:

    Another GREAT article!
    It works, but intended this comment for “8 things to stop doing for Teens”.

    I’d like to Thank You for your blog *AND* your parenting style!
    And I will “Thank You”, through this copy of my FB comment to a fellow Mom (who posted your article & experiences w/her own similarly raised kids).
    For ANY Mom who knows & is trying her best to mold her children into future Adults:
    “My offer at the end stands”!

    [Whoops! Got MUCH longer than anticipated]!
    Good Job, Momma! That’s ALL YOU!
    So YOU deserve the praise here!
    I “Thank You” for your,,,
    Tireless;
    (sometimes) Thank-LESS;
    (sometimes) Pain-FULL;
    PAYLESS (except for the kisses & hugs);
    24/7/365- No Vacay, Sick, or Personal Days Allowed Off, EVER (not even Mother’s Day);
    Most Important Job in the World;
    ,,, Work to raise Self-Sufficient, Responsible, ADULT Humans who will one day run the world!

    Everything you said, I believe and have been teaching my own future Adult Humans for years!
    The hardest part of it all is when you just have to say “Okay” after they’ve made adamant decisions.
    Even if/when you know (& EXPLAIN) there is a secondary part that perhaps they’re not considering.
    i.e. When you tell your (1mo away from) teenage son on Tue AM *AND* PM:
    “Friday will be literally Freezing. You may want to think about that while you do your laundry this week.”
    Yet Fri morning, as you’re sitting at the table with him chatting while he eats his self-made breakfast, you notice he’s dressed like it’s July.
    You can’t help but have a moment of Mom Guilt so as a way to ‘Remind without Reminding’ you ask: “Hey, did you let the dogs out this morning? It looks like it might be kinda raining, did they GO out?”
    He says Yes, and knowing what you’re up to, {bc if not now, he WILL be smarter than YOU on Feb 21} he informs you: “It’s not Freezing today. I don’t think it’s cold at all.”
    {Me: “Okay” 😞}
    So you take another bullet in your heart and just watch as he walks out and down the street to the bus stop,,,
    From the warmth of the living room window of course, bc your brain IS developed enough to understand “Freeze + Precipitation =”.

    FYI: Apparently, most 7th Grd Boys do NOT feel cold!
    Before the Bell, I e-mailed all his teachers and counselor to let them know that he DID have overnight & AM supervision, so there was no need to make the “Your Child is Not Dressed Appropriately For School Today” call.
    One teacher responded saying “Don’t worry. 1/3 of my current class period is dressed as if it’s July, & they’re ALL Boys”!

    My [very long] point is: We do want them to be their BEST individual selves.
    When your similar day comes, remember: “You already know you’re doing a GREAT job! You’re probably not going to college with them, so trust in your teaching and their decisions.”
    Then call me & I’ll be on my way with a Box of Tissues & Hot Chocolate or Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, depending on the Season!

    Reply

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