It seems that my kids have it a little too good.
In my quest to provide my children with a good life, I have inadvertently given my son a sense of entitlement.
Mama isn’t pleased.
We drive nice (but not outlandishly nice) cars, we have a comfortable home in a wonderful neighborhood. Our city has good schools, abundant and well-maintained parks, and potholes exist for a short time, if at all. There is no open homeless population, no graffiti, no run-down areas.
In fact, I was trying to think of the grittiest thing my son has ever seen, and that probably would be graffiti scrawled on the walls of the freeway, far-removed from his surroundings. If he has even seen it, since he is probably too busy watching movies.
And so unwittingly, I have caused my son to score a big zero in the empathy department for people who are less well-off than we are. Also, a nature of such laziness and unwillingness to work that it trumps even mine, which is saying a LOT.
I have tried to inform him through various media of how good his life is, and how there are thousands of children who would trade with him in a heartbeat if it meant all they had to to was clean their room, do their school work, and weed the yards. We’ve donated old toys and clothes together. We’ve talked about his attitude at great length.
And yet, when I told him that I thought he was old enough to go out and perform some volunteer work, he actually started to cry. TO CRY, I kid you not. Granted, he is an emotional child, but I truly had to restrain myself from smacking him upside the head. He said it was embarrassing. I told him that there was nothing embarrassing about helping people less fortunate than you, and ordered him out of my sight before I did indeed smack him upside the head.
So, I’ve been scouting out sites for youth volunteerism, and to be honest, there isn’t a whole lot for kids his age. I don’t want this to be a one-off experience, I want to commit to an organization and make this part of his routine.
Any thoughts on some good volunteer jobs for nine year olds? Or how to combat the whole entitlement things?
Maybe a smack upside the head?