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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Do We Reward Lazy Behavior As Parents? (A Rant)

Now, I know I have not been blogging much as of late but it's certainly not due to a lack of ideas.  In fact, I have tons of ideas but lately I find myself thinking quite a bit.  One thing I think about tons as a parent is how we can better influences for our youth and help shape a better tomorrow.

I particularly find it strange how we sometimes reward or accommodate negative or lazy behavior.  I say "we" because I am guilty of this myself.  Sometimes, as parents, we figure positive reinforcement and encouragement may bring about better things yet it doesn't always work out that way.

Check out the images below and I bet they may hit home for many of you out there.

The reality is that we are doing a huge disservice to our communities and our youth.  Think about it: when we grow up, employers don't care about excuses an are not going to bargain with us to get us to do what we are expected (and obligated to do).  Yet, somehow, we bend the rules completely for our kids.  Allow me to illustrate...

Kid:  "I am too tired.  Have someone else do it."


Kid:  "I already did it last time..  It's not my turn."

How do we respond to this?  Is it something like this perhaps?

Door Mat:  "If you do it, I will buy you or let you do whatever you want!"

Of course, the exchange is usually much more involved than that.  There may be the usually "but why", "that's not fair", "this suck", and similar statements accompanied by teeth sucking, groaning, dragging of feet, and other pitiful gestures.  What is entertaining is that today's youth actually thinks they have it rough.

Little do they know just how much harder it gets!

Surely, having open an honest communicaton with our teens and tweens helps but they rarely want to admit that they are wrong, we know better, and they are just exaggerating.  I mean, today's kids are smarter and more mature..  After all, they carry cell phones! *sarcasm*

In the imaginary world of our youth, they will magically "grow up" and their bosses will be just as understanding, friendy, and accommodating as mommy and daddy.  Let's see how that works...

Big Kid:  "I am not in the mood to do any work today, boss..  Can I just watch some YouTube or go home?"

Imaginary Boss:  "Well, we really need those TPS reports today..  Tell you what, if you do this one thing today, I will double your pay rate AND buy you some Zaxby's!"

Big Kid:  "Okay, fine..  But next time find someone else to do it.  I already worked last month and now I have lots of slacking to catch up on!"

Certainly, it does not work that way in the real world so coddling our kids now is only going to prepare them for a real rude awakening.  You see, the real-life version of that exchange looks ore like this...

Big Kid:  "I know the TPS reports are late but I have already put in three 18-hour days and, with my two-hour commute each way, I am just going home to take a shower and leave again..  I'm working as hard as I can, sir!"

Impossible-To-Please Boss:  "Maybe this is not the job for you then."

Big Kid:  "No, sir..  I love working here.  I just wanted to assure you that I am making this my top priority!"

Impossible-To-Please Boss:  "Then you have two options now: get this done today or pack up your things and leave..  And don't think I will approve you for unemployment, either.  We pride ourselves at penny-pinching and screwing over our true company assets here, you know!"

The reality check of adult life is that not only are we expected to more, but there are often far less rewards and thank-yous going out, which means we have to find motivation within ourselves.  There is no negotiation, excuse-making, or trickery that works in the real world..  Well, I suppose SOME find ways to coast along their entire lives but that's besides the point!

This is why I really want to release a series of new content centered around business success an the lessons therein for kids.  Believe me, I am not some grumpy old fogey but today's youth seems might pitiful and we need to do something about it, for their sake and our own.  It all goes back to achieving that elusive work-life balance.  After all, we may wish that we could sit or lay down all day, but what sort of life is THAT?  Where's the achievemen and fufillment there?  Certainly, that's not what we want for our youth - lazy bums are not cool by any standards!