Parents are never perfect in child rearing, often learning from mistakes during offspring childhoods. Children do not come with how to manuals and instructions on the best methodology for child rearing. Most parents fail the social illusion of the television parents such as the Cunninghams, the Cleavers, or the Andersons in “Father Knows Best.”
We can agree abusive parents who neglect, beat, and inflict harm on children exist and should be held accountable. These parents have damaged children mentally, emotionally and physically and in the most horrific cases, killed them. We are not speaking of these manipulators, but of another group of parents.
This group of parents raise spoiled, “you owe me” children. Many spoiled children raised in lavish worlds were provided an assortment of items not available to other children. Unfortunately, what these children were provided appears to fall sort of expectations. Angry, upset, some children, now adults have sued, yes sued parents for “bad parenting.”
Recently a pair of siblings sued a mother for failing to provide them with an assortment of items from money in birthday cards, failing to purchase a coveted prom dress, to actually enforcing curfews. They blamed their mother for emotional distress for actions and items frivolous and demanded fifty-five thousand dollars to ease their suffering.
We are a society of sue happy people quick to sue over anything they feel distressed, a crying baby on an airplane, dumped during an engagement, haunted houses that cause fear, and upsetting television programs and so forth. Of course, these lawsuits are deemed frivolous, but valuable court time is wasted as people go in search of “easy money,” hoping to win thousands of dollars.
Imagine though, if the judicial system became involved in every case where a child, especially a spoiled child felt disappointed, let down, or angry with parents. Parents would lose their parental authority to avoid future litigation. Children would be without boundaries, responsibility or accountability. We have already lost some parental control of children with technology and peer pressure, would we lose the other part if children could easily sue?
Turning the tables, what if parents could sue children for being failures, disappointments, or for emotional abuse suffered by their tantrums, substance abuses and nasty behavior? What if a parent could drag a grown child to court to publically demand retribution for emotional distress because the child-adult grew into an irresponsible self-indulgent failure? Imagine the vicious cycle of lawsuits involving disapointed parents and spoiled children.
Parents have enough pressure balancing parenting, work and life. Perhaps all parents need a periodic review of parenting styles and possible future impact. Any parent who laughs because of their small spoiled child’s actions may be in for a future shock. Spoiled small children grow into spoiled rebellious teenagers and become adults impacted by poor choices and false expectations including “you owe me.”
We can only hope courts continue to toss out the frivolous child lawsuits based on spoiled misguided expectations of a parent by spoiled children. Parents will continue to parent the best way they can. I cannot help, but wonder about the future generation raised by spoiled children turned parents. Perhaps a dose of reality will teach them parenting is more than money in a birthday card.