The Pleasing But Unloving Way
Screaming, shouting, kicking, biting and of course, demanding, are part of the usual behavior of a spoiled child. Mom and Dad, not really knowing what to do, are so impressed and helpless… they try their best to give the kids all they want, they care for them, they cherish them, in one word, they are the slaves of their kids, but in return they get this awkward outbursts. Plus, they grow up and things don´t seem to change.
Nevertheless, they keep giving the kids ALL they ask for, without limits. Once they reach adolescence, things get worse and the kids get around their parents all the time, but when you ask them, they always answer they “have parents who do not understand them”. This poses a harsh risk. Boys and girls have not learned to deal with the fact that there are limits to what they can do. They are now youngsters that smoke, drink or get into drugs, without knowing how to set a limit to these activities.
Do you think this happens only in rich families? Guess again. Studies show that it happens in all social strata, with all kinds of kids. If you take a look at the families around you, it is easy to see which parents are not able to set limits to their kids. It becomes even more apparent when you see how adolescents treat these type of parents. I saw a girl who said “Mom, don´t be so foolish, I am not going home until I want to. Leave!” … and the mother left! She had come to pick her up from the party at the time set, but went back home when the girl shouted at her. This is more usual than one would like to admit.
This is not the first generation of spoiled kids. Unfortunately, parents who grew up in this type of environment don´t realize their own behavior is not very mature. For example, they tend to have problems at their work because they want everybody to please them. They also tend to have more addictions, they tend to be lazy and they don´t show appreciation for what they have, so they live unhappy lives.
This also reflects in the way they form communities, the professions they choose, and the political choices they make. For example, they get together for parties, but they end up getting too drunk and behaving like kids without limits, they choose professions that are easy, in fact they choose only easy teachers. When it comes to choosing political leaders, they only choose the ones who offer to give them all they ask for, without limits. In their world, all that matters is to please themselves.
I am concerned about the new generations that are being brought up by pleasing parents now. We already have too many problems with the generations of self pleasing business administrators and economists who caused the world crisis, as well as the people involved in all kinds of wars around the world who only look for easy jobs (read terrorists, smugglers, drug dealers, and others) that don´t demand too much from them but pay well…
Human beings, to feel they are really loved, need to have limits. Otherwise nothing is ever good enough for them. The worst drug addicts I know come from spoiling parents. The worst alcohol drinkers too, as the most lenient professionals and the worst liars who work in politics, also have been brought up by pleasing parents.
There is connection between not being able to become countries of the developed world and the way we raise our children. The global south is very loving, and too pleasing. But if I come to think about it, the biggest number of drug users is in the north, making this a global problem. Being a pleasing parent, becoming a self pleasing human being, makes it harder for all of us globally to think in terms of applying common sense and mature ruling to our lives. Too much pleasing, without setting appropriate limits, then becomes the most unloving form of raising families after all.