Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



But I Deserve It

Michal Eisikowitz

Entitlement — the go-to word for everything wrong with today’s generation. Is there really more entitlement today? What creates it? How does it affect family dynamics? What is the long-term damage? And how can we combat it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Voices Three people grappling with the effects of entitlement offer a slice of their lives.   Zvi, age 48 Another day, another battle. I am so tired of fighting. And the worst part? Even when I win, I lose. Today, it was about sleepaway camp. Chasya and I felt 8 T-shirts were more than enough; Shira insisted she couldn’t do without 12. And forget 10 pairs of socks; she couldn’t manage without 15. Plus, a new pair of Nikes (only Roshe!) was “basic.” Everyone in camp would have them. I felt like crawling back into bed. Being a parent in this generation is a catch-22. If all their friends have it, if all their friends get it sponsored, you’re the bad parent when you don’t provide. Even the professionals join the chorus: “Get him that Borsalino, or his social life will be ruined!” “You want your daughter to be the only one in class without Venettinis?” My children know our finances are precarious, yet they’re still resentful! My older kids won’t say anything out loud, but the negative vibes are there. They watch friends cruise around in late-model Infinitis and their resentment simmers inside. My younger marrieds and teens, though, are embarrassingly overt with their expectations. Recently, my third daughter became a kallah. Her take-charge older sister decided we were throwing the l’chayim of the century. “Ta, I’m picking up really elegant paper goods — square, and hard plastic,” she informed. “We’ll get two Siegelman cakes, four fruit platters, and some petit fours. It won’t cost a fortune to rent Mimi’s mini chocolate fountain.” I looked past her, squirming inside. I had no desire, intention, or ability to make an extravagant l’chayim. Why couldn’t I just say that? By the end of the conversation, it still wasn’t clear who’d be footing the bill. “Um, Ta, can I have your credit card?” “Uh… I misplaced it,” I blurted out. A funny look. An exasperated sigh. “Ugh, just forget it!” She stormed out. Later, I found out she shelled out several hundred dollars for the spread, most of which remained untouched. I know we have a communication problem. I should’ve just calmly stated we didn’t have the money, but she was welcome to buy things herself. I think the reason I flee from money conversations is because my kids can’t hear them. Everyone else manages! I can almost hear them howl. This is the norm! So my wife and I live with conflict, constantly at odds with our teens, struggling to convey that we don’t agree with their expectations. It’s like talking to a wall. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity