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The Entitlement Generation

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I don't suppose anyone realizes that Scouting has some of this as well...right?

 

The "instant gratification" model where a Scout is immediately awarded a badge or rank, is not very real world.

 

It's possible to work on something and get no recognition at all...except for the negative recognition when you screw something up.

Well, if the advancement program is being run properly, you only get what you have earned. As for "instant gratification" not being "real world", it depends on what you view as recognition or gratification. This hits home for me because my son is in the first year of his first job after graduating college (as an engineer, by the way), and I am observing as he deals with the "real world" for the first time. I have asked him what kind of feedback he gets from his bosses, if any. He says he gets the occasional compliment, but he also understands that his main "recognition" is the check he gets at the end of every week. He also understands that the fact that the tasks he is being given are gradually getting more difficult and complicated is a sign of "positive recognition" because it means they believe he can handle these tasks, and over time (when combined with the fact that the company is apparently making money and expanding) may lead to bigger checks at some point. If that's the recognition he is getting, it's good enough.

 

Or as a wise old man once told me, "Ever since the Mesopotamians invented money, there's been more than one way to say thank you." (I've never checked to see whether it was actually the Mesopotamians who invented money, but that's not the point.)

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Well if you're not responsible to make sure your son does his summer homework, who is? 

It wouldn't have happened to my parents because there was no such thing as "summer homework".  When you got off the bus that last day, you were "free" until the day after Labor Day, unless you had "failed"' (yes they actually used that word) and had to go to summer school, which was the ultimate embarrassment.  If you didn't make it up in summer school, you did not "pass" and repeated the grade.  Only the "dumb" kids had to repeat grades and our parents admonished us that, unless we made the grade, we would be doomed to a life of ditch-digging or being a garbage man.  And you know what...just had my 30th high school reunion.  My parents were right.  Those who were screw-ups in school are still screw-ups.  I'm not impressed with these advanced programs like IB and AP courses or the handle "gifted".  I just wish high schools would concentrate on teaching them to read and write standard English grammar and how to balance a checkbook before teaching them about International Relations.  As an employer, I don't care how many AP classes you had, if you can't write a coherent report.

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My kids wonder why I'm "not like other parents" who constantly remind them to "do this" or "do that". I told them simply, "It's your responsibility, not mine."

 

I *will* shut down cable so that the TV and Internet don't work. What they do after that is their prerogative.

 

I'll remind them but I won't force them. Not my job. They'll learn.

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Well if you're not responsible to make sure your son does his summer homework, who is? 

 

I'll take a wild stab at it.... your son?  Am I right?  Do I get a prize?

 

Well if you're not responsible to make sure your son isn't out of your basement by the time he's 45 years old, who is?

 

C'mon people, we've coddled these kids through school, we've pencil whipped them through Scouts, we've allowed them to waste their formative years with electronic devices, and then POOF they're chronologically an adult with maturity level of a grade school student (maybe).  

 

So, the parents don't whip this kid with a belt until his summer homework is done.  So the kid fails and the parents are put in jail for neglect.  Child Protection steps in and puts the kid in Foster Care.  And guess what.  After all is said and done the kid still doesn't do his homework and nothing changes except the masking of symptoms of the problem instead of dealing with the problem itself, the kid doesn't take responsibility for himself.  

 

Well, when people never learn to take care of themselves in life, we have institutions dedicated to taking care of them.

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instant gratification in Scouting is a relatively new thing on the Boy Scout side, I remember having COHs 3 times a year to give out rank, mbs, etc

 

CS had the immediate recognition kits when i was a cub

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instant gratification in Scouting is a relatively new thing on the Boy Scout side, I remember having COHs 3 times a year to give out rank, mbs, etc

 

CS had the immediate recognition kits when i was a cub

 

The US military has it too. Just sayin'. Always has. ;)

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I didn't have summer homework either, which around here amounts mainly to reading and reporting on two or three books from the summer reading list - not really an onerous task, but if I did, I expect my parents would have done the same thing they did during the school year - ask me if I've done my homework, ask how my paper was coming along, ask if I was keeping up with my reading.  In other words, they would be engaged because they did recognize that it wasn't just the teacher's job to be involved, and they did have a responsibility to make sure that I was getting my work done, but they did it without hovering too.  They did their part, they didn't hound me but they let me know they were watching - if I still failed to finish my homework, there was no one to blame but me and in that sense it was my responsibility, but it was my parents responsibility to monitor me and my progress, not anyone elses (the teacher's job was to instruct and mark my progress and share that with my parents).

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Well if you're not responsible to make sure your son does his summer homework, who is? 

 

His son is responsible for doing his summer homework. 

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So the consensus seems to be that the parents have absolutely no responsibility in this at all, is that an accurate statement? 

 

Yes, the son is responsible for completing the work and I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise, is suggesting that if the son doesn't complete the work, a parent should step in and do it.  But if that's the interpretation, I think that's using a rather narrow definition of the term responsibility.

 

Is there no responsibility here for the parent?  Not even the responsibility of the parent to know what homework the son has and to monitor their progress?  It doesn't have to be a strict "do it or you don't go to summer camp" conversation, but surely over the course of 8 weeks, a parent can ask, even if it's just once a week, "How are you getting along on your summer reading assignment?"  Surely that's a form of responsibility as well.

 

If a parent has no responsibility in this at all, what else isn't a parents responsibility? 

 

What are we teaching our SPL's and PL's about responsibility?  We tell them they're responsible for their boys.  If a parent is not responsible for monitoring a son's homework and making sure they get it done, how can we then tell a PL that they are responsible for making sure that the members of his patrol assigned to buy food have done their jobs?  If they're following this example, why couldn't they, when they got to the campsite and had no food for the weekend, say that they gave the responsibility to do that to Scout Joe and it's Scout Joe's fault that it wasn't done.  Most of us would be having a very long talk about how it is the PL's responsibility not just to assign the task but to follow up with Scout Joe to make sure it got done.

 

Or is the problem here that it's a task not assigned by the parent but by the school system?  Are folks perhaps thinking the school district should be calling students in the middle of the summer to check in on them?  Let me tell you, as a taxpayer, I don't want my school district spending money on bringing staff in to make all those calls - I expect that parents should be taking some responsibility for their own children's education.  I'm known in here for my relatively liberal views on things - and I don't mind paying a bit more in taxes so kids have opportunities to do more than just learn readin', ritin' and 'rithmatic' in school - but if there truly is a trend for parents to say they aren't responsible for making sure their kids do homework, then I'll be first in line to vote for people who say they will cut my taxes by cutting all extracurriculars - sports, band, theater, after-school clubs, etc. - from the budget.

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Sure, the homework is the kids' responsibility. But I don't think some parental checkins are unreasonable.

When my son gets home, I ask if he has homework. He says yes or no, I say "Be sure it gets done by dinner". I don't think that's unreasonable. I also,look over his homework and work with him if he's having trouble in an area. Again, I think that's reasonable, responsible parenting. I'm not doing the work for him. I'm providing him the support he needs to do his best work.

 

As for the entitlement/best friend thing- Yeah. It gets old. My expectation of my kids is that they take no gracefully and are able to function as members of a community. That means, a lot of the time, they don't get exactly what they want! I get so frustrated, though, when their teachers/coaches/Cubmaster constantly let the other kids who are louder and more obnoxious do what they want, while my kids get ignored because they are polite.

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