Got ungrateful teens? You’re not aloneIs there an ungrateful teenager living in your house? Lisa Butler feels your pain. She started a Facebook group called UTIMH (Ungrateful Teenager In My House). “Here’s my Christmas list,” is how Butler describes the typical teenager’s response to the approach of the holidays.
By: By Beth J. Harpaz, The Associated Press , The Jamestown Sun
NEW YORK — Is there an ungrateful teenager living in your house?
Lisa Butler feels your pain. She started a Facebook group called UTIMH (Ungrateful Teenager In My House).
“Here’s my Christmas list,” is how Butler describes the typical teenager’s response to the approach of the holidays.
“They have such a sense of entitlement,” added Butler, a social worker who lives in Hartford, Conn., with her 16-year-old son. “They look at you as if you owe them.”
And while her group doesn’t have a lot of members yet, the few dozen who’ve joined are leaving heartfelt comments about kids who won’t help around the house, daughters who demand designer boots and sons who turn their noses up at delicious, homemade meals.
“How do we change that, now that they are teenagers?” wrote one mom.
Michael Ungar, a family therapist from Nova Scotia, Canada, and author of a new book, “The We Generation,” said ungrateful teenagers can be reformed. Parents should require teenagers to make genuine, meaningful contributions to the family, and set consequences if they don’t.
Put that 16-year-old in charge of making dinner one night a week, and don’t bail him out if he doesn’t do it. Or tell him if he wants a ride to his game, he has to walk the dog.
“You make my life a little easier, I’ll make your life a little easier,” Ungar said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about honestly showing your child what it takes to make a household work or a society work.”
Ungar said that today’s parents, from the “Me” generation, “figure it’s easier to go and do everything for the kids than to make them do it.” But he said we should be aiming to raise the “We” generation, where kids are thinking about others.
“All too often as parents, we don’t ask enough of our kids,” he said. “We don’t hold the bar high enough. We infantilize our children.”