Posts Tagged ‘richard and linda eyre’
Relationships, Richard and Linda Eyre - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:56 - 9 Comments
Many SUCCESS readers answered our poll asking what is the biggest problem or challenge faced by kids (and their parents) in today’s world. (click here if you missed it).
The results were quite remarkable! Of all the parents who participated in the poll, the clear majority were most worried about the sense of entitlement that kids seem to have today. Take a look at the top six vote getters:
- A Sense of Entitlement (53%)
- Excessive Technology and Gadgets (16%)
- Peer Pressure (14%)
- Drugs and Substance Abuse (8%)
- Bullying (7%)
Readers could only vote for one problem and yet “Entitlement” still gets 53% and wins as the biggest problem by a landslide. And the second-place finisher (with about 16%), “Excessive Technology and Gadgets,” is really about entitlement too—kids who think they are entitled to all things electronic.
Combine those top two answers and we have Continue…
- Eyre: Bursting “The Bubble”
For years, we had the stress of trying to fulfill the holiday and birthday wish lists of nine children. I remember one particularly stressful Christmas was spent standing in a long line for the desire of our 7-year-old daughter Shawni’s heart: A Baby Alive doll. Just as I got to the front of the line, much to my chagrin, the woman in front of me got the very last doll. I was devastated trying to figure out how to tell Shawni that Baby Alive was dead!
Then there was the time when we discovered at about 2 a.m. on early Christmas morning that the “Santa gift” for our little 6-year-old Jonah was gone. The gift, which was a little robot that could sweep the floor (six inches at a time), had been stored in the garage in a black garbage bag for several weeks, and had somehow apparently been inadvertently thrown away. Great idea to put it in a garbage bag… in the garage, right?
One year when our house was full of teenagers and kids down to age 10, we decided that enough was enough. The last thing we needed was a bunch more “stuff.” We knew that our kids were living in a bubble with no realization of the real world or the situation that many living in poverty faced every day of their lives.
After careful deliberation we took a deep breath and told the kids that what they would be getting for Christmas that year, in lieu of all the gifts and paraphernalia that previously permeated Christmas, was a ticket to Bolivia, for a project sponsored by a great humanitarian group in Salt Lake City called CHOICE Humanitarian.
On Christmas morning…
- Eyres: The Beauty of “Just Enough”
One day each year, preferably in early November, we ride horses down the incomparable Kolob Canyon of Zion National Park in southern Utah. We enter at the park station close to the wonderful little town of New Harmony, and ride along the base of the Five Fingers—massive, sheer, monolithic red cliffs that jut up straight and impossibly high from the golden cottonwoods that grow along the clear, babbling La Verkin Creek.
Eyre blogIt occurred to me (Richard) this year that one reason I love it so much down in that canyon is that it is the desert. The dry, crisp, still warm air is part of it, but it’s also the sparseness of the desert. There aren’t that many trees, so you can spend a moment just focusing on one single tree, standing starkly in its autumn glory, with a huge red cliff as its backdrop.
It was back in college when I first started to appreciate the desert. I read Edward Abbey’s Deseret Solitaire and loved his descriptions of a single flower, or a cactus with one bloom, or a few blades of grass emerging from the sand—appreciated because they were so sparse and so stark and so unique.
- Eyres: Do Your Kids Live Too Far Away, or Too Close?
If you’re an empty-nester now, or if you will become one soon, do you want your grown children to live right next to you? Or would you like some space?
One of the results of traveling so much with our children when they were young is that they now think they can live anywhere they want in the world.
When our second son Jonah and his wife Aja moved to New Zealand, we complained about taking our grandkids so far away. “Just fall asleep on the plane Dad,” Jonah told me, “and when you wake up, you will be here.” (Yeah, sure, if flights were only free!) Aja added, “Besides, you will probably Skype us more often now.”
- Entitlement: The Biggest Parenting Problem of This Generation
We are sending in this post from Mexico City, where we are meeting with a wonderful group of parents. Over the last couple of years, we have spoken to parents in 50 countries on five continents, and wherever we go, the common concern is the sense of ENTITLEMENT that our children are growing up with.
It is a problem of major proportions, because feeling entitled to whatever they want, whatever their friends have, and all without conditions or consequences or any price to pay or effort on their part is robbing our children of the joy of work and of delayed gratification, and of the chance to develop initiative, motivation and a sense of personal responsibility…
- Eyres: Live By a Family Mission Statement
Let me tell you about one of the most valuable and important things we have ever done as a family. When our older kids were teenagers, we had dinner with our friend Stephen Covey and his wife Sandra just after they wrote a book together called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. They live near us and have been friends for 40 years. During the course of our conversation they discovered that we had not yet created a family mission statement and they encouraged us to get going! They assured us that it was important enough to warrant a weekend away with the kids for the sole purpose of creating a mission statement together.
So we did, never imagining the impact it would have on our family! We rented a conference center at a weekend discount, and that weekend will always stand out in our children’s memory as not only fun but as one they will never forget. We had short “working meetings” broken up by visits to the hotel game room and pool…
- Eyres: Help Your Children “Own” Their Money
“Chosen and earned ownership” is the antidote to entitlement. When one chooses to earn and own something, it can bring a kind of pride, independence and initiative that overcomes the laziness and boredom of entitlement. To rescue our children from entitlement we must give them opportunities for true ownership.
Last blog, we discussed the profound problem of indulgence and laziness among our children (click here to read that post).
And, predictably, the question that came in over and over from readers like you was: How do I overcome their sense of entitlement?
The answer almost sounds too simple: We must find a way to replace entitlement with a sense of chosen and earned ownership.
- Overcoming Children’s Sense of Entitlement with Responsibility
Never before has there been a generation with such a sense of entitlement as our kids today. Their tendency to think they should have whatever they want and do whatever they want whenever they want lies at the root of most of their problems (and most of our parenting problems).
As we travel the world, speaking to parents in audiences large and small, the questions and concerns we get from them are always the same:
Why do my kids sometimes make such obviously bad and foolish choices?
Why don’t they put in the effort at school to reach their full potential?
Why won’t they pick up their clothes or put away their toys?
Why do they think they need to have everything their friends have?
Why is it so hard for me to influence my kids… and so easy for their friends to influence them?
Why can’t I get them to set some goals and to start feeling responsible for their lives?
Why can’t I get them to work and why won’t they follow through on their tasks?
The cause for each of these problems—for every one of them—is one word… and the word is entitlement…
- Getting Rid of the ‘Gimmes’: How to Establish a Family Economy
It is a day I remember well, because it was the first day that I realized that “allowances” were working against us and that money was helping me spoil my kids much more than it was helping me teach them anything. It was a Saturday morning, and I was trying to catch up a little on sleep. I was awakened by loud knocking on the locked bedroom door. Groggily, I got up and opened it to find three little kids with their hands out saying “Gimme my money, gimme my money, its allowance day.” To my sleepy eyes, it all looked a bit like a welfare line. I had just opened the window, and here were the people with their hands out, collecting the dole!
We had created an economy in our house all right, but it was an entitlement economy! My kids, I realized in that brief epiphany, saw no connection between performance and reward, they perceived no real ownership in the money we gave them or the things they bought with it, and they were learning the antithesis of initiative and responsibility rather than the essence of it.
Over the next several months, we worked with some other parents who had some of the same concerns, and developed…
- Eyres: Family Laws and the Development of Discipline
All great and lasting institutions have a legal system, and a good family is no exception. When there are clear and simple laws in a family, parents can be less emotional and more matter-of-fact, and obedience becomes more about keeping laws and less about a power struggle and parents trying to get kids to obey them rather than laws. Give your children the chance to have inputs as to what your family laws are and what punishment goes with the violation of each law.
With hindsight, we can see that our own first effort to set up family laws was rather comical. As young parents with our three young children, we tried to create a list of family rules by nomination. (I think, back then, we still thought a family was a democracy!) The kids chimed in with everything from “Don’t hit anyone,” to “Never plug in plugs—you could get shocked.” We dutifully listed every one on a big chart and we soon had 37 “family laws.” No one really remembered them or paid much attention to them, and one day our 7-year-old complained, “Dad, even in the Bible there’s only ten rules!”
Over the years we figured it out. We needed…
- Family Traditions: Why They’re the Glue of Great Families
Everyone, particularly every child, needs an identity larger than himself—something he or she belongs to, feels part of, and gains security and protection from. It is kids who do not get this identity from their families who are drawn to the rituals, “colors,” and traditions of gangs or other identity substitutes for families.
Strong traditions exist in every lasting institution—in schools, in fraternities, and certainly in families. Traditions are the glue that holds families together. Kids love and cling to family traditions because they are predictable and stable in an unpredictable world.
Almost all families have traditions, at least subconscious ones, often centering on holidays or the special occasions. But some parents come to realize the importance of traditions and the ability of good traditions to teach values to improve communication, to give security to kids, and to hold families together. Such parents can refine and redefine their family traditions and give them true and lasting bonding power.
Review and Re-evaluate Your Traditions
Start by assessing and analyzing your own family traditions. What do you do on each holiday? Each family birthday?
- Eyres: How to Create a Strong Family Culture
Hello and welcome to our blog! Over the next six weeks, we have the opportunity to think together about our families, our children, and our marriages—the most important and lasting parts of success! We hope, in a cyberspace sort of way, that we get to know each other and trust each other.
Family Culture and Infrastructure
To begin, let’s realize and acknowledge that our families exist and our kids are growing up in the midst of some strong and often negative cultures—the Media culture, the Peer culture, the Techno/computer/gadget culture, the Celebrity culture…. If we want our kids to survive and thrive amongst all the noise, we have to create a family culture that is stronger than all of the competing cultures—a family culture with our values and our standards that can supersede all the others!
A family culture involves turning our homes into solid, predictable, lasting institutions that give confidence and identity to its members. Like any institution that is intended to last and to give esteem, a family must have a…
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