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Overindulgent Parenting: How We Raise an Entitlement Generation

Have you ever noticed that children born to parents without spines often suffer needlessly from overindulgence? It’s a startling epidemic. Overindulgence can come in many forms, from lax bedtimes to finicky eating habits, too much video gaming to an obscene amount of toys -- but the outcome is always the same. It creates an entitlement mentality that can last a lifetime.

You can take a tour of this mindset in action anytime after midnight at your local 24-hour grocery store. My first peek at this particular parenting underbelly was after a late night movie. My husband and I stopped to pick up some milk for the next morning. I expected to find the typical sub-culture of teenagers that only come out late at night to roam the store aisles. What I didn’t expect to see were the families.

Moms and Dads with young children were actually out shopping after midnight. I first noticed that there seemed to be a different sound in the air. Rather than the usual chorus of beeps emanating from multiple checkout lanes, the few that were open were drowned out by a symphony of cries mingled with spurts of sugar-induced, high-pitched squeals.

I couldn’t help but notice that the little girl behind me was in the middle of a complete meltdown. In an attempt to calm her down, her mother was promising her the moon with ice cream. On the next register over, a five-year-old little boy with a sheepish grin had succeeded in pushing every button within reach. I couldn’t tell who his parents were; no one else seemed to notice him but me.

When did bedtimes go out of style? Conquering bedtime is one of the first achievement badges young parents earn.