If your kids’ lunches look like the ones in the video above,* here’s a gentle warning from an experienced parent: you’re setting your kids up for future disappointment and practically ensuring that their future spouses will hate you. Once they leave your luxuriously feathered nest — if they ever do — they’re going to be supremely sad when they find out that the rest of the world isn’t going to cater to their every need and won’t be eager to impress them and spoil them rotten just because they exist.
And somewhere down the road, you’re going to have a daughter-in-law who hates you for spoiling her husband (your son) because he will enter their marriage expecting the same gourmet lunches with hand-carved Legos and smiley faces. And he’ll probably also leave his socks and underpants all over the house expecting her to pick up after him — because that’s what you always did for him.
My philosophy was more along the lines of, “Hey, guys, you ate something today, right?” While we ate dinner together every night as a family, from the time they were around 3 years old, my kids began to learn to prepare their own lunches and breakfasts. It wasn’t because I was lazy — it was because I wanted them to learn to be independent. I don’t think it serves children well to wait on them hand and foot, catering to their every need. It breeds dependence and sets them up to be demanding, entitled adults who expect the same treatment from others in their lives. which is neither the recipe for success nor happiness.
*The video shows an example of Japanese bento, an often elaborate, single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine.
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