There is a group of students out there who think that they are pretty special. They believe that they are automatically deserving of privileges, leniency or special treatment and have even grown to expect them. An attitude of superiority, disrespect and even contempt for rules and authority is common. These students always put their own wants ahead of the needs of other people. They are spoiled and selfish.
Many of these students are very bright and come from families that have given them everything they wanted, fixed every little problem for them and always came to their rescue when they got into trouble, even when they were in the wrong. Because things were fixed, smoothed over, covered up or made easy for them, they developed smart mouths, cocky attitudes and unrealistic expectations.
Unfortunately for them, employers aren't looking for high maintenance, undisciplined, self-centered and selfish high school students, college students and recent grads to fill their job openings. Employers are looking for students who can take direction, work hard and fit into the team. In that regard, they prefer employees who are willing to learn the job, accept responsibility and do whatever may be required, even the grunt work. Selfish students, who act like prima donnas, are never in high demand. Their knowledge and skills are always overshadowed by their immaturity, abrasive personalities and disruptive behavior.
Because spoiled students have rarely had to work for what they received, they can be completely unprepared for life in the real world. Therefore, wise parents take firm steps to prevent or deal with this problem. Here are a few areas that must be addressed:
Concern For Others - Selfish students always put themselves first. They think only of themselves and have no empathy or understanding for others, even their so-called friends. They use people and build shallow, uncaring relationships. One way to prevent this from happening is for parents to have their children get involved in the local community. Families can volunteer, teach, repair, build, serve, clean, share, donate, fundraise, feed, shelter, job train, campaign and prepare paperwork. Community service is a great learning tool.
Self-Discipline - Disciplined students do things on their own and on time. They get up on time, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to school, do a good job with their school assignments and perform their family chores. They know the difference between right and wrong and usually do the right thing, even in the face of peer pressure. Savvy parents teach the desired behaviors and then positively reinforce that behavior.
Responsibility - From an early age, every student should be assigned his/her own chores and responsibilities. Such chores could include: Setting the table, making the bed, cleaning the room, picking up toys, starting dinner, taking out the garbage, doing the laundry, walking the dog, washing the car, cutting the lawn, shoveling snow, taking care of the garden or any other necessary family activity. Learning to be responsible is a critical part of growing up.
Part-Time & Summer Jobs - Working for someone outside of the family is an important experience that every young person should have. Students will learn about employer expectations and the consequences of poor performance. At the same time, good performance will usually be recognized and rewarded. In the workplace, social skills and communication skills can be developed and improved. It's a place where students can learn to accept responsibility, discover what it means to be held accountable and experience the pride of a job well done.
Participation In School Activities - Team sports, student government and clubs all provide opportunities to learn and grow. They require interaction, sharing, teamwork, hard work and concern for others. Parents should encourage their children to get involved with activities where they can make friends and build self-esteem.
Respect - Parents who don't require their children to show respect for family members, the elderly, teachers, friends, service providers, the police, driving regulations, speed limits, cell phone use, game rules, standards of performance and much more are putting their children on a path to trouble and perhaps failure. When students don't respect their own parents or anyone else, things are bound to get out of hand. That's why respect must be taught from an early age. That responsibility can only fall to parents.
Honesty & Integrity - Can people trust your children? Do they admit mistakes and accept the consequences? Only when others know that your children will do the right thing will they be trusted. When students tell the truth and do what they say they will do when they say they will do it, they will gain the respect of others. Parents must set the example and hold their children to a high standard.
Consequences - In the real world, every word, action, attitude and behavior has a consequence. This is an important lesson. Mistakes, poor performance, lying, cheating, stealing, bad language, disrespect and poor attitudes all have consequences outside of the home. When parents overly indulge and spoil their children, those children will find it difficult to learn about consequences. Parents must be consistent when teaching this lesson through the application of guidance, praise and discipline.
Every student has a reputation which has been built on past behavior. That reputation will either work for them or against them. Therefore, it is the parent's responsibility to guide their children to a good reputation, one that will serve them well, as they become young adults.
When parents consistently spoil their children and fail to hold them accountable for their behavior, those parents are obstructing their children's development, damaging their character, impeding their maturity and hurting their chances for success when they must operate on their own. Children learn by observing their parents and testing their tolerance of selfish and hurtful behavior. That's why the best parents help their children develop into honest, caring and productive citizens. However, when parents fail to carry out their parental responsibilities, their spoiled children will struggle in the real world.
Visit Bob's web site: www.The4Reali. Bob Roth is the author of The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College -and- The College Student's Guide To Landing A Great Job.
Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of The College Student's Guide To Landing A Great Job -and- The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College. Known as The “College & Career Success" Coach, Bob also writes articles for more than 200 College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Additionally, Bob has developed 20 Self-Scoring Learning Tools that help college students find success. He has been interviewed on numerous radio programs across the country and also by many newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. Lastly, Bob has served as an Adjunct at Marist College, teaching a course in Career Development. http://www.The4Reali