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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Boy Who Had Everything..

Growing up, there was a young boy in the neighborhood who had everything.

Newest cell phone?
He had it at the age of 10.

He had state of the art video games and the big screen televisions with surround sound to play them on.  
He was the envy of the neighborhood for sure.

One day a child came home from school upset, because this boy had stolen five dollars from him on the school bus.  The mom went directly to the school to report the incident, only to be met a day or two later by a lengthy letter, from the child’s parents stating that their child is incapable of such behavior and she should re-check her facts.  Perhaps she needed to brush up on her parenting skills, since her child had such difficulty with the truth.

This type of behavior continued, and as this boy grew older he started to receive bigger and better gifts; snow boards & ski passes, dirt bikes and other assorted ATV’s.

While the other kids asked their parents for these items, stating, “Well X has these, why can’t I have them too?”

The mom clearly told her child – “Sweetie, I can’t afford these items and your school work is suffering.  Perhaps if you get your grades up, and work for what you want - we can work on getting you one of these items.”

To this, the child replied, “But Mom – X never needs to do anything!  He doesn’t clean his room, he doesn’t cut the lawn, he doesn’t take out the trash and his grades are terrible!”

“Well, that’s a darn shame,” the mom replied, “Last I knew, no one ever died from taking out the trash.  Doing chores helps to build character & teach responsibility.”

Of course her child and the other children in the neighborhood continued to envy everything this young man had.  He did, after all, have it all AND he didn’t have to do anything!

When this young man turned 18, he dropped out of high school.  Shortly after, his parents bought him a new truck.

This young man, while polite – had absolutely no ambition.  No desire to become anything.  No desire to go to school, to get a job – nothing.

Why should he?  He lived in his parents’ home.  They weren’t telling him to leave.  They were providing him with food, shelter a vehicle, a cell phone and even cash when he needed it.

Sure, he had a really great job – for a little while – but why?  Not like he really needed one….and he got fired.  No big deal.

Life moved forward, as it always does…
All of his friends graduated high school.  Some moved on to college, others to work.  The young man continued to live in his parents’ basement.  No drive, no ambition, no purpose.  No one really around to hang out with – so he got new friends.

Shortly thereafter, this young man died, of a heroine overdose – in his parents’ basement.  Drugs ordered on the cell phone his parents gave him.  Drugs bought with the cash he was given, in the car they gave him.

Nope…. Taking out the trash never killed anyone.

Is it possible to be loved to death?

Just something to think about…



  1. Yes, it is possible. But I don't think that it's "love." The things that you do to enable your child or gifts you bestow on them don't really correlate with how you feel about them. At least I don't think so. I think that parents are scared. Scared to let their children become independent, scared of saying no, scared of what happens if the let them out into the big bad world and they fail and then HAVE to come home. They don't want to "put their child through that disappointment." And yes we don't want to do those things to our kids because we love them, but it ends up not being a manifestation of love. My mom was my enabler for far too long. I'm one of the lucky ones. She ended up reading a book called "Tough Love" and started being a more proactive parent. She pushed me out when I felt like I couldn't do it alone and allowed me to prove to myself that I could. I find myself buying my daughter the latest dolls, clothes...even when we can't really afford it. So I've made a decision to stop. It's been really hard for the last two weeks. My daughter has always been the sweetest thing you can imagine. But I wonder sometimes if she's really sweet because she always gets her way? I know that it's not really true because there have been several things that she's wanted that I have said no to (like a Facebook. lol), but I am really making a more conscious effort now to have her work for things, even at the early age of six. I don't want her to be crippled to me. What a hard post to write, Jenn. And the lines between this stuff are so gray and murky. All the hardest parts of being a parent...
    Much love to you, friend.

  2. Great, thought-provoking post, Jenn. Kudos to you. I agree that children who are handed everything never learn the value of earning anything. And I've had to say no to my own girls more than I'd like, but to me, it seems they appreciate the things that I say YES to when they hear no often. Not that I don't EVER give them things, but heck, you know what I mean. Great blog.


  3. Great post! I agree that we harm our children when we provide them with everything they ask for. Saying NO (and explaining why) IS LOVE!
    I love your blog! I came here through got hooked and became a member!

  4. Here is a comment I accidentally deleted, but was able to retrieve & post myself. Thank you to Menopausal Momma for the comment. I wish I could make that clickable - because her blog is also wonderful!!

    menopausal mama has left a new comment on your post "The Boy Who Had Everything..":

    Was coming over to thank you for joining my blog and WOW am I glad that I did! I love your blog and joined ASAP on your GFC. This story is so true of so many young kids these days. My brother let his wife rule the roost at home, and that meant giving their kids everything they ever wanted--just like the unfortunate lad in your story. It used to drive my husband and I crazy--their kids were terribly spoiled and our kids always had to go without (which of course they whined about and wanted to know why they couldn't have all the cool stuff their cousins had). Fast forward 10 years and guess whose kids graduated with honors from college and have GREAT careers, and which ones have dropped out, gotten in trouble with the law and hopped from job to job??? Yup! Just like your story...and I am one hell of a proud mama!! Thanks so much for sharing this--made my day!!! Look forward to reading more of your posts and hope you'll drop by to visit often!


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