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Ungrateful Parents

Not Pleasant or Acceptable

Parents can be so ungrateful. Parents can be a lot of things, but for this moment let's discuss us being ungrateful. I am a parent, I hang around other parents, I read parenting stuff. Now that you have my résumé, let us continue. 

This was a video I watched while scrolling Facebook the other day. I knew as soon as I viewed this video that it was going to be shared with the intention of pointing out how ungrateful this teenager is and the rest of this generation. I was blocked from the page that I originally viewed the video on so I had to find another page where people were commenting so that I can share with you the general sentiment about this video.

Bleeping Ungrateful Bleep

Against my will I redacted the names of those commenting and the curse words they use about someone's child

One thing I noticed is that her parents thought it was funny. I saw the original post, and the father shared it because he thought it was all in good fun. He has since removed it because of the negative backlash from the internet. You can tell her parents were playing with her. It didnt seem like they were taking her rejection too seriously. I also noticed that she drove up in a decent car and when she walked away it was to get into another decent vehicle. That causes me to think she was raised with nice stuff.  She had a phone, her hair was done, and her clothes were reasonable. Seemingly, her parents have raised her with a specific level of expectation. This is where the ungrateful attitude of parents come in. Parents like to say they want better for their children but respond with anger when their children are better than them. Parents often tell their children how bad they had it because they want their children to have an understanding without having the experience. Yikes! It's like parents raise their children from the point of not having to go through what they went through and then begrudge the child for not having those points of reference. This teenager responded with the disappointment her parents expected. She was very regardful in her response to her parents' prodding. She didn't say anything disrespectful, she didn't throw a fit, she was just outwardly disappointed. How dare any child ever feel anything other that supreme gratitude for everything their parent does for them. 

Being an ungrateful parent extends into so many aspects of our daily lives. Toddlers who are potty training get scolded for urinating in the bed instead of reminded they had done really well the night before. Babies who cry when they are hungry or bored become sources of irritation instead of applauded for expressing themselves. School-age children are expected to immediately stop what they were doing and what they were thinking when an adult suddenly calls them. 

Most of us parents are ungrateful because we feel entitled to our children's loyalty, allegiance, and obedience. We are ungrateful that they are complete beings who need us in different capacities. We want them to need us for everything but get irritated when they need us for anything. We are ungrateful when they learn a lesson we have taught them but in a different manner than we intended. Our ungrateful attitude often presents itself as disappointment, anger, frustration, shame, guilt. We're ungrateful when our children convey a sentiment we haven't learned before them. 

The young woman in the video has learned to expect the best. She has learned not to accept anything less than what she knows she deserves. Deserving isn't about what you have done, its about who you are inside. She honored her feeling of disappointment without lashing out at the ones who intentionally set up a scenario to illicit a negative response. She choose the response of disappointment even though she was expected to express disrespect. The vast majority of the internet was ungrateful. I am grateful she reminded me to know what I desire and accept only exactly what I desire. I am grateful she showed the world that you can be disappointed and still regardful. I am grateful she did what her parents asked of her and not one thing more because she didn't feel compelled at that moment. I am grateful she stayed focused on more than one thing at a time—honor her parents, honor herself. I am grateful she showed her parents she has learned that they have taught her and used those lessons with them. I am grateful she ignited inside me the excitement of being grateful for my children and to my children. What a time to be alive. These are the everyday trophies we earn if we are available to receive them. As always much success to us all. 

Kahlil Gibran's "On Children" Sung by Sweet Honey In The Rock