The entitled parents
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2019 - 12:00am

A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything neatly arranged. Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, “Dad.” With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands...

“Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mum and you.

I’ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her because of her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am. But it’s not only the passion, Dad. She’s pregnant. Stacy said that we would be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.

In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it!

Don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15, and I know how to take care of myself. Someday, I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love, your son,

Joshua.

PS: Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Jason’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that’s on the kitchen table. Call when it is safe for me to come home!”

What I will present today can be classified as “offensive,” and I am sure there will be many who may disagree and argue that I am wrong with my views. But this is the privilege of being a columnist. I have the space to voice out my opinions. To keep quiet and fear negative feedback and backlashes would rob me of the opportunity to do my job. So here are my thoughts.

We have always charged the millennials as demanding, impatient and entitled, but have you ever considered the possibility that certain parents (not all) are the ones that carry the “entitlement mentality?”

Take for example now that the kids have finished college and are starting their careers, some parents expect their kids to feed them and take care of them as they retire and enjoy the rest of their lives living with idleness and sharpened nagging. All designed to exasperate the children and harping on how much they sacrificed for them, preying on the children guilt so they can squeeze some money out of their poor worn out and weary kids.

•  “Why don’t you leave that miserable low-paying job of yours and try out your luck in America, Australia or Canada or some country in the Middle East… so you can have a better future there.” Are they concerned with their kid’s future? Perhaps. But is going abroad, earning dollars the way to have a better future and could they not see opportunities here in their own native land? Makes me wonder.

•  “Why not work for higher pay so that you can start saving up, buy a house, and secure your future?” Now that’s brilliant. Starting a career and having to tie themselves up with monthly amortization that inadvertently forces the kids to have to stress it out, slug it out and work even harder. And when they lose their jobs or when their company fails, they default in their payment and lose everything; would the parents admit that they were at fault? Never! And then they flash their badge: “We are your parents, and you need to respect and obey us.”

In specific sectors of our economy, there is this crazy notion that the more children they will have the more children will take care of them when they get old. So parenting is now seen as a transaction, and it is their children’s turn to spend on their parents? Isn’t this a cruel type of entitlement mentality? Listen to the stories of the young people laboring as OFW’s. They’ve got so many stories to tell. Children are to honor their parents, and this means to love them and to care for them. They, however, are not supposed to be pressured with an “entitlement mentality.”

Many of my contemporaries have retired, and the successful ones continue to be productive. By doing so, it adds meaning to their lives and keeps them healthy as well. All of my kids are now in entrepreneurial endeavors and are doing well. The Ilocana and I promised to be productive while we still can and to never expect dole outs from them. We want to support them if they need it and while we still can.

Words of advice to parents: “DON’T GROW OLD BROKE!” remove the “retirement” and “entitlement” mentality and find ways to be productive while you still can. The kids need time to find stability; build skills and competence before they can be very productive and experience abundance and prosperity. Support them and do not become a heavy burden for them to bear. There is a word for this and it is called: “Parenting!”

(Francis Kong’s Level Up Leadership last run for the year will take place on Sept. 10 and 11 at Makati Diamond Residences (near Greenbelt 1). Register early as seats tend to run out early. For advanced registration specifically for group rates or other inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

FRANCIS J. KONG
Philstar
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