Ungrateful Little Brats

This is Paul. It's good to be king.

          Can you feel it? There are only a couple of days before Thanksgiving and you can smell the excitement in the air. We get so wrapped up in the turkey and fixings that we forget why we do this. No, CoupleDumb will not be leading you into a retelling of how the Pilgrims gave thanks because they weren’t dead. No, we aren’t going to mention that that story is a little skewed and the act of giving thanks was really that of the Native Americans. Just something else we stole from them. No, we are going to focus on our kids and how to teach them to be grateful people and not self-entitled little shits. Now pass the mashed potato!

          Lee says: Kids are changing. Parents are caving. The act of appreciating what you have is becoming a lost art form. If it doesn’t have blinking lights or a lithium charger then it’s stupid and tossed to one side. Kids are watching there shows and realizing that we, as parents, are dispensable too!  Have you watched any of those shows on Disney and Nick? Out of 5 shows maybe one set of kids have active parents. In most cases, the parents are extras or support players. Kids are learning that they can raise themselves and if they have everything they ‘need’, parents are just a nuisance.

          Well, not in my house! First of all, our kids aren’t allowed to watch that tripe. The networks try to sneak it in between cartoons but we nip that as soon as the theme song goes on. Those shows get their laughs from the broad comedy that we see in old vaudeville. Mugging for the camera. Over the top reactions to insanely unlikely scenarios. However, because they are real actors, the kids begin to believe that big reactions and drama are normal. Well, it ain’t, at least in my house.

          My boys have this thing where they watch their cartoons and, when a cool toy comes on, they yell out ‘I want that!’ The toys range from any of the cool cars (Hot Wheels) to movie toys that are so amazing (Star Wars, Transformers). They even say things like ‘I want to give that to Gabby!’ (my niece) when it’s a doll or Barbie. Now, do they expect to get those things? Do they expect Mom and Dad to hold up Geoffrey the Giraffe at gun point and empty out Toys R Us including their weird toys that no one knows why they would carry such items? Do my boys think that our 14 foot Christmas tree is going to be dwarfed by the amount of gifts the fat man in the red suit is bringing them? No.

          My kids are not wanting but they have never and will never be spoiled. We teach them at an early age that one is enough and to be grateful for what they have. Thank you is just as important as saying please. In our home, we say thank you whenever anyone does anything. For example, ‘Bobby, pick up your toys!’ is quickly followed by ‘Thanks Bobby!’ Now Bobby does the same thing with Ricky. When we go out, the kids are held to the same standards. The boys have learned to walk through the store with their hands at their back. When we ask them to get something for us it is quickly followed by the call and response of ‘thanks’ and ‘you’re welcome’.

          Life is pleasant in our home. Everyone pulls their weight and no one expects a pass because they are too small. Everybody is expected to give their thanks even for getting food! Does this mean we have no revolts in this faux socialist kingdom (faux since Paul and I are the bosses and I don’t give a crap how many times you say please or thank you to me)? Sure they revolt! They argue! They bitch! But at the end of the day, they are thankful for what they have since they know that all knowing and controlling king and queen can take it all away in a second. And for their great benevolence, they are grateful!   

          Paul says: Our children are revolting? Hell, they’re disgusting! Sorry but I needed to do the bad joke, not because it is funny but because it is accurate. One of the problems with the ungrateful brats on TV is that they do not say thank you to the obvious but unseen cleaning person. Everything in these kid’s lives is pristine whereas my kids eat like Henry the Eighth’s sloppy cousin, dropping food whenever they become bored. But we taught them well because they are always grateful when, 15 minutes later, they happen upon the same chunk of banana, realize that they are still hungry and pop it in their mouth.

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