Does Your Child Suffer from "Affluenza"?

The Disease Of Too Much, Too Soon, With No Appreciation

Does Your Child Suffer from "Affluenza?"

Wouldn't it be great if children were born with a best practices handbook for child rearing? Unfortunately, this is clearly not the case, and while we all want what’s best for our child, that “best” requires parents who are responsible and raise their children with consistency, love, and active parenting. 

But within the context of consistency and active parenting, there is a balance. Children who are overprotected and overindulged become young adults who over-rely on their (helicopter) parents to complete their college applications and negotiate health benefits with future employers.

Psychologists and child-rearing experts are concerned with an epidemic we call “Affluenza”the disease of too much, too soon, with no appreciation. What is the prognosis for a child with Affluenza? A lifetime of entitlement. 

Being a responsible parent means that you determine and react to your child’s needs vs. wants. What your child needs is your unconditional love, despite shortcomings and mistakes. Being a responsible parent means that you provide guardrails when your child tests limits and boundaries, and that you allow your child to be unique, while teaching confidence, respect, and how to deal appropriately with emotional struggles. Delaying gratification and caring about the consequences in the choices he makes can only make your child a more resilient young adult.

So, how do you know if your child is already inflicted with Affluenza, and how can we revert its effects? To leverage a change, we must first recognize some of the more noticeable signs:

  • Your child gets everything NOW. “No” means “Maybe,” if he pressures long enough.
  • Happiness is temporary, and almost always conditional on him getting his way.
  • She does not make friends easily, because only her needs are important. The world revolves around her.
  • Wants/gets new toys, gets bored easily, and then discards them quickly.
  • Misplaced/lost items are not accounted for and replaced by parent without concern.
  • Measures all she has against what her friends have.
  • Cannot accept a failing grade and does not share credit in classroom with other children.

What is the best anecdote? Finding the right balance between dependence and independence. Parents must make decisions for children that they may not understand or like. A responsible parent knows you cannot always make your child happy. In order for children to learn and grow, they must learn how to face and overcome emotional struggles, so that they can build a strong foundation needed to conquer adult challenges and struggles. It is imperative that parents not allow children to take the shortcuts past the lessons to get to the prize.

In order for parents to raise a resilient, responsible, and respectful child, these are the top ten best practices:

  1. Meet the needs, check the wants.
  2. Children learn as much from how you teach them, as what you teach them. Responsibility is a character trait that has to be taught and learned, it’s not instinctive.
  3. Fiscal responsibility must be taught at a young age. Parents should teach their childen what money is, where it comes from, how to spend it wisely, and how to save, spend, and give back (charity).
  4. You won’t make your child happy all the time. They are allowed to make a mistake, but the lesson is to teach your child to own it, admit it, and move on from it.
  5. You are the parent, he is the child. You are your child’s confidante, ally, and best cheerleadernot their friend.
  6. Allow your child to make age appropriate decisions. Letting your child take ownership and have active participation in the real world will teach responsibility and accountability. Hold your child to the consequences of his actions.
  7. Routine and chores create “predictable order.” Chores create time management skills, self-respect, and confidence to help him feel helpful and capable.
  8. An additional benefitchores teach caring for one another, how to share space and time in the home, and individual contribution to the greater whole

While there are no rule books and best practices for every child and the household, you do know what’s best for you and your child. Take a deep breath and relax. You will have many decades to be a parent and work on getting it right.

For tips on teaching your children about gratitude, click here and here.

Lori's vibrant and engaging personality have led companies to request her services for Business Etiquette workshops and seminars, commencement and keynote speaking, lunch and learns and organizational events. She has been quoted in numerous national and international newspapers, magazines, and nationally syndicated radio and television, including Good Day Fox in Atlanta, ABC Sunday morning news in Miami, Fox News in the Morning -Cleveland, and WGN News, Chicago. Lori is the co-author of the widely respected, Good Manners Are Contagious, which is being sold nationally and internationally

Since 1985, Lori has had a successful private Career/Life Coach consultation practice which has provided strategy, structure and professional life / business coaching solutions to her clients to achieve the results to build better lives filled with success, satisfaction and achievement. She owned and operated American Barrister, a highly successful legal recruitment staffing agency, "ranked as one of the top attorney consulting firms" by New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia firms. 

Recruited into the education sector, Lori worked for Computer Learning Centers, Inc., and was quickly promoted to National Director of Career Services. In that role she administered policies and procedures for 27 schools nationwide. As National Director she wrote the "Career Services Training Manual" and other "best practice" documents. Lori is a skilled facilitator who created presentations for seminars in various corporations in "Providing Quality Customer Service "and" Workplace Communications and Overcoming Conflict."  . Lori has helped thousands of students obtain successful employment with proper social skills/business protocol training in her twenty-five year career.  Lori is a graduate of Camden County College and belongs to the International Coaching Federation, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Philadelphia chapter of Femfessionals.