They want everything now

They Want Everything Now!

I don’t know about your kids, but mine have no concept of waiting for anything. None! They want everything now. Not in five minutes time, or in two months time. Now!

It’s Not Their Fault, It’s All Of Ours

This is the reality of the world we live in now. A world where everything is instant.

Think back 15 years ago. Internet banking was still fairly new. You still had to go into the local branch to do most transactions.

Today you can send money across the world instantly, from your phone! And you can’t do half the stuff you need to do in person in the branch, but that’s a topic for another day! 

So you can’t really blame them when they don’t understand the concept of waiting for anything, because most of the time they don’t have to.

This really gets to me sometimes though. Like, when we go anywhere! Literally, ANYWHERE. If they have to wait for five minutes they immediately ask for my phone so that they can be entertained. The idea of having to wait with nothing to do is something they won’t tolerate, and quite frankly, can’t cope with.

Are They Just Spoilt?

Another aspect of this is their short attention span when it comes to all things ‘new’. Be it a new toy, a new movie on TV, a new app on the iPad. They might nag you for weeks to get the latest this, or the latest that. Then as soon as they have it, they are obsessed with it for about five minutes before they already start looking for the next thing that they ‘have to have’. The next new release.

It’s not always a case of being spoilt, despite what our parents generation think. It’s a case of – this is their norm, this is all they know. And it’s certainly not their fault.

The bad news, we are just as bad!

Think about it! Our generation as parents of young children is consumed by things such as the next model of phone handset, the newer model of car, the latest technology, the next holiday destination to tick off our list!

Not just that, what about our obsession with speed?

How soon can I get that?

How long do I have to wait.

My internet connection is too slow.

Why is my online delivery taking so long?

We have all become so impatient when it comes to waiting for things. It makes me wonder about that saying,

“All good things come to those who wait.”

Well that might be so, but I don’t know because we’re all too impatient to wait and see what it is that might be good.

What’s The Problem?

My concerns for them are that they won’t learn the value in working hard for something good. If they are raised to believe that they will get everything they want just by asking for it, how will we teach them to work hard to achieve something significant. An education is not the latest iPad.

For example, my eldest daughter is doing so very well in Grade One. She got almost full marks in her first ever set of tests. I was so proud. Unfortunately I didn’t realise they were doing tests at school, and one night this week she had a complete meltdown. I couldn’t quite make out what she was saying through her sobs. It turns out that she’d got one “wormy” wrong and for that one test she got 33/40. All her other marks were 18/20, 20/20, 30/30, which is amazing! But, this one wrong thing literally tipped her over the edge. She couldn’t handle it.

The point of this story is that, if she is so used to doing well in everything, and gets knocked down so hard at the first real hurdle, then maybe I’m not doing her any favours. Maybe I have dropped the parenting ball because almost everything in her life has been pretty easy up till now (except for when her shoes are too slippy – let’s not go there!)

Not A Perfect Parenting Moment

The other day she didn’t want to do her homework, probably because she feels she knows everything, because she’s doing really well in school. This does not sit well with me. Again, it comes down to working hard to achieve something. So, in my not so perfect parenting style, I decided to appeal to her competitive streak and said to her, “Well if you don’t do your homework, and all your friends do, then they will be more clever than you are and overtake you. Is that what you want?”

We do a lot of homework now!

I don’t want to push her too hard, because she is still little. But I do want her to operate at a level that is constantly challenging her at her personal level.

So What Should We Do About It?

I really don’t know. I don’t have the answer.

As a mother though, I do try to take the opportunity, when I can, to teach my children that it’s okay to wait your turn.

This can be challenging sometimes, especially when your four-year-old backseat driver yells at you to “Just go already!”. (I’m not kidding!)

Maybe I’m making too big a deal about this. Should I just accept that this is the norm? Should I just stress less?

Yes, probably.

Maybe It’s All Too Much

I might be rambling a bit now. I know I haven’t come up with any answers to the problems and issues I’ve raised, I just needed to write my concerns down.

As a mother, I want to try to find a way to balance out embracing the speed and pace of the modern world we live in, with also teaching my children that they need to work hard for significant achievements. Achievements that are worth far more than just the next range of LOL dolls! Something that they can be proud to say, “I got that because I worked hard for it.”

I certainly don’t want them to imagine that they will one day be handed a Diploma, just because they attended a good school. I want them to learn, before it’s too late, that just because they have the latest laptop to work on, or a car to drive themselves to lectures, won’t guarantee them a Diploma.

Again, I’m rambling. This mindset of ‘what’s next’, and ‘I want it now’, will not sustain them in the real world without learning the value in working hard for what they want. It’s not about having everything now. It should be about working hard to get what you want so that you value it more.


 

 

Shank You Very Much

Comments

  1. I completely relate to these fears. I am always worrying about the way the world is changing and how we raise our children best given the new norms. It’s very scary for a parent raised in a completely different generation with little to zero technology for the bulk of that time.

    I think the fact that you have these concerns is a good sign that you will do the best job you can with them. Also try understand that they are living in a time where they have to adapt a lot faster to things than we did. Maybe we can learn a little from them too.

    There are key principles like love, respect and patience that will never grow old and I think it’s up to us to ingrain them in our kids. So that constant begging for ice cream now before you even have time to take it out of the fridge and serve it needs to be corrected each time. Not being allowed to get a new phone because it just came out and not getting sweets every time we go shopping because you can see them and just want them now. It’s those things that as parents we are required to enforce.

    It’s so confusing and tricky. We won’t always be perfect. I am so glad you shared this article and that I am not the only one figuring this thing out as it unfolds. Lovely article!

  2. I agree! There’s a lot of impatience and materialism in the world, but lots of positives too. I think that it’s about remembering to find the good and share that with our children to give them a broader focus and understanding, and it sounds as though you’re finding that balance beautifully. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with #Blogstravaganza 🙂

  3. My concerns are similar and I write them in my blogs! Very recently, I had written a post called “less is more” and ” balance”. These are quite in sync with what u say! If u have the time, do go through them. My take is to be patient and just let nature take its course..easy to say, but then somewhere positively in today’s parenting style needs to be a big focus..

  4. Not a rant Carly, but a sign of our times and a very valid fear. I think about this often myself – I guess we just have to teach them balance. Ours is indeed an instant generation, but it’s important our kids learn patience and the value of things.. Lovely post x
    #blogstravaganza

  5. I think you have raised a VERY valid concern that parents are having all over the world! The world has vastly changed from when we were kids. Heck, I remember being the first family in my neighborhood to get the internet installed as a child and we all stared in wonder as it connected the first time. The world has changed, so must parenting techniques. I think it’s so important that you’ve identified the problem, because now you know what you’d like to aim your children towards. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you. I think if you raise your girls to think of others before themselves, be passionate about what they choose to do, and always strive to be the best HUMAN they can be, the rest should work out fine. #GlobalBlogging

  6. Great post, really thought provoking. As a 70s child myself it does amaze me how much more my little one gets that I didn’t, but then it is also my fault for giving in to her instant gratification. I do intend to educate her in the art of how to wait. But not while she’s a toddler! #ItsOk

  7. I totally get what you’re saying, and agree. My three year old can’t wait for a thing. Is it because he’s three or is it because the world we live in is like that? My husband and I both want to instil in our three (babies are a little bit small right now!) that they have to work hard to get nice things in life, but I can see it being tricky. And let’s face it, of course kids want all the nice, shiny new things. Exactly like you said – we all want nice shiny new things too! Great post raising some good questions here! #itsok

  8. We’ve noticed this with our two, particularly in restaurants when waiting for food. We’ve decided they can’t have the phones until we’ve ordered now and not at all if it’s somewhere food comes quickly. Not much but it’s a start!

  9. I hear you! I’ve made a conscious effort to not take toys or give my phone to the boys while we’re out to entertain them while they’re waiting for a meal to arrive. BUT, it’s sooo hard. Sometimes it’s the only way I can hold a conversation in peace. Maybe my boys are too small to understand patience and anticipation, who knows? #itsok

  10. You’re quite right. They do want everything now – and so do I! The bafflement on their faces when they realised on holiday that they could only watch the TV programmes that are actually ON NOW was mildly hilarious. And I do think there is something to be said for waiting for things, even for adults. I only ever half listen to new music when I download an album now, but when I got a new cassette (good times), I’d have saved up for it for weeks and listening to it endlessly. I will never love a new album like I did when I really had to want it and wait for it. #itsok

  11. I sometime opt for the longer queue in the supermarket, and when the inevitable moaning starts I calmly say “Sometimes in life we just have to wait” or “it’s okay, we’re in no hurry.”

    It’s killing me inside, because obviously I want to be out of the supermarket as fast as possible, but I want my girls to learn that faster isn’t always better or necessary.

    Great post btw
    #ItsOK

  12. Totally agree, my son just tonight asked 7 times if his potato faces where ready! Its so infuriating lol. He definitely gets its from his mother and not me. Not at all from me. #itsok

  13. Oh my gosh I know exactly what you are talking about, my daughters are exactly the same – everything has to be right now and it really frustrates me. Especially my four year old, she expects something as soon as she asks for it and I am determined to teach her how to exercise patience. And you’re right, we all fall victim to this ‘NOW NOW NOW’ mentality and it really isn’t healthy. But it is also very difficult to avoid it when we are living in such a fast-paced society. The only thing I don’t think you have to worry about is their accomplishments and achieving good grades. Fortunately all the technology in the world won’t do that for them, it might deliver the information to them really quickly but it won’t get them the marks. That they have to do themselves. Great article! #itsok

  14. Love this post so much. Commented before but my thoughts and fears on the subject haven’t changed. We need to teach today’s generation that it’s ok to lose sometimes, and losing doesn’t mean they’ve failed it just means they need to try again. Try harder. Now my son is older I’m emphasising this a lot more – he used to hate losing board games/ races but is now slowly realising that it’s ok. It’s just a game.
    But teaching this generation of instant everything to wait for things is a real challenge. Guess we just need to keep trying and reminding them…
    #itsok

  15. Yes! Voting so many thoughts that I have had about my own children. I often think it is hard in the face of what their peers have sometimes too (this can work both ways) Sometimes I find myself justifying their birthday present or Christmas present, but we don’t (or very rarely) buy them things at other times of the year, other than clothes/shoes, etc, whereas mine sometimes comment on how many lego sets or special collectors cards friends may have and we always say that every family is different and what they do is up to them, but we do things our way. But still I question the line between being spoilt and stingy – is is so tough! A tough part of parenting and thanks for voicing it, you are not alone xxx

  16. I totally get this. Times are so different when we grew up – nothing was given to us on a silver platter. But we need to teach our children that they can’t just expect things to be given if they didn’t work for it. We usually reward if they did well during the term and their report cards showed improvement #itsok

  17. I think all moms in our culture will relate to this post Carly, we really don’t have the answers and just have loads of questions. I get frustrated with my kids because they don’t know how to be bored but then I’m very bad at sitting still and doing nothing myself. It annoys me when they don’t apply themselves and hate hard work but that’s so normal for kids. We can’t shove technology out of the window as it is here to stay, we just need to figure out ways to live with it that are good. Have no idea how though! #itsok

  18. Instant gratification is definitely a thing now but I wonder if it’s really that bad? After all it’s just a reflection of how life has evolved…. #itsok

  19. Actually this post really got me thinking… I think perhaps I’m the worst offender of all in my family. I’m constantly aware of not having enough time and so I’m always pushing to get things sorted immediately, especially online stuff. Perhaps I need to take a breath and be a bit more mindful, it’d be good to set a better example to my kids for sure xx #ItsOK

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