Sitting in a restaurant for a lovely family treat, I hear a child of about 8 burst into tantrum over his mac and cheese being white cheese instead of yellow. Seems extreme and I think somebody is having a bad day. Then I hear his mom say loudly, rudely and with tremendous indignation to the waiter, I don’t care if that’s how its made here, make me some yellow mac and cheese!!
I wish I could say I was stunned, but alas this seems like an increasingly common occurrence. This parent sounded as bratty as her child. We have been talking about the helicopter parenting phenomena for some time, that parents are overly involved in helping their children along to the point that they may be tampering with that child’s ability to develop their own resilience and capabilities. At least helicopter parenting is driven by a desire to help your child even if it is misguided. What exactly is on the minds of parents who appear demanding, entitled, and resort to breaking the rules and walking on others, even throwing their own mini tantrum to get what they want?
Growing up with relative comfort and access, followed by this abrupt economic downturn which threatens to take away resources one has grown used to, has made many people anxious. Fear of “not having” can drive a need to have everything you want when you want it. This mental defense mechanism as a solution to the anxiety of not having is, “I am entitled to have anything; hence I am safe from the rationing I see going on around me.”