Kids are crazy, right? When they’re hungry, they are rude and difficult to manage. They are demanding and seem incapable, most of the time, of doing anything for themselves. They are totally ungrateful for what people do for them. In fact, a lot of the time they are completely unaware that anyone exists in the world but themselves.
This is not new, obviously. In the 1600s, the French satirist Jean de La Bruyère captured the timelessness of the selfishness of the young. “Children are overbearing,” he wrote, “supercilious, passionate, envious, inquisitive, egotistical, idle, fickle, timid, intemperate, liars, and dissemblers; they laugh and weep easily, are excessive in their joys and sorrows, and that about the most trifling objects; they bear no pain, but like to inflict it on others.” It’s all true.
And so is the kicker with which he ended his observation, “…already they are men.”
The point being: Before you complain about how selfish and crazy your kids are, we ought to look in the mirror. Don’t we get hangry? Don’t we take people for granted? Don’t we alternate between elation and frustration? Don’t we get excited by trivial things? Aren’t we incapable of regulating our emotions and our desires? And haven’t we had a lot more time to practice these things too?
Cut them a break. You cut yourself plenty.