According to Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D., instilling your offspring with a sense of entitlement is nothing less than child abuse. If the short feature One Please is to be believed, it isn’t too good for the parents either. (Warning to the squeamish: there will be blood.)
It’s always good to see horror veteran Michael Berryman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Hill’s Have Eyes, The Devil’s Rejects) isn’t it, even when you’re not exactly sure what he wants with all those fingers? And how does this particular barter system allow him to buy ice cream and gas for his truck? Oh well, those are hardly the most pressing questions One Please brings up. The main one, of course, is why can’t some parents just say no?
In her book Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World, parenting expert Jill Rigby Garner notes a 2001 study that claims children who are overindulged are more likely to grow up believing in the following:
- It is difficult to be happy unless one looks good, is intelligent, rich and creative.
- My happiness depends on most people I know liking me.
- If I fail partly, it is as bad as being a total failure.
- I can’t be happy if I miss out on many of the good things in life.
- Being alone leads to unhappiness.
- If someone disagrees with me, it probably indicates that the person doesn’t like me.
- My happiness depends more on other people than it depends on me.
- If I fail at my work, I consider myself a failure as a person.
That’s an impressive list of undesirable attitudes. So, really, it sounds like the best thing you can do for your kids is to sometimes tell them no. You may have to listen to some whining, but they’ll grow up happier people for it. And if One Please is any indication, it’ll be a lot easier on your own fingers, as well.
In addition to Berryman, the 7-minute short film One Please also stars Sailor Holland, Alan Rackley, Langston Thompson, Catherine Burke and was directed by Jesse Burke (who also wrote the screenplay).