I was watching an episode of The Brady Bunch recently. I loved that show and watched it all the time as a kid. (I’m assuming you’re real familiar with it as well – so I won’t give any background info or explanation.)
Obviously the show is very dated, but I was particularly blown away by the change in our culture, specifically parenting, in contrast to the way Mike and Carol handled a situation with their kids.
Peter, Jan, and Cindy come home from school ecstatic because they auditioned for and made their school’s glee club. Bobby walks in the door a few minutes after them bummed out because he auditioned, but didn’t make it.
Now here is the shocking part: Mr. and Mrs. Brady did not make an angry phone call to the glee club director. They did not make Peter, Jan, and Cindy quit the club since Bobby didn’t make it. They did not sue the school district. They did not start a petition seeking to ban auditions and instead insist that every child who desires should be able to be a part of the club.
Rather, they gently explained to Bobby that not everybody can be a good singer. (In fact, in private they both acknowledged that Bobby was a horrible singer!) They reassured Bobby that he was undoubtedly good at something, and they would help him find out what he did have a knack for. They ended up trying various musical instruments in their quest for Bobby’s niche. (I won’t spoil it and tell you how it turned out!)
What a huge difference between then and now. Today’s kids are so often sheltered from the harsher realities of real-life. We falsely inflate their confidence/self-esteem/egos by assuring them that they are awesome at everything. We’ve done away with award systems that distinguish between excellent and mediocre. There is a prevalent mindset that either everyone gets stroked, or no one gets stroked.
The result? A generation of kids with a false sense of confidence, a shocking sense of entitlement, and an inability to handle rejection or failure.
I think Mike and Carol Brady handled the situation perfectly. What do you think?