Overcompensation

Our fast paced society presents new challenges to us every day. The competition in the work force is increasing, demanding longer hours from men and women. Although the adults working in a well-paying position bring home a hefty paycheck, there are inevitable consequences that come with these longer hours. The children of these men and women get absolutely no time from their parents. To make up for the lack of parent-child time, the parents feel the need to compensate for their absence because of the guilt they feel for not being with their children. However, this guilt takes over and turns into the parents literally buying their kids’ love.

Children need the most guidance and adult support in their early childhood, especially during the ages of 3-10. When children are this young, the parents are also still relatively young and at the right age to make it big in their profession. To make up for the lost time with their kids, particularly when the kids are young, the parents will take a family vacation down to Disney World. Disney is constantly advertised as the place where imagination takes over and dreams come true. Since these aspects appeal to young children, parents feel obligated to take their kids to Disney at least once during their childhood. However, the cost for a four day ticket in the park with the convenient “park-hopper” pass is $355.71. And that’s only for one child under 10 years of age. A family of four would have to spend roughly $1900 on their Disney experience, excluding the cost of meals, souvenirs, and their hotel stay.

The overcompensation goes one step further when children make friends and encounter peer pressure. When the hottest new video game or gadget hits the market, everyone goes out to purchase it. Kids then ask their parents to buy the product as well, and because of the guilt they feel, parents succumb to the pressure and buy the item. These adults feel as if buying all these material possessions for their children will compensate for not being at home often enough. On the outside, it’s a win-win situation. The kids are overjoyed they got their new toy, and parents are satisfied that they did something to make their kids happy. However, the problem is much deeper than that. Kids aren’t getting the guidance and authentic love they deserve, and the parents are hurting their wallets to makeup for a priceless aspect of family life. These men and women in the work force don’t know how to say no, because they’re scared that their children will have no reason to love them.

The scariest part of overcompensation comes when children hit their teenage years. At this age, teens are aware that their parents are trying to make up for not being present most of the time. They are aware that their parents will not say no to anything they ask. They are aware that they have the power in the household. Neglected teenagers will exploit their parents’ guilt to get what they want. The role of authority in the household is now played by the kid, not the parents. There is something clearly very wrong with this picture. Teenagers should not be taking advantage of their parents. Instead, they should try to talk to their parents about how they feel. Manipulation of someone’s love is immoral.

On the whole, in the case of child-neglect and overcompensation, the parents are at fault. Instead of working the extra hours, they should be spending more time with their kids. A family life comes with sacrifice. Instead of purchasing expensive items, it would benefit the parent and child greatly if they bonded for even an hour a day. Love cannot be bought. Society is going to take a turn for the worse if children are ruling over their parents.

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