Recently I was at a hotel with a breakfast buffet. I like those hotels because they provide breakfast, and you can go back to your room when you’re finished to clean up before going out for the day. Needless to say, I was enjoying my breakfast when a family of 4 sat at the table next to me. It was a pleasant family with mom, dad and 2 kids of about 10 and 12 years old.
The mother immediately got up and brought back juices for the 2 children. The father went over to the buffet table and started to fill his plate with whatever he wanted, while the mother walked over with the children and made them hold their plates while she filled it for them. She then brought them back to the table and continually asked them if they wanted anything else, or she would just get up and get them more juice or cereal or whatever. She did not eat anything for herself yet, mind you. The father was quite content with his food and ate his breakfast quietly while mom continued to dote on the children and jump up and down getting them more and more things. She even wiped one of their mouths with a napkin at one point! When they were finished, and mom could finally eat for herself, the children got a little “rambunctious” and the family left. Mom had about 3 minutes to actually enjoy her breakfast.
Now, I may be wrong, but 10 and 12 year olds are fully capable of getting their own breakfast and pouring their own juice. They can walk over to the buffet and get whatever they want to eat, without any outside help. The children were not overly obnoxious or annoying to the point where mom might have been doing all this for them so as not to have them get out of hand. I think she just didn’t know what else to do. She dotes and dotes on her children as if there is nothing else for her to do in life.
I see this a lot, especially when I lived in China, and the child was the family’s only child. Not only would mom and dad dote on the child, but all 4 grandparents as well. The children would begin to expect everyone to do everything for them. They called it the “little emperor syndrome” in China. These parents that do everything for the child like they are royalty created children that felt like they were royalty. They created children that expected to be treated special and had a sense of entitlement that I have never seen matched.
Unfortunately, it’s not only the Chinese that do this with their children. I have seen over-doting parents all over the world. These people don’t understand that, even though they want to do everything for their children, they are creating people who can’t do anything for themselves, and will expect people to always do things for them. These parents who fawn over their children and try to anticipate their every need are not helping their children at all. They’re just making it more difficult in the long run because, eventually, that child is going to hear “no,” and they’re not going to be able to deal with it.