His mom gave him the day off school

    My blood is boiling.

    If you are a parent you could be saying what’s the problem? You might even be saying the title of this article is provocative.

    Maybe it is? The problem is this: You are creating a monster.

    You are creating an entitled teenager. We are creating a generation of people who feel ‘they deserve a day off’.

    Last Wednesday as I queued for a coffee I chatted with the guy beside me.

    He told me he was ‘p*ssed off.’

    His son was only back at school two days after two weeks off for Christmas. His Mom had given him the day off for his birthday. The boy turned sixteen that day.

    Sweet sixteen – what a great age! I can literally hear the Bryan Adams Summer of ‘69 as a I write.

    However, when I think of it, sweet sixteen these days is more like ‘sugary’ sixteen.

    We are literally putting sugar onto everything we do with our young people. We are ‘sugar coating’ life.

    This leads to self-entitlement and fragility.

    I see parents, teachers and schools making life as comfortable as we can to try and coax young people into doing the sh*t they don’t want to do.

    This parent went on to tell me that he had the weekend booked away in Wexford to celebrate the boy’s birthday. They would be away the following Sunday and Monday.

    So that’s two days missed in two weeks after two weeks off for Christmas.

    I know several small business owners. People who own bars, cafes and shops. They all tell me the same thing.

    They cannot get good staff. The ‘younger crowd’ drive them crazy. The pay is not good enough. They don’t want to work the Saturday or Sunday night shift. They want to do the bare minimum. They cannot work because their parents are bringing them away on holidays.

    I also here this a lot: ‘I’ll never work in McDonalds.’

    They want it sugar coated.

    So what do you do when your child says they ‘deserve a duvet day?’

    Simple really. Ask yourself do you deserve a duvet day?

    You set the standard.

    The last time I was given a day off school, I was ten.

    My Dad told me I could have the day off school.

    He went on to say my Mother would bring me into town.

    That was the day I got my first Liverpool jersey.

    But there was a catch.

    There was always a catch.

    I had to work.

    We have a family farm.

    That morning I spent 3 hours with my brothers packing lettuce.

    That’s how it rolled. You had to do the work.

    But I got my jersey. I was delighted.

    So there was effort and then payoff.

    In hindsight, I was lucky. It created discipline and work ethic.

    There were many times I resented it. I could be ‘scorpy’ and kick-up.

    My parents didn’t care. You did the work or there would be trouble.

    Last week, we had the BT Young Scientist competition in Dublin. This is a festival to celebrate the creativity and curiosity of young people. It takes hard work and effort.

    Last night, I spoke to a very proud Dad who told me how his fourteen year old son got first prize in his field. He spoke glowingly about the competition, the teacher and his son efforts. It was a pleasure to listen to him.

    This is not about duvet days and it is not about birthdays. It is also not about winning competitions.

    This is about raising resilient, reliable people with drive and discipline.

    Missing school for whatever reason is not an option. It leads to things being optional in later life. It’s called being unreliable.

    And if they tell you ‘I deserve it’, go back to Bryan Adams.

    He played ‘til his fingers bled. It was the Summer of 69.’

    Discipline gets it done. Hard work is satisfying.

    Until next time, keep RAYING THE GAME!

    Ray Langan

    Ray Langan

    I help students and young people go from anxious and overwhelmed to calm and confident (and get better grades than ever before). I show students how to study smarter and learn faster using my unique methods. I am an award winning speaker, coach and therapist and I can help you help your teen to RAYSE THEIR GAME.

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