I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the Why Me's has become an epidemic. Last night, I was at a friend's, when her son opened an awesome Nerf bazooka gun that shoots like 600 bullets at the same time. He was having a tough day, he was exhausted and then the gun had the nerve to break.
"Why me," he screamed as he threw himself on his bed, arms splayed.
"Why me! Why me! I knew this bazooka wouldn’t work, I just knew it! Why do horrible things like this always happen to me? My friends’ Nerf guns work."
He had a classic case of the Why Me's. I've seen it before - we all have. The question is, how does one catch this horrible illness and can we cure or prevent it?
Here's my take: As we -- many of us helicopter/ over-protective / over-compensating / over-complimenting parents raise this next generation, we're teaching them that they are truly the center of the universe. I am not judging, I am one of those parents - many of us are (to varying degrees). Many of us, myself included, have an internal struggle where we pit our need to ensure our children's happiness and self-assurance against the knowledge that our role in attempting to provide these things for them 24/7 may inhibit their ability to be able to do this for themselves.
OK, I'm not a doctor or a therapist, but I see one regularly, which means I'm totally qualified to say these things. Wait, it doesn't? So, I should stop calling my friend who once played a Doctor in a Prilosec commercial for advice on my IBS? Whatever...
There is always a catalyst (the reason your child is lamenting), it is usually something totally insane. Here are some examples:
1) "So and so is so lucky she has stairs in her house," "They have a trampoline," "He has a pool, a new Playstation, a snail, a cast on his arm (you can really insert almost anything your child doesn't have in the end of the sentence and it works.) I don't even have an stinkin' ace bandage. Why me?"
2) "It takes 3 hours to get to Disney world and I have to sit in the car and watch DVDs the whole way. Why me?"
3) "All of my friends have lost a tooth but mine are still stuck in my mouth! Why me?"
4) "Someone else got the last one (it doesn't matter if it's a donut or a shower cap, the last one is something every child needs) I never get the last one. Why me?"
5) "All the rides I like have the longest lines. Why me?"
6) "I wasted your money in that fake tattoo machine, but I didn't get the one I wanted. Why me?"
7) “What being a girl means that one day I'll get a period and boobies and I'll have to give birth? Why me?”
Unfortunately there is no shot one can get, which is good for my daughter since her last "Why me?" was at the doctor's office: "I have to get a shot to not get the flu! WHY ME?"
That said, your most viable tactic is to highlight how bad they have it. Here are my favorite options:
1) List for them, in a robotic style voice, all the things they DO have that other people would love to have. Then do your best 80's robot imitation to let your awesomeness sink in.
2) Start to cry about something that would be really random to be upset about like the fact that you'll probably never be a pro on Dancing With the Stars.
3) Sing a song about how much it must suck to be them. Title it "It must suck to be you," when they beg you to stop add another verse about how much it must suck to have to listen to the "Must Suck" song.
4) Tell them what it was like for you as a child. How you had to spray your bangs into to a high bang helmet and that, not only did that look work for no one, you'll probably contract emphysema because of it. Or how your parents would only buy you the cheap Ray Ban copies and the mirror lenses peeled off within 2 hours of owning them.
5) And lastly, give them some perspective. Expose them to the world so they can see they are a part of it - not the center of it. Go with them to volunteer and see that there are people who are less fortunate than they are. Some don't have homes, health or even iPhones.
Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog, is the humorist behind the award winning, The Suburban Jungle.com. An on air lifestyle expert, card carrying Gen Xer and columnist at HuffPo and TheStir, her goal is to you keep herself sane and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join her … and the INSANITY on Facebook , Pinterest, and Twitter.