Editor’s note: Letters to Rhonda and Dr. Cheri come from around the U.S. via our website and are not necessarily from Prescott.
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
It took many, many years of struggling and sacrificing for my husband and I to become doctors. We just finished paying off student loans a few years back.
We both came from families that had nothing.
Both of our families worked in restaurants and we helped my parents buy a small family restaurant in Queens, New York. They still have it and work almost every day to keep it running.
The gratitude we receive from our parents every single day is so sweet and kind.
However, we are writing to you because our hearts are broken. The reason is because we raised spoiled kids who grew up to be spoiled adults.
When we were first married, we couldn’t afford anything for Christmas presents. When we started to make some money, our kids were in middle school and we spoiled them to make up for the past.
Now they don’t ever write a thank you card or even call when they get gifts. We worry most about our parents, who are very sad to never hear from their grandkids with any appreciation.
We paid for our kids’ expensive schools and still haven’t received any thanks.
For the last few Christmases, our kids haven’t come and visited because they are too busy or whatever. They never say thank you or write a hand-written note. It’s always a quick emailed, “Thanks for the gifts.”
We are sick about having spoiled them and our parents say we should stop. We don’t want to hurt our kids’ feelings. We love them and want to give to them, but we are so sad. How do we change this situation?
Dear Loving Parents,
You have gone above, and above, and above, and beyond, what any parent should do for their kids. We applaud your loving intentions, however, they are acting entitled and they will continue to expect you to take care of their every desire if you don’t stop now.
We feel you should write each child an individual letter and say something like the following:
Dearest Susie Q,
Your grandparents brought us up with love, values, and generosity.
They worked hard and made sacrifices just to put something on the table for dinner and give us a place to live.
They were sad that we had to take out student loans, but proud when we graduated.
Later, anything we could give them, be it a bag of groceries, was so appreciated.
Your grandparents and we love you, but we are sad, disappointed, and hurt because we don’t feel you care about our love, generosity, or spending time with us.
We aren’t saying this to upset you, or “cut you off” from financial help. We say it because we failed to teach you how to sacrifice, how to say thank you, or how to show your love and kindness to us and your grandparents.
Your family needs to take priority.
Please don’t let us down again. Come and visit and we’ll have a great time.
Your loving parents
The bottom line is that you may, in a loving way, let your kids know they were given too much for their own good and didn’t learn important life lessons such as: sacrifice, gratitude, nurturing others, and responsibility.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.