Last night I had a long talk with Sarah. She has been complaining a lot lately about having to clean her room and do chores. She says that other children, for example her friends, don't have to clean their rooms or do any chores.
Of course, I had to explain to her why she has to do chores, and how doing those chores will help to prepare her for life. I explained to her how making her clean, and do laundry, and do the dishes, etc., would make it easier for to live on her own. And all of her friends who have never been taught how to do these things will be completely clueless when they go out on their own.
I also explained to her how not getting her way all of the time will prepare her for future denials. I once read in a psychiatric magazine about how all of these parents who let their children do and have whatever they want are doing such a disservice to them. When these children grow up and go out into the real world, they don't know how to cope with failure and denial. If they don't get that job or promotion that they want, they don't know how to deal with it, and usually end up depressed and needing medication and/or therapy.
We also discussed why it is so very important for her to do well in school. Not only does she need a strong work ethic, but she needs to do as much as she can to pad her college resume. The better she does in school, the better colleges she will be accepted to, and the more scholarships she'll earn to help pay for school. And since she says she wants to go to medical school, she's really going to need all the help she can get paying for it.
She said she understood everything I said to her, and that she agreed that I am only doing what is best for her and her future. Of course, I'm sure all of that will go right out the window the next time she doesn't get her way!