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The Saddest Compliment in the World

Jane has worked hard both in school and in sports. Mr. G. and I love that our children are smart and certainly we praise them for their natural abilities. Just as a workplace would, we reward them when they work hard.

Jane killed it on the soccer field this weekend and she’s been dying for highlights in her hair. So, after two goals and and a 3.5 GPA (we’ll talk about the B’s another time because they do have me unhappy) we decided that work begets reward and we walked to the salon at the corner for Jane’s first hair color.

The stylist has watched my kids grow from toddlerhood to now. She’s a soccer player and it was nice watching her talk to Jane about how important it is to be part of a team. She then put a few strands of bluish blonde color onto Jane’s hair which brought up a little bit of lighter streaks. I didn’t mention that Jane already has these streaks in her hair, but it made her so happy that I didn’t want to ruin her good time.

I was floored when it was time to pay for the dozen small streaks and found out that it was $70. Jane didn’t even have a blow dry. The good thing is that I asked plenty of questions of since I’ve been doing my own hair color for the past handful of years I feel equipped to add highlights as needed for about $10 an application.

As I stood at the counter writing out my check Jane popped over and kissed me on the cheek complete with a, “Thank you mommy.” Most often I’m Mom, but when I’m writing checks they switch it up to Mommy. The two women at the desk smiled and said how sweet she was. I smiled back and nodded. Then they went on to tell me how they never see kids thanking their parents.

I tried to defend the neighborhood kids, “Well, who would thank their mom for a haircut?”

“It’s for highlights, and tips.” Said one.

“And manicures.” Said the other.

They went on and on to list the very expensive services teenage girls get and the fact that they very seldom hear thank you’s and almost never see a kiss.

I felt pleased for myself that I’m raising a girl who knows just how lucky she is. It was nice to hear from strangers that my daughter is lovely, but it was incredibly sad that her kindness would be seen as unusual.

15 thoughts on “The Saddest Compliment in the World”

  1. LOLOL there’s nothing that reminds you how small your billable hours are than seeing a few streaks cost $70! My mom did hair for 20 years so I have never paid for a cut/color (better than having a lawyer in the family!) Ladies… don’t hate me! :) 

    But I digress.. I really, really hate it when kids forget to thank their parents or others. Everyone feels entitled. Love how the streaks are “special” and not part of the routine… kids getting manicures… eyebrow waxed… really? If they expect this now.. they’ll never find a job that can support their grooming habits! Manicures are fun for adults! Arrrrg! Don’t get me started. 

    Jessica.. we need a wine night! :) 

  2. I came out of a movie with my son the other night and behind me a family came out and the young boy said… “Thank you mom and dad for the movie.”  And then his sister chimed in,  thanking them also.  It was nice and unusual for me to hear that I turned around to look at them.  What a great family…  I became instantly grumpy that my own son hadn’t thanked me and demanded my thank you.   Anyway… so now I’m reminded to remind my kids the importance of gratitude in everything.  :)

  3. How sad that so few kids grow up appreciating the things their parents give them.
    How awesome that your kid is one of them :)
    Good on you, Mom.

  4. Apparently, you & Mr.G have some mad parenting skills. Or as I like to think of it, you actually parent and are not being lazy about it. You are involved. When parents throw money and things at their children in lieu of time and energy, they typically seem to have these sorts of results. It is sad. You should be commended for putting the sweat equity into your children. We try to do the same and with that…I;m off to volunteer to do some backstage make up magic for the ballet my daughter is in. YOu coach, I do make up.

      1. I’ll let my youngest son know his xmas is going to be scarce.  I’m still waiting for him to grow out of the asshole phase.  They DO all grow out of it right?

  5. Kids emulate what they see.  If they see an asshat, they’ll be an asshat.  And this why I’m only an asshat on the internet.  Promise.

    Great post, and even greater message. 

  6. That’s wonderful to hear you raised your kids right and they’re filled with gratitude and appreciation for the special things you’re able to give them.

    Those kids who never say thank you to their parents, somehow they’ve been raised in a different way, imagining they’re entitled to things, first from their parents, and then later by society.  They’ll finally end up with a sincere belief that the world “owes it” to them and then they’ll become to be known as “occupiers”.

  7. Manners have really gone out the window pretty much and it really begins with how we raise our children. I am not sure whether we just don’t take the time to model politeness and gratitude. Our little ones imitate what they see and are exposed to…their parents, babysitters, nannies, television, etc. Think about all the conversations we have in front of them and how we sound to them. I am not “blaming” parents ….I sometimes think we are not even aware of all of the subtle ways we influence our children. Thanks for sharing Jessica.

  8. I think rewarding kids for good behavior and punishing them for bad behavior shouldn’t stop after the toddler years…my daughter is 14 and I use the same parenting techniques that I did when she was 4. I get thank yous more often than not, it’s a nice little pat on the back!

  9. Its unfortunate today how entitled children are. I have 4 teenage & preteen siblings & I am often left dumbstruck by their thinking and what they feel they should have. I don’t think its always a parenting issue because obv I have the same parents as they do & don’t think that way. I think it has a lot to do with today’s media. Sad indeed. 

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