Patty LaRoche: Losing Privileges

I am befuddled by parents who provide their children with all the benefits they went without in order to make sure their kids don’t. The iPhone 7. Nike’s $150 tennies. A 2017 monster truck. The parenting motto is simple: “You want it? You get it.”

Freelance writer Gina Luker blogged about detoxing her entitled teenage daughter after realizing she (Gina) had created an unsatisfied monster. Concert tickets with backstage passes were the norm, as was a closetful of designer clothes…and increasing disrespect toward her parents. When enough became enough, Gina did the unthinkable: she stripped her daughter of all privileges.

In Gina’s words, “We took away every single thing she owned. Every. Tiny. Thing.

We put a lock on her room and her ‘bed’ was the couch. We took away makeup and hair supplies. We took away her electronics – her phone, her computer, television even our landline. We took away her car. We took away all visitation from friends – only immediate family. We took away any privileges she had. Period. We left her with: “A pillow and blanket – which had to be put away as soon as she woke up.

A laundry basket with the following of my choosing: three pairs of jeans, three shirts, one jacket, three sets of undergarments, two sets of pajamas, one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of boots (our lock down happened in the winter.) One hair brush and one pony tail holder. The bare essentials of hygiene (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) That’s it.”

Easy? (I can’t even imagine!) Temper tantrums rivaled any two-year old’s, yet Gina persisted. Within two weeks she saw a difference. To avoid conversing with her mean mother, the teen cleaned…everything. Then she worked a puzzle.

Over the next four months as a more appreciative attitude developed, privileges slowly were returned.

Drastic measures had led to drastic results. Sometimes it’s the only solution.

In my quiet time, I have been studying the Old Testament book of the prophet Zephaniah. God is ticked. The people of Judah have added idols to their worship protocol, and God, who loves them enough to get their attention, is about to strip them of everything they value. Zephaniah begs them to repent and not take things for granted. In the end, most remain stubborn and refuse to take God seriously. Soon the Judah-ites are carted off by the Babylonians, where they live in exile for 70 years. Only then did they understand from where their blessings came.

Gina was lucky. Her daughter learned her lesson before anything more drastic had to happen. God had to be pleased. Perhaps it’s a message all parents need to heed.

22 thoughts on “Patty LaRoche: Losing Privileges”

  1. Patty, I always love your articles
    This needs to be broadcast from the mountain tops!!! Thank you for writing where I can see it. Guess you did shout it out!! Ha!

  2. Patty, love this. Strong parents willing to risk the repercussions and now a wiser, caring, appreciative child. Win-Win. Kudos to all.

    1. Well 1st of i raised 4 kids 3 girls & 1 boy n my house I was a single parnet. I never brought my kids any phones, etc.., so on.. My kids had responded things to do like clean their rooms, their bathrm, but clothes n where it belongs my kids had to wrk for their money just like I had to do. But now my 4 kids are all grown up now & their have their own lifes to live w their families and they turn all OUT GREAT so THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR THE WAY I WAS RAISED THANK YOU R.I.P MY GRANDMA MILDRED WILLARD & MY WONDERFUL MOTHER MARYETTA WILLARD WHO STILL IS AROUND & STILL HELPING WITH HER GRANDKIDS..

  3. Very good article. I agree with each point, discipline for disrespect should also be a topic most parents do not understand! Parents are creating monsters that will one day be adults… very sad!

  4. I have seen that kind of radical treatment from other parents, and from the outside it may looks cruel, but the outcome is most often a winning one. Good for you, for sticking it out…. And excellent for ur daughter, for learning a lifesaving lesson.

  5. Sad that they had to wait that long & resort to such drastic measures. Where were the parents at her early years guiding their child so that neither one of them had to go through this. Another example of inept parenting that causes life long scars. Sad.

  6. When will parents learn not to supply all those things. Make the kids Earth the privilege of having them. Mine did and they didn’t have to go through months of detox to appreciate what they had and me. Now they’re adults they tell me they are grateful for the lessons they learned.

    Great article. On point!

  7. That is awesome. I was told by my kids counselor to do that one time, but I started feeling sorry for her and gave it all back. However I raised my step-daughter’s and the oldest was so defiant she only saw her egg-donor every four years, but every time she would tell her stuff about me and they would call cps. Well one year, 3 days before Christmas, we were struggling financially. I just got out of school and could not find a job, and my daughter was a senior, she decided she didn’t like the rules or the fact Christmas would be slim that year. Her and I argued so my husband came home, he’s not the disciplinarian for the most part, he told me to let him talk to her. So in a bit she went upstairs and he went too. He let her keep her phone for emergency, but she took only the essentials. Her friend came to pick her up and he said, ” if you walk out that door you can’t contact us for 6 months, and if you stay it’s only on our rules. She went to her friends, got a job, continued her senior year and had her 18th birthday with her friend. 3 months later she called me begging to come home. She had some tough life lessons and my husband said under one condition that she follow the rules. She did and to this day I am her mom and we are pretty close.

    1. Tere, you were fortunate your story ended up on a happy note. Many don’t. I applaud you for sticking to your guns. No doubt you will be an inspiration to others who are going through a similar thing, and I believe that’s why God allows us to go through these difficult journeys. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This should happen more often. We are NOT doing our children a favor by handing all their wants. They get an attitude of entitlement. Also can lead to financial destruction…wanting what they can’t afford.

  9. So true! It’s now impossible to “keep up with the Jones’s” without going into debt for stuff the kids don’t need or value and will quickly go out of style!

  10. Perhaps the parents needed to learn a lesson earlier. We create monsters, they aren’t born that way. I’m glad for how it turned out, yet sad the parents never learned to say “No” in the first place.

  11. Great article. Most parents should read and heed your column as you always have offers great lesson to be learned.

  12. I enjoyed your article. Thank you for the insight that we all need as parents. Cell phones, computers and social media can never replace talking with your children and instilling respect and good moral judgement.

  13. Great article Patty! Too often we take life and all it’s blessings for granted. Even as adults we need to be reminded that they are privileges and can be stripped away from us at any time.

  14. I love this article. But have a question? My son never sees his bio mom at all he will be 11 soon and he is acting out like this but he doesn’t care what is taken away he could wear the same clothes, not shower or brush his teeth or even wipe for that matter. But when other come around he is this sweet boy. Any advice would be great!!

  15. My daughter ran away because I wouldn’t let her have her phones she told cops she didn’t want to come home so they placed her in ppc. Then went into dcf custody they have not yet come to my home have not had any visits its been 2 1/2 weeks and its gonna be longer now. my daughter is getting her way having phones 18 yr old boyfriend I told cops dcf and kvc not to place her at her brothers due to his girlfriend smoking weed with my kids they still placed her there. I could go on about everything that has happened but it’s alot!!!

    1. Rebecca, I don’t know the details of your story, but I know how it hurts to watch your kids make bad decisions. Seriously, I KNOW. Kudos to you for trying to protect your daughter from bad choices and influences. I encourage you to cover her in prayer. All day long, ask God (who loves her more than you do) to protect her and to show everyone involved the changes that need to be made. I will pray for you too.

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