Progressive or Spoiled Four-Year-Old?

He makes choices on the basis of immediate inclination or whim, and categorically rejects the pre-moral concept of delayed gratification as an oppressive constraint on his freedom.

He believes that his merely wanting something is sufficient evidence of his right to have it, and therefore answers any objection to the immediate fulfillment of his wishes with, “But I want it!” — regarding this as persuasive reasoning.

Showing him that a desired good is simply not possible, not available, or not affordable will have absolutely no moderating effect on his expectation of receiving that good immediately — or on the temper tantrum he will throw when he does not receive it.

When he sees that someone else has something and decides he should have it too, any attempt to explain how one might go about earning, making, or finding that thing will be met with a frustrated outburst of “Give it to me!” This will soon be followed, if you do not relent and simply give it to him, by a lot of foot-stomping and shouts of “It’s not fair!” — claims of “unfairness” being his ultimate and final argument in response to all unsatisfied desires.

He has no respect for anyone else’s goods, time, effort, needs, or wishes, as shown by his easy and consistent demand that all of these be completely subordinated to his preferences and goals as required.

Unbridled envy, covetousness, and resentment, coupled with an abrasive and relentlessly demanding approach to all human interaction, make him essentially unlikable, a quality only exacerbated by his tendency to hit, push, or shout “I hate you!” at anyone he sees as having thwarted or resisted his demands in any way.

His complete lack of self-restraint, in combination with the immaturity of material self-absorption, cause him to be utterly incapable of understanding, let alone deferring to, anyone else’s wishes or claims in any situation in which he has an interest. For example, “It’s mine” is not a response that warrants any consideration in his calculations, or stirs any troubling ripples in his conscience. Likewise “I don’t want to,” “Our grandparents wouldn’t like that,” or “That hurts.”

Is he a progressive or a spoiled four-year-old?

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