Remember the McCaughey septuplets? Amazingly, those tiny babies are celebrating their 18th birthday today!

In honor of the occasion, USA Today served up a feature article about the family, complete with details on the future plans of each of the seven famous children.

Judging from the article, the McCaughey septuplets seem to be happy, congenial, and ambitious. Indeed, they offer quite a contrast to many young adults their age, particularly those who have made news in recent weeks, demanding that their views and needs be respected and met.

What drives the difference in attitudes between these two groups? The USA Today article drops several hints about what might make the septuplets different:

“‘They all buy their own phones,’ Kenny [their father] insists. ‘If they want something, they get a job to buy it.’

They have all held jobs — at grocery stores or daycares or in construction.”

The article continues:

“[After their birth] Kenny… eventually returned to his longtime job for a metal coating company in Des Moines. Bobbi works as a para-educator for special-needs children.

The land and this pleasant and mammoth 4,833-square-foot home were donated. The trips were free, the latest earlier this fall to New York City to again appear on ‘The Today Show.’ It’s not how adulthood will unfold. Kenny views teaching his children that as his principal challenge as a father.

‘My fear has always been that they see our jobs and think that’s all they need for nice stuff,’ he said. ‘I’ve given them the cold, hard truth slowly. No way could I afford this home on my salary. If you want something, you have to work for it.’”

In essence, Daddy McCaughey recognizes that his family has been blessed, but he’s determined to teach his children that those blessings are not rights to be demanded and expected. Instead, they are privileges for which to work hard.

Would more American parents do well to instill this same attitude in their children?

Image Credit: Huffington Post