Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And Spoil The Child

Everyone does it, thinks it, wants it, or hopes for it.

A better life for yourself. An even better life for your children (whether you are a parent or not - can be a future dream). Is there a such thing as excess? Is it relative to your income, or are some things just too much.

Someone told me that Rick and Kathy Hilton were on a talk show, and they were talking about the riches that they provide to their children. Both of their responses were "And so what if we do give them a lot of things? They are our children, and we want to share in our wealth with them." This is, in fact, more of a high end version of what most parents want to do with their children. After all, you are not going to dress like a prince, and your child a pauper? Certainly not (even though some ghettofabulous biotches have been known to do this).

But where is the dividing line? Is there one? In a culture where parents (both male and female) are positioned to work harder, stronger and longer, gifts often times are bestowed upon children both as a result of financial privilege, as well as guilt (on occasion). I remember when I was a child, often times, I got all of what I needed, and some of what I wanted, but if there was something extra special that I wanted, well I had to work for it; help out in and out the house, and do a little more to get it. And subsequently, I would be rewarded with it.

In our ever evolving culture, the must have Ipod turns into the please can I have the video ipod, to the ABSOLUTELY GOTTA HAVE I-Phone. The must have PS2 turns into the GOTTA get PS3. When walking around the corner turns into "take me around the corner", then the times have changed. Certainly, kids needs and requests are no different than the many, many things that we used to beg our parents for, just manifested in an electronic sense.

Do the children today (even as young as kindergarten) authentically know the value of money, and how that, and their credit score, and their subsequent choices thereof, reflect and affect the rest of their lives. Are they taught that with rewards, also comes expectations? I know a friend of mines, their child (11) keeps getting into trouble (talking and performance) at school. Punishment is inflicted, yet, but I don't think they are penetrating the punishment where it will hurt. Meaning, this child excels at one particular sport. I mean HE EXCELS at it and adores it. To the point where he is enrolled in classes, (to the tune of 100.00 bucks a month) separate from his school curriculum, as well as summer camp for the sport. The punishment that has been inflicted upon him is no TV, Playstation, Etc, for a weekend. But then he still goes out to play basketball! Listen, if he can't keep up with his academics, then certainly he shouldn't be allowed to keep up with the sports segment of his life. Yet, he is constantly taking weekend tournament trips, not to mention inundated with new video games. This is no fault of his own. He doesn't have a boundary. By no means am I saying that he should not engage in his craft (of sports), but certainly not at the expense of academia.

Most of what a child remembers growing up is not what you gave them. They don't remember something if it was the biggest, baddest toy on the block. They remember the feelings. They remember the time. And they remember the love?

Are parents overindulging their children? Do kids now have a sense of entitlement?

15 comments:

smoothie said...

Damn it feels good to finally be first....Thanks to my boss for having nothing for me to do all day!

P,

GREAT TOPIC! i drop my kid off to a daycare near our house and mind you he's 3, and im pretty sure i dress him ok, a pair of nikes, osh kosh shirt and basketball shorts..

but there are 3 kids in this daycare, 3yr olds, rockin Jordans, Ecko and baby phat.... I always stop and stare at these kids b/c you know they are being spoilled rotten..My kid has those fashion lines but not nearly enough of it to rock on a daily....When we go somewhere nice then he can put it on...But the spoiled kids my son are around bother me...It wont rubb off at this age, but down the line, he might get a rude awakining..I was raised much like you, if you work for it, then youll get it..No freebies...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

all of us even kids are never entitled to anything. Hard work is entitlement. point well stated.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Finally...a REAL POST! Hehehe

The answers to your questions...YES and YES.

Now, I tend to make my money stretch when it comes to my kids...even when Middle was my ONLY child. Ain't shit wrong with clothes from Walmart and Target because all they're gonna do is outgrown them - AND FAST.

TBM used to dress BL in Guess Jeans and Ralph Lauren shirts...then he graduated to Rocca Wear and Ecko.

I don't have problems buyin my sons shoes from Payless because I'm not spending $45-60+ for some shoes they're gonna tear the hell up in a week or two. Although I'm pretty happy with the Sketchers outlet right now because my kids are kinda ruff on shoes.

My kids are spoiled to a degree...they've got access to 4 computers, an Xbox, PSP and a Nintendo DS and all the freakin Disney movies they can handle.

Sha Boogie said...

You are all over this topic P! YES! I'm not that far from my adolescence (25 this year) but dang if kids today aint SPOILED beoyond rediculous. They get what they want, when they want and how they want. When I have children I am taking OLD SCHOOL. In when the street lights come on, bed at 8pm, you work for what you get and you'd better do them chores or you won't see the light of day, let alone a ipod, mp3, playstation!..lol

JustMeWriting said...

Hey lady, great post...I totally think there a such thing as TOO MUCH.
As the mother of two sons; teen and preteen, they've become quite 'wanty'...trying to keep up with the Jones' WOULD have been a problem had they not been taught better early on.

I've made a point of teaching them the value of money and how to use it wisely. Just because you can afford something doesn't mean you should have it if it's unreasonable; a tee-shirt shouldn't cost $100 just because it's adorning some fancy would-be iconic figures name. Children learn what we teach them..."train up a child in the way they should go and when they grown old they won't depart from it" (proverbs)...(man, I've quoted that scripture in like 20 blogs this year...lol.).

I think it's ok to spoil your child WITHIN YOUR MEANS, but teach them their right to it (based on merit) and how to appreciate it.

chele said...

First of all, I don't know why your comments on my "Unqualified" post went into spam. I think I corrected the situation.

Secondly, I love this topic. I'm not going to get into all the "stuff" my kids have. I will say that the more high-end items, were puchased by my son. I have a limit on what I'm gonna do. I'll pay the mortgage, keep the lights on, pass down my hoopty and make sure that college is paid for ... should they choose to go.

I want my kids to have more than I did. Which isn't hard because I didn't have anything. My kids truly appreciate everything they have but more importantly they appreciate me ... and they let me know it.

My son bought himself a PS3 and caught his sister messing with it. I overheard him saying, "Do you know what this cost me? $600! That means you don't touch it!"

He kinda sounded like me for a minute.

sniff sniff

P said...

@ Smoothie: Your shorty sounds like he had on a cool outfit, and like you said, I full on get the impression that he may have some of the other designer duds that the other children have; just that he is not a walking billboard for it. It's okay. Moderation in everything. You certainly don't want your kid looking like someone in the soup kitchen line. It's all about balance. And by the way. I'm feeling you on the shoes. I think kids should wear good shoes all the time (even adults).

@ Torrance: Once again; all about balance. And that' important.

@ Tam: Well, hell, if you find something cute anywhere, it's cute.

@ Sha Boogie: What you know bout the streetlights, huh?

@ Just me: Like you said, it's okay to have nice things; even more so getting some splurges for the children. That's always fun. But when they don't understand, and when they don't appreciate, then it becomes a MAJOR issue.

@ Chele: You know I read your posts frequently, and it is clearly obvious that you have provided a good life for the children. And that, in any and all things, some self indulgence is cool. It's a treat. And it also seems like your children respect what they have and take care of it. That's always a good sign, too.

Aunt Jackie said...

my sister and i talk about this often. we group up around allot of over indulged children, and allot of them ended not really being over achievers. i think it's the plague of the middle class or petty bourgois. parents strive so hard to provide for their children and then end up with a bunch of rotten kids with no drive...

children need boundaries to feel safe, clothing and shoes does not equal love and children will eventually learn the difference between the two!

Miz JJ said...

You are preaching to the converted. I just head that my sister-in-law let my 11 year-old niece get highlights. High-fucking-lights! WTF. She is 11? What's next? And you know what my sister-in-law said "Well, you should have seen her face, it made her so happy." Daaaaaamn. I just laughed at her. I said "That's your damn problem. You are too worried about making your kid happy instead of making your kid responsible." If you give a child everything how will they learn to work for anything? Magically? Osmosis? Great post P.

The Mistress said...

The evidence of people spoiling their children is EVERYWHERE. At the goddamn grocery store, restaurants, the mall...everywhere ok? I am so sick of people's kids I don't know what to do with myself.

These little bastards have the worst sense of entitlement ever.

Ugh, none for me. I'll stick with pets.

Peach said...

all i want to say, is when i hear a parent say "well she didnt want to so we did what"--

excuse me??


sometimes people forget who's in charge.

Phil said...

Hell yeah they do....

I remember in 11th Grade, my homeboy got caught skipping school; and to make matters worse, the place where he "skipped" happened to be a park to which his mom's office had a magnificent view.

She was so "pissed" at first, but my homeboy was one of these entitled assholes that you speak of. She "grounded" him for a month, but somehow, he got her ass to buy him tickets to the Cash Money - Ruff Ryders concert that took place ONE WEEK after his skipping incident. Shit, my mom wouldn't let me go and I had MY OWN money to buy a ticket....

Nonetheless P, it catches up to these non-responsibility-having-entitled-ass-kids. They get so used to never having to put in hard work for anything!!! That said, my homeboy is currently in his fifth year of community college and his girl may or may not be cheating on him with some MBA dude from D.C. Peace....

P said...

@ Ms JJ: Hello, I just got my hair highlighted for the first time ever a few months ago. Dang!! And highlights are NOT CHEAP!!

@ Mistress: I supposed this is why you are childfree and loving it.

@ Peach: Re: What you just said, girl did you know that these parents just signed a waiver for their 16 year old daughter to marry a 40 year old man (her track coach) talking about "She wouldn't talk to us until we signed the waiver". WTF?

@ Phil: I see that you boy is enjoying the thirteenth grade, otherwise known as community college (I'm not knocking it, I went, but anybody who has went there knows there are two groups of people: Those who GO and transfer, and those who become like Ice Cube was in Higher Learning - Career Students). Oh, and if you have to tell me that his girl may or MAY NOT be cheating on him, then I guess I'll have to vote on the former. . .

Aly Cat 121 said...

I suppose every generation says the same thing about the next generation. "ohh what's wrong with kids these days" My parents said it about us, their parents about them, and so on. I guess it has to do with the age gap and not really being able to relate. Of course there are children in every generation who were not taught by their parents on how to become adults.

I think it has less to do with what material items one may buy their children and more to do with how buffered or insulated the children maybe. Meaning, you could maybe not afford to buy exspensive clothes and when you do, you don't pay a bill and keep that hidden from the child. Or if the child is "in trouble" at school, you make excuses as why he/she did such and such or how it's somebody elses fault and not your childs.

I think that parents not teaching their children on how to take responsibility for the OWN actions cause the symptons of "the spoiled" child syndrome.

princessdominique said...

I was having this convo with someone about entitlement. We aren't teaching our kids to work had, we're teaching them to throw a tantrum to get what they want. Not all, I'm saying some. Ultimately we're doing them a disservice. They'll get in the real world and get the shock of their lives when they try that mess in the real world when they have to get a job and pay taxes.