Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Just because you can...

...doesn't mean that you should.

We can be so blind as parents.
Blind to the way in which we spoil our children.
Dear friends of mine celebrated their child's 6th birthday recently.
They picked her up from school in a limo.
Toured the city.
Went to a special Big Name City restaurant.
Six year old.
I'm not judging them, really I'm not, I'm just wondering -

Just because you can, does it mean that you should?

She had a knitting party.
It was very sweet.
When she told one of her friends where the party was.
The little girl said "that's lame"
She's in first grade -
Should this child not just be excited to be going to a classmate's party?
Of course this little girl lives in a penthouse and to her -
it is lame.

Just because you can, does it mean that you should?

Some of the older kids at the party splintered off into their own group.
They played with "DS's" and "PSS's" and I don't know what.
Before we left, Tali's friend begged me to buy one for Tali.
Later when Tali was giving me a difficult time with her homework
I reminded her of one thing I would not be considering for her.
She said "I don't even want it, S wanted it for me."

Maybe I can, but I'm sure I won't.

In some ways my kids are spoiled, but I won't tolerate being disrespectful or mean and they have grown up (so far) to be decent kids in my humble unbiased opinion. But there is a real distinction between spoiling and nurturing. So I am a nurturer, what can I say? They save the worst for us. Tonight I told them that spoiled children are more distasteful than spoiled milk. They seemed amused and were going around miming spitting out spoiled milk.

Doesn't take much to amuse us.


Hobbes said...

I agree, and to show you how out of the loop I am, what are DS's and PSS's??

G said...

Weirsdo, I don't know that I'm the right person to explain especially since I made up PSS's and I may have made up DS's . They are handheld electronic type of games in whatever true name they go by, more than that I'm glad to be out of the loop with you.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

Agreed. I was always taught not to be disrespectful of others, no matter how low on the social/income scale. Not that my family was high up there, but there were some very poor people in our town.
To be honest, I always got along better with the low income people than the rich snobs. They always seemed more human. Maybe in some ways we should pity the rich snobs because they don't know how to be human.
Gawd, I hate it when I get all philosophical like that!

ann said...

thanks weirsdo, I didn't have a clue either.

I was guided by my upbringing... I was afraid and didn't ask for anything. Until I earned my first paycheck, I had no choice but to tow the line.

It informed on how I brought up my own children. I told them they could ask for anything they wanted, not to hold back, to always ask. I said if you don't ask, you don't get.... but, remember, sometimes the answer will be NO.

It is a sad society when respect and humanity goes out with one hand when wealth and prosperity comes in with the other.

I'm sure your little sprogs are a credit to you

lotsa luv ann xxxxx

Anonymous said...

hdsLampy G you are so right on the mark...I think I can speak for Neva when I say we agree wholeheartedly...and that is why we would like you to adopt our two "boys" (a term that only applies in the context that they are offspring and shall remain "boys" in that way for as long as we shall live).

Think about it?

Anonymous said...

excuse the "hds" at the beginning of my comment. either my fingers slipped, I've begun to use a new language, or blogger is messing with me. considering I had to enter the verification 247 times to make it work I'm pulling for the latter.

Anonymous said...

hdsJoel is right. oh, and you are too -- about EVERYTHING, including-but-not-limited to your understanding of what a DS is. (tho' there *is* one game that's kind of fun, but i digress)

never is one more aware of this inequitable fashion in which kids are raised than in Greenwich, CT, where the cars in the "public" high school parking lot range from BMWs to high-end Mercedes.

privilege is one thing, excess without boundaries, quite another. lovelovelove the "spoiled milk" analogy, as well as the fact that your beautiful (and oh-so-NOT-spoiled) kids did, too! xox

Sweet and Salty said...

g: You are correct, of course. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I see what it does to kids when you spoil them. I have some family who are very well off and when Christmas comes around, they don't just get, for example, some barbie stuff. No, they get ALL the Barbie stuff that came out this year. ALL of it.
When they ask for a Playstation 2, they don't just get it and some games, no. They get all the games that came out.

They can't learn to appreciate and treasure anything that comes that easy to you. Besides, I've always wonder: their lot in life may or may not be as good as their parents, and then what?

What an awful thing to do to your children.

Anonymous said...

Good post, G. The most fitting punishment for overindulgent parents is the shallow, materialistic teen-agers their children are likely to degenerate into.

The ostentatious overindulgence of children isn't for the sake of the children; its intended to compete with other adults.

G said...

Cheesemeister: You're right, in many ways the snobs are in for a rude awakening but somehow they insulate themselves from even that.

Is there any side to you that isn't just grand I say?!

Ann: See, you're in good company. That is a wonderful lesson that you imparted to your children and one that I will keep in mind. Very true that last bit, our society has a lot of reckoning to do in these terms.

Thank you, my little sprogs (like that word) are a joy to me and I am quite proud of them. xox

Joel: hdsJoel, thank you for your affirmation and offer of the "boys", but you and Neva are doing a job beyond what I could ever live up to, so I will have to decline your offer of adoption at the present time. Maybe we should try trading kids for a week - might be interesting.

Joel: It's blogger messing with you I'm sure! But a new language sounds intriguing.

It's so cute when you two are consecutive in the comments.

Neva: hdsyou're both right! Ooh and I was right on what a DS is, not bad. One game? I'm folding like a cheap suit.

I can only imagine that scenario. So true so true on all counts. Glad you liked the "spoiled milk" - so to speak and thank you dear NBFF. xox

Pavel: It means nothing after a while and the expectations just grow and grow until the sense of entitlement can't fit through a doorway. I couldn't agree more - what an awful thing to do to your children.

Al: Thank you. You are so totally right on both of those points. Did I mention how much we missed you in The Snark and thereabouts?

Joe Jubinville said...

She said "I don't even want it, S wanted it for me."

Good one.

Doug The Una said...

Few of us are blind to the way other people raise their kids.

Claire said...

I think a lot of parents who spoil do it because they don't really spend time with their kids and/or feel guilty about a divorce or some other such thing. It is sad for those children. They always think they can get their own way and eventually are shunned by other kids. When my daughter moans and groans about someone who has a lot of 'stuff', I remind her to actually pity them for their lack of friends. Having good friends and the ability to be a good friend is such a treasure... beyond anything material.

Carrie said...

A limo?!?! Are you kidding!! My daughter just had her 6th birthday and I decorated with thrift-store records and Dollar Tree streamers. The kids loved it.

I'm with you all the way, feed your children with humbleness, it makes for a sweeter world.

HUGS and hope you are doing well! I owe you an email!! I haven't forgotten, I've been swamped!! :)

FirstNations said...

people here are getting into that lucullian kid party thing too. its creepy. that isn't about the kids; it's just conspicuous consumption. real nice. way to use your kids as a lifestyle accessory.
not YOU you, of course. the other yous. your kids sound like they have their heads pretty together, actually!

~Mo'a~ said...

Cannot agree with you more. Our son went to prep school in Ct. He came home one time lamenting the fact that his friends have everything they want. We asked him if there was anything they did not have, but might want. He answered quickly "Family Life" and went away happy because he knew he had that in spades.
Sad thing is that so many people think love is having things when all the time it having time....with family and for themselves.

G said...

SJ: Funny you picked up on that one. She really meant it matter of factly but also to deflect my parental shot that would have put me one up in the game.

Doug: I can't quite see the words you've typed with my rose colored glasses on.

claire: You've actually hit the nail on the head. Yes indeed nobody likes a spoiled kid - particularly their peers. Another nice parable - true friends are a treasure indeed.

Pinky: You have no idea (actually I don't either, this is the small amount of life in the city that we experience). I saw those records (and used them as a decoration coincidentally for Tali's 6th Bday party)! We had a party for the kids (they're 3 days apart) at home too and I have to tell you, all concerned had a blast! Nobody ever owes me an email because that must mean that I owe at least three my dear. Hugs to you too.

fn: Gotcha, besides our conspicuous consumption would pale in comparison to these. Yes their heads are pretty together - amazing what a little glue will do. Well you have the SSA and if ever there were a young woman with a together head, I'd give her my vote.

mo'a: Thank you for sharing that personal parable. It's so true that at the end of the day it's the simple things that mean so much in life.

Doug The Una said...

That's why I write them in red, G.

G said...

Doug: You little devil! ;)

Malnurtured Snay said...

I hate spoiled kids. Well, that's not true, when they grow into spoiled college kids, I enjoy drop kicking them off of tall buildings. So, I take that back, I love spoiled kids (or at the very least, the splat noise they make when they hit).

Seriously, though, raising my kids -- don't have any (yet) -- to be non-spoiled is one of the things I'm terrified about. Can I succeed? I hope so!

G said...

Malnurtured (can I offer you a little something to eat?): I bet you'll do grand - save that Lego collection of yours for sure!

Nessa said...

I feel so bad for a child that is jaded at the age of six. How horrible that must be.

G said...

Goldennib: Really. Sadly the parents think it's adorable.