Tag Archives: spoiled children

Spoiled Rotten

A few weeks ago the top news story in the Northeast was about a teenage girl who was suing her parents for money.  From all accounts, it looks like she is just a spoiled little brat who was devising a plan to get all that she wanted (including keeping a degenerate boyfriend and staying out as late as 3am if she so chose to) while her parents pay for her education.

I believe the judge denied the teenager’s request and the girl went back home.  It ended well for all of us parents.  Could you imagine if she had won?  I shudder at the thought.  I was going to write this big post about how I felt about the situation.  And then this morning I had a conversation with a friend about kids today and how spoiled they are and how badly we hover.  Which could possibly be partly what happened to this child.

We live in the age of The Helicopter Parent.  We all do it.  Ok, excuse me.  Most of us do it.  There is the exception.  I have a friend who is the parent of 4 kids and she’s got these kids doing what they need to do, when they need to do it without a complaint from them.  I am in awe of her.  Still, at the end of the day, there is some overprotecting going on.  What, with all the crap we hear in the media about kids going missing, etc. how can you blame us?

But there is a price to be paid.  My generation figured it out.  My parents didn’t do it for me.  We had street smarts.  Hell, when I was 11 years old I had to walk to and from school where we lived in Yonkers.  Alone.  I lived in 7 different places in 12 years.  I had to suck it up.  I would become close with other kids, then BOOM.  The Army moved us again.  Too bad.  I had to pick myself up, brush it off and move along.  There was no time to mope and cry.  Besides I wasn’t allowed to.  Seems rough, right?  No.  It’s called life.  And quite honestly, I’m grateful to my parents for the way I was raised.

So if I was raised that way, as I’m sure most of us were, why is there so much coddling?  “Oh, let me clean your room because you have too much homework.  Oh, why don’t you take the day off of school, you need a breather.  Oh, no, you can’t walk down the street to Diane’s house, you might get stolen.”  Everything from doing their homework to calling Abercrombie to see if there is a size 1 in the faded skinny jean they just “have to have.”

I do it all the time.  Actually, I don’t do the homework.  I don’t believe in that.  Besides, my kid would fail.  Anyway, guess what?  We aren’t helping our children.  Not at all.  We make it too easy for them.

The Kid and I toured a college last week.  A college that is at the top of her list.  When we got there, I was expecting a show of extreme excitement from her.  Because she is, by nature, an easily excitable person.  She will deny this for the rest of her life, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was completely freaked out.

I’m hearing a lot of stories of kids dropping out of college lately.  Kids just not able to take the pressure.  They don’t know how to take care of themselves.  They can’t keep up with the work.  They miss mommy.  It’s scary.  What do I do to prevent this from happening to my kid?

Suddenly, we are on the final stretch of our parenting journey.  And it dawned on me that we have about 2 years to get her ready.  Because as much as I will miss her and will probably cry my eyes out for a good week after she leaves, I do not want her coming back home.  Not under those circumstances.

Oh God, I have to go.  This helicopter just ran out of gas and is plummeting to the earth.  Which is good, but I have some repairing to do.  It’s going to be a long 2 years.  Wish me luck.

Linking up with Shell

Where Are You Fisher Price?

pile-of-gifts

I blame my mother for my Christmas obsession.  What is my Christmas obsession, you ask?  The ridiculous problem of not knowing when to stop purchasing gifts for Miss Spoiled Pants (aka The Kid).  I know.  I know.  There are children starving, poor and living in the streets all around the world.  I am aware of that.  And for the record, I also buy gifts for underprivileged families every Christmas.  And contribute to charities throughout the year.  So it makes me feel just a little better about my obsession.  But just a little.

Here is why I blame my mother:  When I was a kid, we couldn’t even walk into our living room from the gifts spilling out from under the tree.  Granted there were 3 of us and our living room was about the size of a shoebox.  But still.  We couldn’t walk into the room.  That right there is a child’s best dream come true.

My parents did not have a lot of money in the early years.  Mother started recycling before it was in fashion.  Purchasing used toys from the local Salvation Army.  Before you get all germaphobe on me, she cleaned them thoroughly with Clorox.  She swears.

And then later on, when there was a double income, I received gifts that would stack up practically to the ceiling.  This would happen until my last Christmas at home.  It was pretty awesome.  Until I became a mother.  What is the expression?  Nature or Nurture?  I think this had to do with the latter.  And I can’t seem to stop.

When The Kid was little — and when I say “little” I mean under the age of 10 — she was incredibly easy to buy for.  Or should I say CHEAP to buy for.  Because anyone who gives you a list a mile long is easy to buy for.  I could buy 100 bucks worth of Fisher Price shit, throw it under the tree and make it look like she hit the mother lode.

When she got into the early double digits, it started getting a little more expensive.  A little.  She wanted stuffed animals and Jonas Brother’s CDs.  Along with an i-Pod. Still, it did not pose much of a problem.  Totally manageable.

Now?  Good Lord.  I’m on the verge of robbing a bank.  One weekly paycheck from My Retail Job barely covers one single item on this kid’s list.  Just so you know, she does not get this from me.  I am a bare-bones kinda gal.  The cheaper, the better.  I can get 5 outfits with $100.  Even if it all falls apart after 2 washes.

DH is not completely onboard with the over the top Christmases.  I basically have to sneak the purchases into the house.  Sometimes hiding them in the trunk or at a friend’s house for days, even weeks, until the right moment hits.  Pulling the “oh that?  I bought that in August when there was a giant sale at K-Mart” card.  Totally works.  I think.  I also feel the need to fulfill most everything on her list.  I don’t understand it.  I never had half the shit she gets.  To make matters worse, she won’t share her closet with me.  But that is a subject for a different blog.

All I can say is that she should count her lucky stars she is an only child.  Because I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be getting almost everything on her list if she weren’t.  I’m pretty sure.  Well, I think I’m pretty sure.  There is no way of knowing now, is there?

I just really miss Mr. Price, Melissa and Doug.  They were more my speed.  They have been replaced by Apple, Jack Wills and North Face.  North Face.  She doesn’t even ski.  I’m really confused.  Oh well.  Three words that don’t seem to be a part of my vocabulary this time of year:  “Just Say No.”  I think I need help.  In the meantime, if you need some tips on how to hide purchases, just inbox me.