Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Most Eligible Spoiled Kids
Last night I got the pleasure of watching a new reality show called 'Most Eligible Dallas' on Bravo. It was entertaining at first and then it just got bad, really bad. I just had to watch it because I live in Dallas. But after 10 minutes of watching it, saw that most of the places they were hanging out at were about 40 minutes north of here in a town called Plano, TX. And the cast? I can't even go there to comment. You just have to watch. Let's just say it makes Dallas look bad. Really bad.
But one thing that caught my attention as a parent was how 'spoiled' these single people were. Most were in their 20's (and let's just say I almost had a heart attack when the girls said their ages- it makes it look like all of Dallas just sits in the sun every day and ages like crazy!)
But back to my point, most of the girls and boys were living off their parent's money. Big time. Can you spell S-P-O-I-L-E-D? One of the cast member's parents are worth 325 million dollars. And another lives with her parents in their mansion in an affluent area. Both of them said their parents worked hard to get where they are, starting their own companies over 30 years ago. Case in point- their parents, not them.
I have been having this opinion for awhile lately about kids in their 20's, 30's and even 40's who have a completely different work ethic than our parent's generation. My parent's generation had a mind set of working hard to do better. A lot were immigrants or blue collar workers, veterans, etc and our parents tried hard to succeed and provide for their children more than their parents did. Which sounds good to me. Shouldn't we always strive for that?
I feel like this new generation (mine included) is a spoiled generation where we 'expect' things to be given to us and just handed over like a job, a car, a house, money, luxuries, etc. And this is also the first generation that has not had a mandatory war draft since the American Revolution. Wow. We have it so easy.
A lot of my friends have commented on how they know people in their 30's who grew up in high society, wealthy neighborhoods and are now moving back into their parent's guest homes and living the high life. No plans to move out any time soon. Again, we would never have seen as much of this back in the 1960's and 70's when our parents were getting out of school and getting their first jobs.
The 'Today Show' said it best a few years ago, that today's generation isn't starting adulthood until age 26 (vs. 20 back in the day). That is the age when most kids are now finishing college, getting their first jobs and on their own.
My friend Heather Baker (her blog is heatherbakes.com) sent me a good article that kind of touches on this point titled 'How to Land Your Kid in Therapy'. Click here to read more about it. Basically it discusses how young adults are entering therapy because they are depressed- depressed that they are too happy, have everything, and have a hard time finding satisfaction.
As parents we want to provide as much as we can for our children and be there for them. My opinion is that we also have to let them learn natural consequences! This means:
-We have to let them get a skinned knee
-Don't call the coach to change his mind because your child was not picked for the baseball team
-Realize that your child is NOT going to be invited to every single social event and sometimes feelings do get hurt- that is OK. It's a part of life
-Don't get your teenager their dream car
-Don't call your best friend and make them hire your son out of college because they 'owe you'
Get the idea? Now, most of these are extreme examples, but the point is that we have to let our children experience rejection, hurt (physical and emotional) and pain. They need to learn how to succeed on their own or they will have too many failures.
The article also touches on giving choices to children. I have talked about giving choices as a form of discipline here. But the article discusses how a lot of parents are giving too many choices-and not for discipline.
And I could not agree more. When giving choices as a form of discipline, you give them the limit: "You can choose to have one cookie for dessert, or no cookies, you decide" as your child demands the whole bag! But so many parents are giving 4-10 choices just to be nice, such as "Do you want to see this movie today, or this one, or this one?" Or how about, "do you want this Cinnamon Cereal for breakfast, or French Toast, or Waffles or Eggs?" See the difference? I love how the article states that back in the day, you just told your child you were going to the store, you didn't give them a choice of where, how and when. You just put them in the car seat and went!
Thoughts, opinions, questions?