SPOILED CHILDREN = DECADENT CITIZENS

Kid in a SpaMiserable, unsatisfied, ill-disciplined, demanding, despotic and useless… Rude to their parents and other adults, acting bossy and refusing to share with other children, prone to excessive self-absorption, lack of self-control, anxiety and depression… Yet they get extravagant birthdays, Prada purses, Tiffany jewelry, designer clothes, etc. I am certain of the fact that many mothers – and fathers – won’t agree with my post, but I think it is time to tackle this phenomenon, especially within Lebanese upper social classes.  If you give kids so much early on, they get to a point where they can’t be satisfied with anything.

According to many experts in the fields of sociology and psychology, a parent’s job is primary to prepare children for how the world really works. In the real world, you don’t always get what you want. You will be better able to deal with that as an adult if you’ve experienced it as a child. Also, if your parent/child relationship is based on material goods, your child won’t have the chance to experience unconditional love. Emotions can’t be healed by a trip to the mall. Happiness and one’s own status aren’t or shouldn’t be defined as a function of what children and teens wear or drive – but their intelligence, creativity, caring, giving, work ethic, etc. Row models shouldn’t be people who never did anything except spend money they got from somebody else.

Along with the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty, the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France and contemporary American kids from certain families, there are Lebanese kids – and Middle Eastern – who represent the most indulged people, not just that they’ve been given unprecedented amount of stuff – clothes, toys, cameras, skis, computers, televisions, cell phones, PlayStations, iPods, SPA TREATMENTS!! (the market for Burberry Baby and other forms of kiddie “couture” has reportedly been growing by ten per cent a year!); they’ve also been granted unprecedented authority.

“The notion that we may be raising a generation of kids who can’t, or at least won’t, tie their own shoes has given rise to a new genre of parenting books. Their titles tend to be either dolorous (“The Price of Privilege”) or downright hostile (“The Narcissism Epidemic,” “Mean Moms Rule,” “A Nation of Wimps”). The books are less how-to guides than how-not-to’s: how not to give in to your toddler, how not to intervene whenever your teen-ager looks bored, how not to spend two hundred thousand dollars on tuition only to find your twenty-something graduate back at home, drinking all your beer”.

Spoiled children and teens will be stuck in permanent ‘adultescence’, thus becoming decadent citizens: special specie far more dangerous than the fanatics’!!!

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4 Comments

  1. I agree with you Night Shadow, but we should keep in mind that the ‘clean cut respectful children’ have their own psychological issues too. There are no perfect children. It is the job of each generation to horrify, or at least, confound, their parents. However I understand what you are talking about and it’s a different issue. There are good things too. I do hope so… more tolerance, less racism, more social, more access to information…
    They are more likely to be obese, but also less likely to drink, smoke or use drugs. They are more likely to live with their parents or depend on them financially into what we used to call adulthood, but they are also more likely as adults to consider their parents confidantes and friends.
    And they will raise their children to be just like them — or to be entirely different. Only time will tell. In fact time may have measurably changed things already.

  2. Thank you for raising this question!
    Why Children Are Spoiled? So many reasons:
    1) Wealth: with more disposable income than ever before, parents can hire nannies, cleaners and gardeners.
    2) Overindulgence: Parents want to give their kids all the things they didn’t have when they grew up.
    3) Workaholic society: workaholic parents feel guilty and end up giving their children gifts instead of giving them their time – but I bet that’s not the case of many married women in Lebanon who do not work outside their homes! or they don’t work at all… spending their time in shopping and spas.
    4) Bad marriages: Not all parents get enough love from their spouse, so the child becomes their principal source of affection,
    5) Exhaustion: When parents work hard and stay up way too late, they lack the energy to really discipline their kids and find it easier to give in to their children’s wants.
    6) Friendship over parenting: Some parents want to be best friends with their children. They create a false sense of equality with their kids when what they really need is a parent.
    How to Stop Spoiling Your Children:
    Be the parent. Choose parenting over being your child’s best friend and don’t be afraid to assert your authority.
    Enforce bedtime. Create proper and inviolable bedtimes for your children.
    Start a chores list. Have each child complete three household chores a week.
    Give an allowance. Besides the allowance, make your children earn money they want by doing extra chores for you or by getting a part-time job.
    Have family meetings. Meet as a family at least twice a week and identify and discuss what is functioning in the home and what has become dysfunctional.
    Talk to your kids. Talk with them individually, and always discuss the kind of character they should want to develop in life.
    Have family dinner. At least four times a week, at a minimum, sit at the table and eat a meal as a family. Make sure the children set the table and clean up, too.
    Reduce the hired help. Have your children take on some of the work of a housekeeper or gardener.
    etc.

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