Is it because we have lots of spoiled children in our society who are focused on material things? Or is it because, in our society, we have parents who are entirely focused on their kids feelings and self-esteem?
Is it because, often discipline is done lightly or not at all? I have had to bite my tongue witnessing very negative behaviors in children while the parents stood nearby and did nothing. I once pointed out a very negative behavior by a friends child and "the messenger was shot", so now I say nothing. But I certainly can choose not to invite those kids back to my house and so that is what I do.
Now, I know my kids are not perfect. I get that, I really do. But I want them to be good adults, compassionate and caring for others, not just themselves. I defiantly think kids today are indulged to excess. I'm guilty of this as well. We have been trying to find ways to simplify and to teach the kids that having "things" is not the most important thing in life.
We finally had to ask ourselves if the kids really needed 12+ presents apiece for Christmas. If they needed huge birthdays with loads of gifts. The answer was no. It's hard because I enjoy giving them things. I want them to have things. I came to realize that I was part of the problem. So, we scaled back. Way, way back. We told the kids what we were doing and why. We explained to them that we didn't really need all the stuff that we were buying. They totally understood
This past Christmas we asked relatives not to buy gifts for us. We asked the grandparents to keep it small. The kids got way less from us. It was still an amazing Christmas. It shouldn't have been about the presents anyway.
Birthdays were changed. The birthday child gets to choose what they would like served for dinner. They get to pick dessert and eat off of the special red plate. We give them one present. When they turn eight they get to start having "friend" parties. Basically, they get to invite a friend or two and go do something special, like a movie, mini golfing, bowling, etc. We request that the friends do not bring presents. This has been something that the kids look forward to all year.
Those are just a couple of the things that we have done in our attempt to raise less spoiled children. We are not perfect but we are trying to be better.
Anyway, I read this article today, on spoiled kids and it just got me thinking.