Spoiled Children

Elizabeth Kolbert wrote an overview of parenting books and research at The New Yorker, in which she marvels at the Matsigenka tribe of Peru and their helpful unspoiled children. She give examples of how spoiled modern American children are, and then gives examples from her own life.
Not long ago, in the hope that our sons might become a little more Matsigenka, my husband and I gave them a new job: unloading the grocery bags from the car. One evening when I came home from the store, it was raining. Carrying two or three bags, the youngest, Aaron, who is thirteen, tried to jump over a puddle. There was a loud crash. After I’d retrieved what food could be salvaged from a Molotov cocktail of broken glass and mango juice, I decided that Aaron needed another, more vigorous lesson in responsibility. Now, in addition to unloading groceries, he would also have the task of taking out the garbage. On one of his first forays, he neglected to close the lid on the pail tightly enough, and it attracted a bear. The next morning, as I was gathering up the used tissues, ant-filled raisin boxes, and slimy Saran Wrap scattered across the yard, I decided that I didn’t have time to let my kids help out around the house. (My husband informed me that I’d just been “kiddie-whipped.”)

Well there's your problem. There is no reason a teenager cannot pick up shards of glass that he himself caused. Other, worse examples are given, like the boy who demanded his father untie shoes for him or the 8-year-old girl who sat down at the table to find no silverware at her place setting and said, “How am I supposed to eat?” Those stories come from a study done by Anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her colleagues at UCLA in which they recorded an entire week of activity in 32 middle-class families in Southern California.
It isn't that the kids were unable to do the tasks or that their parents didn't express a need for help, say the researchers. Rather, the studied children didn't seem to view it as their routine responsibility to contribute, the researchers say.

Read more about this research at the Wall Street Journal. Link -via Metafilter

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We're having our first in August and I'll be damned if she's gonna be some demanding little entitled snot. I wasn't raised that way and neither was my husband.
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Check out "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living In The Age of Entitlement" by Janet Twenge

Also check out: "My Super Sweet 16" if you want to see a bunch of spoiled brats.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/results?q=my+super+sweet+16&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=w1&gl=CA
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The son of one of my coworkers started school this past year. His mom asked me if there would be someone at the school to feed her son. I said yes, there is a lunchroom where they can purchase food or eat food you packed. Turned out that wasn't what she meant. She wanted to know if there would be someone on staff whose job it was to place food in her son's mouth. Turned out that the kid had never used a spoon or a fork before. She had literally spoonfed him his entire life. The kid didn't have any sort of development disability or physical handicap, he just had an overly hands-on mother.

A few months into kindergarten the coworker had to leave in the middle of the day... her son had stabbed himself in the mouth with a fork. Maybe if he had a bit of practice at home it wouldn't have happened. Can't wait to see what kind of disaster results when he gets old enough to join the labor force.
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