Author Topic: And this is wonderful because why?  (Read 6571 times)

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boxy

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And this is wonderful because why?
« on: January 02, 2011, 09:08:59 AM »
BG:  Our friends, Jim and Maggie (names changed) have a 15 year old boy.  We go out with them maybe once a month for dinner, sometimes we just meet at each others house to chat about life in general, etc.  When we go out the son rarely joins us and when we go to Jim and Maggie's house the son is usually up in his room playing video games.  He has voluntarily joined us a few times and we've had fun with him.  He seems like a good enough kid and we like being around him since we're empty nesters ourselves.  Lately he ha become very rude to his parents.  It's uncomfortable when he acts out in front of us.  Sometimes I think I'm listening to a 10 year old.

Though not wealthy (Jim has his own janitorial service and Mag is a stay-at-home) they shower this kid with high-tech gifts.  Wii or x-box?  Give him both!  iphone or driod?  No problem - let him choose and when he gets tired of one just upgrade him to the other.  Does he need a dirt bike?  Sure - give him one and since there's room for an ATV give him one of those too!  They both need GPS (seriously?) and storage sheds.  I can't even begin to list the sheer volume of "toys" and accouterments this child has.  

Never have I seen a child have so many material gifts - ever.  End BG.

Last night we went out to dinner with Jim and Maggie.  Out of nowhere Jim announced proudly that the son "made a killing over Christmas!"  Evidently between the lavish material gifts he also received almost $1,000 in cash from various relatives.

I was thinking, "How much more can a kid have?  How am I supposed to respond to a statement like that?"

So I sat there like a good little ornament and said nothing.

Minmom3

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2011, 12:15:20 PM »
Good.  Because NOTHING positive would have come out of you stating your opinion.  I agree with your critique of the excess giftage, and it certainly doesn't seem to building the kid any character, but it's 'nunyabiznezz' that their philosophy of child raising has so different from yours.  All you would do by voicing your opinion would be to offend your friends.
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Luci45

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 12:42:25 PM »
Unfortunately, I probably would have asked what he gave them for Christmas before it was too late. I guess i would be best to stay with ehell for a bit longer.

CakeBeret

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 05:37:47 PM »
Good job on saying nothing. :)

I have a somewhat strict view* of how to raise a child and I'm frequently horrified at the behavior that some parents allow. But no good will come of me saying anything, so I stay polite and stay quiet.

*I don't think it's actually strict, just strict compared to many of the overly lax parenting styles I see. I discourage having a materialistic attitude and think that proper behavior and politeness should be required of a child.
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Jan74

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 12:26:57 AM »
I applaud you for not saying "Oh good, now he can finally get his dirt bike gold-plated!" as I would have.  >:D

Twik

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 09:51:25 AM »
EvilTwik would have said "How wonderful!", and then told them stories of how her niece had spent all Christmas at a shelter preparing food for the homeless. Niece didn't have to waste time unwrapping her presents that morning, since she'd requested that everyone buy goats for families in Africa instead of giving her anything material.

(Note that EvilTwik doesn't actually *have* a niece. But being evil, lying doesn't bother her much.)
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Venus193

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 10:07:05 AM »
I think you did well by saying nothing.

EvilVenus would have probably responded with "And why is this so important?"   >:D  Having witnessed some pretty awful materialism in a younger child this attitude doesn't surprise me.

Master_Edward

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 01:47:04 AM »
You say nothing or change the subject because yeah it really isn't any of your business. But I think his being spoiled certainly explains his attitude.

Ed.

Ms_Shell

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 12:13:12 PM »
"Oh, good! And here I was, worried that we'd have to pony up for our part of the bill."  >:D *stuffs EvilShell back into cage*

Really, there is nothing to say to that and I agree that I would be *very* uncomfortable for the remainder of dinner.  You did fine.
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Lisbeth

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 12:17:46 PM »
I can't think of any polite response other than "Oh."
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djinnidjream

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2011, 12:39:16 PM »
Silently sitting and thanking the Lord that this isn't your kid and you aren't going to have to deal with his entitled behaviour in the future is perfectly acceptable.  :)
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boxy

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2011, 02:38:08 PM »
Thanks everyone for your encouraging words.  In hindsight I'm so very glad I didn't say anything at the time.  Nothing good would have come from it and in terms of etiquette it was the right thing to remain quiet. 

Recently I was talking with a different friend, with two adult children still living at home (ages 25 and 27), about vacations.  He was lamenting that he and his wife wanted to do a vacation with the wife's family but what had begun as an affordable $1,200 per couple trip had now morphed into a $2,500 per couple trip.  He said that meant he would have to pay $5,000 for the trip.  I was confused by his math and said, "I thought it was $2,500 per couple."  He said, "well I have to pay for my kids to go so that bumps it up to $5,000."  Surprised I said, "why can't they pay their own way?"

Oh my, you would have thought I said his kids were lazy dead beat drug lords.  He became defensive, stuttered for words then snapped out, "well they live at my house and as long as they live there I'll pay for things!  They can take spending money but I pay for vacations thank you very much!!!"

It was soooo awkward.   

I've heard Dr. Phil say the stronger the reaction the more relevant the question or statement.  I have a feeling there was more going on behind the scenes but it was so terribly awkward when he went all flash-defensive on me.  Thankfully someone just happened to come into the room at that time and it eased the tension but, sigh, that was uncomfortable.  I guess the general rule with entitled kids is to just ignore them and avoid conversations about them at all costs.

lady_disdain

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2011, 03:01:19 PM »
For me, it isn't about how many "toys" the kid has or how much money he got at Christmas. It is the term "make a killing". The term is too commercial and too aggressive to apply to a gift. Unfortunately, that attitude is coming from the parents and the kid probably picked it right up as well.

Venus193

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2011, 03:21:58 PM »
Boxy, both of these friends aren't doing themselves any favors.  They will live to regret this.

Calypso

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Re: And this is wonderful because why?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 04:01:29 PM »
Neurobiological argument for not spoiling your children (as if Ehellions needed another argument): there are some types of brains that respond to over-stimulation by shutting down, i.e., becoming "jaded."  Some people will become so desperate for the resumption of some kind of feeling good that they turn to drugs, food, alcohol, shopping binges etc etc

Parents do this kind of thing, I suppose, because they think it'll make their kid happy---what if they realized that they could actually be burning out their child's happiness circuits for life?  :-\