The State of Children today

The first article I read was on HuffPost titled “The Benefits of Spoiling Children in America” which was full of comments about children being too spoiled, not having enough responsibilities and so on. It linked to an article in the New Yorker citing cases where children did not have any limits or expectations upon them and were allowed to do what they wanted or not told to do basic things themselves (get your own silverware).

I commented that a few separate incidents of lazy parenting do not mean that all children are this entitled.  Also I think that the assertion that children are “entitled and lazy” are a reflection of parents rather than children. Children who are entitled live with parents who shop as recreation and buy everything either parent or child wants (and probably have credit card debt to show for it). Children who are obese generally come from families who eat more unhealthy foods than you should.

I left this to go paint with shaving cream and food coloring on my shower wall with my 2 year old, which was fun after I got him over the “it feels weird”.

When I returned I came upon this article via Free Range Kids blog. Mom arrrested for letting her 13 year old babysit 3 other siblings until the “real” babysitter arrived. If you read further apparently the four-year-old wandered off, and it may not have been the first time (in the comments of the original New Canaan news site). And I went to the New Cannan newsite and there is a person there who is yelling that 13 year olds should not be responsible for 4!! other children.

At 13 I regularly baby-sat my brother and 3 cousins, ages 10, 9, 7 and 5 I think. It was a long time ago. I never lost any of them. I never burned the house down. Maybe this 4-year-old was particularly crafty or perhaps this 13 year old was not ready to be responsible for this set of children. I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

Maybe this is not the best example of the opposite of spoiled children, but come on. Most 13 year olds can watch three other children. It’s not unreasonable.

Do children have too much or too little responsibility now days? Do/did you cater to your children? Do you have limits and expectations of behavior? Do you know any brats or lazy parents?

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4 thoughts on “The State of Children today

  1. I started babysitting as soon as I turned 12. Granted it was one child, and they lived two doors down from my house, but I quickly moved up to babysitting several children…and by the time I was 14, I kept pretty busy watching quite a few other kids.

    I’m guessing you were right on the 13 year old in the article. Either not ready, or the 4 year old was too much of a handful. Unless the mother was totally irresponsible, and unfit in other areas, too, arresting her seems a bit drastic.

    Do I know people who I think need parenting lessons? Yup. I also see plenty of kids who are in need of a swat on the butt (notice I said SWAT, not beaten…although there are some….LOL!). Most parents I know are pretty good, though, and their kids fairly well behaved.

    My kids have always been fairly well behaved, though I tend toward being more lenient. But I must have hit a fairly good balance.

    I will say, given the way I see a lot of pre-teens and teenagers acting today, I seriously hope they mature before they bring babies into the world. As rude and obnoxious as they are, I can’t imagine what sort of parents they would make.

    Good article, Miss ADD (I can relate, lol). :)

  2. Back when I was a teenager, say 12, there were jobs. I had a paper route and helped pick watermelon and cantalope for farmers. We learned responsibility early. My parents did what they could to get us the latest fashions and toys, etc. but we weren’t spoiled. Today, teenagers don’t have jobs like that.
    As for lazy parents, I know at least one. She eats and feeds her 5 year old McDonald’s food daily because she doesn’t cook and sits on the sofa when she does have the child about 3 days a week. My grand daughter (she’s the 5 year old) didn’t know what a vegetable or a pork chop was until my son finally court ordered visitation rights. Her mother has recently put the child on medication because, “she’s not respectful and misbehaves”. I abhor parents who have children for a meal ticket through the state welfare system, popping out babies for an extra monthly payment in their checks and then neglect the children. My husband and I had 4 children at a young age and besides helping with medical care until they were 5, we didn’t use the welfare system, AND we talked and played and disciplined our children. Granted, as adults they have their personal struggles but they’re good people and hard workers – not lazy at all!
    As you can see this is a sensitive subject for me :) and minutes after reading your post, my grand daughter came to mind, well she’s constantly on my mind especially when she’s with her lazy mother. Asrai, you may be surprised with the replies you get from this blog post LOL.

  3. My daughter was able to get Red Cross Certified to babysit at 11. Hmm, makes me think it’s different for each area. I’d have to agree that the 13 year-old wasn’t into babysitting, or the 4 year-old was very precocious. Wow.

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