Before I begin... those of you who might overindulge your kids might want to skip this blog. I'm going off on a wee bit of a rant. In Clint Eastwood mode. Maybe a bit of Denis Leary too.
Okay. I assume everyone who's staying doesn't mind a bit of a rant. I've got a bit of a story about brats and parents to tell, and it's from the newspapers. These kids are going to grow up to be absolutely rotten people as adults. And they have their rotten parents to thank for it.
Out of Oshawa, Ontario, east of Toronto, comes a story from this past Hallowe'en. The link is right here, but the gist of the story is as follows. The new resident of a home in the city wasn't home this past Hallowe'en, and got an anonymous letter shortly thereafter, supposedly written by the children of the neighbourhood. It chastised him for not giving out candy on Hallowe'en night, like the former resident of the house always did. It added that he could rectify this by giving out lots of chocolate (no chips) next year. The man in question is new to the neighbourhood, and doesn't know his neighbours, but feels they should respect his decision not to give out candy.
Given that rectify was actually a word used in the letter, you can safely bet it wasn't a ten year old kid writing the letter. Anyway, his reaction to it was to write a letter online, and it went viral. Entitled "Dear Children Of Entitlement (and likely their parents), the letter was a grand "screw you" to the over-indulged spoiled brats and their parents. The line that I liked out of the lot? "You have gone ahead and reminded me of why I do not want children, and why I weep for the future."
My personal response: bravo, sir. I salute you, and offer my compliments.
Full disclosure time: I'm not a kid person. I don't like children personally, and don't ever see myself as a father. That's a personal choice. The sound of a kid having a temper tantrum is the sort of thing that has a "dear God, will someone shut that kid up" response in me. Since my teens, I've found young kids to be a general annoyance. I have no patience with children. Never have, and never will. Fortunately my parents have plenty of grandchildren, and I'm under no pressure to make another one.
The kids of that neighbourhood, I expect, are like all too many kids these days. Spoiled rotten by parents who treat them as if they're the center of the bloody universe, indulging every whim, setting no boundaries at all. I don't know about you, but as a trick or treater, if a house was dark, that simply meant not going up to the door on Hallowe'en. There was always more candy elsewhere. It didn't mean whining to mommy and daddy, who promised they'd make it all better with an anonymous letter of entitlement to the person in question wagging their anonymous finger.
These parents are doing their children no favours. They're teaching them that if they don't get what they want, whining and griping will solve the problem. They're teaching them that the world owes them. They're teaching them horrific social skills. They're teaching them that the world does revolve around them, and that they're entitled to everything they wish for... to hell with earning it.
I'm not a parent (at least that I know of)... but I can tell you that approach is not going to result in a well adjusted human being. That's going to result in a narcissistic, self absorbed human being who's incapable of functioning in an adult society. Life isn't about getting everything you want. It's about challenges, obstacles, and disappointments. It's how you deal with those challenges, obstacles, and disappointments that marks who you are as a human being. You can either be the person who copes with these things, learns from them, and overcomes them... or you can be the shallow buffoon whining "that's not fair" everytime you come up short.
Of course, these parents will never see it that way. They'll claim that their little Joey or little Katie is the most special child ever and deserves to get all that they want and can't ever be faced with a disappointment or a setback. Such things are not good for their emotional well being, don't you know? Meanwhile, little Joey and little Katie know exactly how to bend their idiot parents right to their ways, put on the waterworks when they have to... and get away with bloody murder.
I can see it now. A mommy in the school office with the principal, confronted with her precious little daughter's bad behavior after the cafeteria caught on fire.
"My precious little Clarissa would never hurt a fly! She's so special and good and well adjusted and... Clarissa, sweetie? Would you mind putting down the matches for Mommy? I'll buy you a new teddy bear on the way home if you do..."