Spoiled Brats Of The Modern Age
I was talking to a friend yesterday who teaches at a high school for underprivileged students. One of her students has been doing poorly for the bulk of the year. Yesterday, his parent finally stepped in and wanted to know what could be done about him. After forty-five minutes of each of his teachers taking turns telling his mom in what ways he could improve, it was my friend’s turn. While listening to the other teachers, something occurred to her. “Was there something that happened in October?” she asked him. “Yes.” he replied “My PS3 broke.” Apparently, he had been bribed by his parents with a PS3 to do better in school. Once his system broke and his parents neglected to have it repaired, he stopped trying.
This story angered me for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it is evident that they have raised their child to be a spoiled brat. Thanks to his parents giving him this expensive toy, he now believes that doing your job should translate into receiving gifts. He doesn’t care that by doing so poorly this year he has diminished his chances of getting into a good college. All this boy sees is that mommy and daddy didn’t fix his toy. Secondly, as he qualifies for free tuition, his family must meet the criteria and be quite poor. How did this child receive a brand new PS3 plus multiple games in the first place? By giving their child such an expensive toy, I wonder what they had to skimp on. This would’ve been a perfect opportunity to teach their child about economics. Why I didn’t they reward their child with something more practical? They could’ve given him new clothes, new shoes, special food, a day trip. I understand that those items don’t scream reward. However, if they are as bad off as I’m told they are, perhaps those items would’ve made for an easier life.
More and more, I’m finding that this generation is spoiled. With all of the technological advances, kids want more high tech things and parents feel obligated to give them. With each new fad, comes a new “must have” item. All of these expensive “must haves” are collecting dust. Do any of these kids know the meaning of value? When I was younger, there were spoiled brats. However, there were enough “old school” parents present to remind kids like me that getting everything you want is a high speed train to failure. These parents frowned upon and encouraged us to frown upon these spoiled kids. Unfortunately, these spoiled kids have become the parents of today. I guess that explains a lot.
One Christmas, my grandmother gave my brothers and me a brand new Super Nintendo system with one game. Though the spoiled brats had moved on to Sega Genesis by now, I was proud to own 1/3 of the SNES. As there were only two controllers and three of us, there was always one of us having to watch. My mother would make sure we took turns. It would go “on vacation” Sunday night and return Friday night so that we weren’t tempted to play instead of study. Of course, I hated all of this back then. I didn’t start to appreciate my mother’s actions until a couple of years ago. Hearing stories like the one my friend told me give me reason to love my mom. Though my brothers and I aren’t perfect in the slightest, we appreciate what we have and understand that it could be taken away at any minute.
I pity my friend’s student and the other children of today. They have every item I used to dream of, but nothing beyond that. Her students could explain to me every move and character in the latest game, but not the plot of Great Expectations. They throw tantrums over cell phones, MP3 players and palm pilots. How greatly the definition of “poor” has changed since I was a kid. I hope for their sake that technology keeps advancing. If not, what will they do?
How sad to live such an empty life.
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