Monday, January 26, 2009

Spoiled rotten.

I have a problem with spoiled children.

I can't stand them.

Like the little kids' basketball league that swarmed over my university's workout center on Saturday. More than ten times during the hour and a half I was there did overly-inquisitive seven-year-olds go to play on the running track (where several student athletes were trying to run) but only ONCE did a parent reprove them for going up there where they clearly were not allowed.

Or like the boys who sit either one row behind me or one row ahead of me in church every Sunday. They're probably around ten, eight, and seven, but they act more like two. They're always running laps through the pews or talking loudly or hitting each other with programs or blowing up rubber gloves and hitting the people in front of them, and I've never, in the past two years or so, seen their parents reprove them...even though they're sitting in the row.

Or like my aunt's two children. My sister and I refer to them as The if you're a Harry Potter fan, you'll know what we mean. There are so many incidents I could think of, but one always sticks out. The youngest cousin was probably three or four, and my sister was about nine or ten. Now, Lindsay loved the rubber Polly Pocket dolls, and seeing as how the day before was Christmas, had just received Rick, the coveted boy doll. As she was playing with him, our cousin ripped the doll from her hands, broke it in half, and threw the pieces in her face. And all my aunt said was "Aw, [little cousin], you're so cute." Lindsay was devastated.

I cannot stand spoiled children. As a former babysitter and church nursery worker, I had to deal with them on occasion. And then as a Disney World cast member, I had to put up with even more. For every child wide-eyed with wonderment is a child who wants more, more, more. For instance, every cast member in contact with guests wears a pin-trading lanyard. I cannot tell you how many times my head has nearly been severed from my body by a child grabbing my lanyard, yanking it down, and shouting in my ear, "I want that one! Gimme that one!" while they tried in vain to pry the back off and take their coveted pin.

(Just for future reference, if you want to trade you walk up to a cast member and say, "May I see your pins, please?" They will show your lanyard. If there's one you want, point to it and say "May I trade for that one?" and you will exchange pins. And just for the record, this is not impossible. A darling little girl who couldn't be more than three or four did just that, and found one she liked, but she checked her lanyard and said "Oh...I like all of these too much to trade. But thank you very much anyway." I gave her the pin without asking her to trade, and she was so overjoyed she gave me a hug.)

But yeah. Spoiled children. They're a hassle to deal with when they're small...and then they become adult-sized hassles later. I think a lot of parents don't think that far, that their indulgences will balance out as they get older. Oh, no. They only send them off to college where other people have to deal with them.

Spoiled children think they're awesome. They think they are God's gift to whatever their activity is, whether it be sports or academics or arts. They are never forced to do anything they don't want. If they get in trouble, Mommy or Daddy can fix it.

Then they get into college, and their peers have to deal with it. They have to deal with people who can't do their own laundry or cook their own food. They have to deal with people who firmly believe they are God's gift to their field, but, while talented, clearly are not. They have to get themselves out of the situations they land in.

And meanwhile, they get bad reputations. Some of the people they think are their friends merely tolerate them, because while there are things about them that they like, they're too much to handle as a super-close friend. Most of the people they come in contact with (especially in their hobby field) can't stand them at all. And then these poor kids are left in the lurch, lost and unsure of why nothing seems to go their way anymore.

That's why I love reading the mommy blogs on my list. It's nice to have some hope for humanity, that there are so many moms that aren't going to let their kids grow up into these maladjusted college students that later become "that guy" in the office. Or at least, aren't going to let their kids get away with breaking their cousins' toys.

(And also, P and I want five kids. I'm doing my research now! :) )
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