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December 08, 2005

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Krissy

I think that eventually we mostly turn into our parents unless we work hard not to. I think that if you keep living the things you want to see in Peanut, and explaining to her why the bling is obscene, she'll eventually live it.

Of course, when she's 15 she'll scream at you for not buying her the $5,000 prom dress, but if it wasn't that it'd be something else. 15 year olds scream a lot, period.

Lead by example, explain your thoughts, and chances are better than 50/50 that your kid will see things in a similiar way.

Anne Glamore

I think you just have to decide what behavior you're going to model for your kids and stick to it, regardless of the pleading (but Joe has a TV!!) and wails.
And off topic, I think every kid should have to wait tables at some point, but that's just me.

enygma

My comments may have absolutely no validity since I don't have any kids of my own. However, I go to a private graduate school in an affluent suburb of Chicago--and I'm paying for everything by loan because my parents are typical Midwestern Korean drycleaners--and I will be student teaching at a suburban high school in an affluent neighborhood.
From what I've observed, I think money is taken very seriously. I don't know if some of these kids are actually working and paying for their Uggs, Ipods and Kate Spade school bags, or if their moms and dads buy them for them, but it somehow saddens and irks me to see kids become so..dependent, shall we say, on the right label/designer in order to "fit in." I swear, all of these kids in that school wear Abercrombie, a brand that I loath with every fiber of my body. Most of them probably drive better cars than the teachers. It's sad, but with each successive generation, I can't help but think that kids are becoming greater label whores than the generation before.
Geez, I sound really old. =D Alright, getting off my soapbox now.

Chocolate Makes it Better

It's an interesting conundrum metro. On the one hand we see the effects of rich kids growing up spoilt rotten and having little or no regard for moral values, money and sometimes even their fellow human beings. But on the other hand there are kids who come from rich families and have excellent moral values and work their tooches off to get ahead in life instead of taking mummy or daddies cash.

I think money can be spent in front of kids, hell this guy probably blew all this cash because he thought it would make his daughter happy, and who doesn’t want to do that? I think that it’s the lessons, not the acts that can have more effect. An act is usually a one off, as this case probably is, where-as lessons can be taught over a lifetime. But then again, monkey see monkey do.

I just want one of those take home baggies!

CroutonBoy

If you're thinking ahead to your daughter's Sweet 16, I hear that Blue Oyster Cult and Quiet Riot are available for about $75/hour. You might want to consider that alternative...

landismom

Okay, Steve Urkel had a comeback? How come no one told me?

Seriously though MD, I agree (well, we might have to disagree about the success of capitalism, at least for those on the bottom of the socioeconomic scale). It's crazy to spend this much money on a kid, and I don't care how rich you are. Does this guy WANT to turn his daughter into the next Paris Hilton?

gina

I hate to be the one to break it to you - you don't have that long! She will start wanting all of the cute stuff. We are not wealthy, but my daughter has five pairs of Crocs. That's as far as I will go!

It is so hard to strike a balance between what they want and what you want them to have. I have noticed as they get older that they are picking up my habits and my distaste for the ridiculous.

I aspire to be comfortable, but if I ever ended up filthy rich I would have to send a lot of it to feed Africa or something like that.

Oh, to be burdened with a average income upbringing!

On a side note - I am constantly thinking of my grammer and how awful it is because of you! I need a bracelet - WWMDD

eliaday

md, on some level it's all relative isn't it? i'm sure there're people out there that would think that owning 3 (or was it 4?) ipods is an excessive show of wealth too.

Chag

That's one hardcore hooker he's got lined up!

Regarding your daughter, there's always going to be a friend who has/owns something Peanut doesn't. And she will covet it. It's human nature.

I guess the best you can do is just keep hammering home your values. Hope that something sticks. That's what I'm doing. I've got two years up on you -- I'll let you know how I make out.

margalit

As the Jewish parent of two 13 year olds, I guess I'm clearly qualified to comment on this disgusting display of excess. MD, you know I lub you, but you're dead wrong when you said "Again, I'm not saying that Mr. Brooks should be spending that money on victims of Katrina, homeless people or African refugees. It's his money and he can do what he want with it."

That's so far from what Judaism is about that it's not even in the ballpark. Judaism is based on the tenents of Tzedakah (charity), Tfilot (prayers) and Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World. The Torah says "We are commanded to help those in need, both in physical need and financial need. The Torah commands us to help a neighbor with his burden, and help load or unload his beast, to give money to the poor and needy, and not to turn them away empty handed." Spending excess amounts of money is halachically (Jewish law) questionable and morally repugnant. The bat mitzvah is a RELIGIOUS observance, the entry of a child into adulthood. One can be a bat mitzvah without a party, or even without the mitzvah of an aliyah (reading from the torah or being called up to the torah). There is nothing whatsoever about spending millions or even thousands of dollars on a lavish display of ostentatious wealth.

At the risk of being accused of Lashon Horah (talebearing) I think this family needs serious therapy. Something is terribly off if they think that it's ok to shower their child with such a stupid display of wealth. What does she learn from this? That "daddy" will provide anything she wants. That money has no intrinsic value? That their family has more and will show off more than all the other families in Manhatten? Has the daughter learned a thing about the religious aspects of this day? Did she even HAVE a bat mitzvah? Does her family belong to a shul? Didn't the Rabbi advise against this? I can't believe any Rabbi would allow this to go on without commenting.

As a Jewish parent, I am outraged when I hear such stories, but probably not for the reasons that you might think. These stories tend to promote antisemitism, showing that indeed "all Jews are rich" and that "Jews rule the monitary world", etc. I find this very upsetting, especially since 99.9% of the Jewish kids don't have ostentatious shows of overspending excess. It's just that you never read about those kids in the secular press, do you? Never mind that you never hear about poverty amongst Jews, and that people such as myself are unable to afford a b'nai mitzvah for their children because the cost for tutoring is prohibitive. It doesn't really matter, my kids will have an aliyah when they're ready, and as I said, they are already b'nai mitzvah because they have turned 13. But even when they do have their aliyah, they won't have a party anywhere near this, in fact we're discussing a backyard barbeque, but that won't make the papers, will it?

I know that you didn't mean to perpetuate the Jews are rich assholes stereotypes when you blogged about this stupid moron's party, but you might look at it from the point of view of a Jew who is proud to be Jewish and disgusted by how the press denigrades us when something like this happens. OK?

Dutch

I was a real hayseed when the turnip truck dropped me off in Ann Arbor, Michigan a few years ago. I'd been living in a small town, surviving on $5,000 a year through college and when I got to law school I had no concept of the wealth that some people in this world have. Suddenly this third-rate state school grad was attending class alongside guys whose parents taught with Robert Thurman at Columbia and girls who wore prada and drank wine that didn't come out of a box. Ann Arbor was full of the scions of rich New York families and wealthy Jersey jewesses stuck bitterly in the provinces and I couldn't believe how different their wealth made them see the world. And I don't just mean the cabs to class on cold winter mornings and the constant bickering about how the supermarkets didn't sell wasabi peas.

I mean they were the embodiment that "new york is the only place in the world I could survive" attitude that drove me crazy for three years. They acted like Roman patrician wives exiled to some port town on the Caspian sea for three years, waiting for the emperor to croak so they could return to Rome.

I think so long as you give Peanut the exposure to other places and teach her the value of people everywhere, especially in less sophisticated places, she won't turn into one of those girls. Particularly, as others have said, because those are not your own values. I just wish more new yorkers could just be comfortable with the fact that the rest of the country loves their city because we know it's great, but that it just makes them look bad to act like the places the rest of us live are so intolerable.

ShotgunDaddy

As parents, we want to give our children the sun and the moon, so on some level I can understand why someone would want to throw their daughter an extravagant party. The problem with this party -- or any party that's that overdone -- is that at some point I don't believe that it's really for the child. Sure, this girl was probably pretty psyched that she had the coolest party in the world, but when you're spending TEN MILLION DOLLARS on a child's party (no matter how culturally significant that party might be) I think it's a pretty safe bet that you're doing it to validate yourself. Because if that's not the case, if there isn't an enormous part of you that thinks people will look at you (and the party) and think, "Wow, that guy must REALLY love his daughter if he's willing to spend that much on her bat mitzvah" then you would never, ever agree to a party like that. You would know that you'd be giving your daughter the gift of entitlement that her peers will sneer at for the rest of her life. You'd know that you were creating a separate reality for her that will negatively color her perception of the rest of the world.

So I'm with you, MD. If you want to be rich, go on with your bad self. But this poor guy doesn't have a clue, and probably doesn't even now. Perhaps he'll figure it out when his loving daughter is sitting at his deathbed like a vulture waiting to pick the bones of his estate dry.

David

Wheww! That's a big issue. I can only repeat what others have said/are going to say: you have pretty decent values - stay true and constant to them. When puberty comes around, your kids are going to think you're a prat anyway. Mr Brooks daughter might be hugging trees in a year or two as a way of getting over Daddy's excess.
But I don't want to get all serious on you. What really worries me is this old guy trying to turn his daughter on to the Eagles. Now that's really sick.

RBrown

No really, do you have a tap on me? Or is your finger THAT ON THE PULSE?? I was just discussing this VERY thing last weekend. 1st graders with cellphones, iPods. What the..??? I'm not even engaging in activities to make kids at the moment but it worries the shit out of me for my friends with kids - present company included even though we've never met - and how they'll have to explain all this to them someday.

One day, sweet Peanut may come home with an invitation to Diddy's maid's kid's birthday party where everyone will get a gift bag of stuff adults like me would kill for worth $10,000. And *poof*! All your value-instillin' hard work is gone...not down the drain, but you will you have to explain to sweet Peanut why not EVERYONE gives out gift bags at their parties, why she's still cool if she only gets the Schoolhouse Rock CD set for HER birthday and then make the tough decision as to whether or not she'll get to keep the special edition Diddy's Maid's Kid's iPod. It's so crazy.

I'd like to say that if the intentions are in the right place it's ok. But it seems to me that kids - even with the best parents - pick up only on the actions, not the intentions. It seems like when we were growing up there were fewer "things" to covet....now almost everything is covet-worthy so nothing is special. What are the leather Nikes with the blue swoosh of 2005? Cause if you get 'em everything they want, then what's special?

But who am I? I'm just a single chick with no kids, so you know...grain of salt. But it scares me for you parents and maybe someday, for me. I want things to feel special for my kids the way they did for me so they'll actually appreciate them. But maybe I'm just a hardass bitch.

misfithausfrau

I remember reading about that Bat Mitzvah and wondering if MTV was filming it for a new series, "Total Bar/Bat Mitzvah Live."

I think one of the problems parents have is that they want their kid's lives to be better than the ones they had, particularly if they were poor or did without a lot of the time. I think people forget that it isn't all about the "stuff."

I am being a complete cynic when I say that it is too late for David Brook's kids. If he is willing to spend his defective bullet proof vest earnings on a BAT MITZVAH, just imagine what he'll do for something really big? Or just imagine what he does spend on his kid(s) on a random Tuesday?

mabel

Anne, I absolutely agree. Everyone should be required to wait tables for at least 6 months. The biggest, most obnoxious people with the biggest egos - haven't. Anyway, I wish we could gather all parents together and make rules. That would make this parenting thing so much easier. Unfortunately, there will always be that parent that buys his kid a new Explorer for her 16th birthday, or parents that buy alcohol for their kids for that matter. I had a very good friend who's mom would get drunk and do drugs with her. At the time I thought it was a little creepy, but sort of cool. Now I just think it is uber creepy/sickening. Good luck MetroDad. I hope that by the time Miss Peanut hits the gimme-gimme-gimme stage, (also know as being a teen), that the pendulum has swung BACK!

Mr. Big Dubya

Dude - I don't know where to even start on this. This could be one of those discussions we have over a bottle of Macallan.

Fortunately, I was never really exposed to the uber-rich - my friends and high school classmates were all from middle, upper-middle class families - comfortable, but not coddled. We never wanted for anything, but then again our tastes were not all that extravagant. And it pretty much stayed that way until I started working at a boarding school - then I saw that world - I've had dinner with people like Brooks, been to their clubs, etc. And, I've known their kids - and I know they've never known a hard day's work - wash dishes? Ha, ha, ha. Landscape? Quit it.

I think the solution resides in how you and Boss Lady raise Peanut - if she is respectful and modest she'll be happy with what she has and won't be one of those who needs to one-up everyone around her. These other parents cater to their child's every whim trying desperately to be a friend and buy their affection. They think that's what being a good parent is all about. Then they can't understand why they grow up to be such asses - or they're too oblivious to know they're asses.

Brent

One thing that has always impressed me about your site, MD, is the level of intelligent discourse by your readers in the comments section. I've read about this story with Mr. Brooks on several other blogs and the comments on those blogs have been filled with antisemitism, ignorance or sheer stupidity. I can't tell you how amazingly refreshing it is to come here and see intelligent people respond in a thoughtful and provocative manner.

LeeMarvin

MD, I agree with all of the above. This guy is clueless. He lives in another world and comes here to visit. Can't wait to see the wedding...;-)

Peanut will be fine, as long as YOU & the Bosslady live right and pay attention...cause she's watchin' you guys. Do not give in to every whim. If there's ever a line you don't want her to cross, prevent her from EVER seeing the line!

If you want her to know humility, caring and charity in the face of monetary & moral excess, volunteer your TIME with those less fortunate. Bring the pieces of the world to her, instead of taking her to it. This way, you can control what she sees, and when she sees it. I know that this can be tough in the big city that never sleeps, but it will provide her with perspective, and give her something that money can't buy...the feeling that she CAN make a difference!

Keep on bloggin', big daddy!


Ed Bacchus

I can't see any redeeming (sp??)value to spending this much money on a child. This type of spending is more for the parents than the kids and the parents don't realize what damage they are doing to the kids.

Mr. Wonderful

I love it. Everyone hates the excess and yet those who have a $500+ stroller raise you hands. And the $350 accesories? How about the going to school to make sure the teacher pours little Johnny's macrobiotic juice just right? Or telling the teachers how to teach. It is less about money and more about the parent entitlement syndrom. And we all do it only to produce slackers.

Susannah

Is it me or is there an ENORMOUS difference between having a few ipods or a $500 stroller AND throwing a party that cost 10 MILLION DOLLARS? Does anyone think that's a fair comparison? Seriously, $10 million is insane. But heck, what do I know? I'm a lowly civil servant making less than $50k/year.

But don't worry too much, Metro. The fact that you actually think about these things and how to raise your daughter with the right moral values is more than most people seem to be doing anyway these days. You'll figure it out.

bill

I got here a little late, but What an interesting topic. Bah Mitzvah's, Hookers, 50 cent and aerosmith, Lucky sperm all in one post. That is some talent.

Curtis M Sawyer

Sometimes I hate New York. Only here can I make 6 figures and still feel poor. Only here can I afford to rent but not buy. Ok, I guess I don't hate NY, I hate the fact that it is filled with enough people like this that the housing prices are driven to the point no normal person can afford to buy.

JJ Daddy in Savannah's Baby Momma

Oy. If this is the bat mitzvah (or Sweet 16 or Quince Anos, etc. etc.), then what on EARTH is the wedding going to look like?

About the time the dust clears around Daddy's SEC investigations, she's probably going to be of marriageable age, and will be happy to elope in a borrowed dress.

Seriously -- we're stopping the madness early. Birthday parties are the full monty, but you only get to invite one child per however many years you are old (5th birthday? 5 friends). Santa brings 1 big gift, the rest are stocking stuffers.

We're doing fine, but there's always others doing finer. As God as my witness, I will not escalate.

Stephen

Lucky sperm, Evian-filled swimming pools, Urkel's comeback, $100 bills, a hooker's ass, Laguna Beach, and anal sex? All wrapped up in a serious discussion about parenting, materialism and moral values? You're my fucking hero, dude! Great post.

Michael C.

Just to let you know, MD. Gross displays of wealth are not isolated to NYC these days (or any other major U.S. city) We live in rural New Hampshire and it's amazing to see young kids today obsessing over the latest material craze...designer clothes, X Boxes, cell phones, new cars or the latest ipod. I'm 100% in agreement with you. I don't think we're cranky old men. I think that generations of Americans are growing up and focusing more and more on material wealth than spiritual wealth. Perhaps that's the ultimate fate of free-market democracies. Whatever the reason, I think it's quite scary and struggle to keep my own children grounded amid all this madness.

Michael C.

By the way, I want to agree with the commentor above who was so impressed with the level of discourse on your blog. As much as I enjoy reading your posts, I also equally enjoy reading the peoples responses to them.

Tawnya

Wow, I'm going to echo most other posts here by saying that gross displays of material wealth for your children do not make them grow up well-adjusted.

All I know is that I'm going to try my best to make my daughter a modest, respectful caring human being in a world where 13-year-olds wear more designer labels than I do, 16-year-olds drive Jags to school and a sign that you're cool and worthy of having friends is that you own all the latest clothes, shoes and gadgets. (Holy run-on sentence!)

I won't have a problem telling my daughter how much I make and how much of that money goes towards keeping her in a warm, comfortable home, send her to school and allow her to attend any extra-carricular activity she would like.

Tawnya

I'm going to echo most other posts here by saying that gross displays of material wealth for your children do not make them grow up to be well-adjusted adults. I'm just wondering if ten million dollars is the going rate to appease parental guilt at not spending time with your kids these days.

All I know is that I'm going to try my best to make my daughter a modest, respectful caring human being in a world where 13-year-olds wear more designer labels than I do, 16-year-olds drive Jags to school and a sign that you're cool and worthy of having friends is that you own all the latest clothes, shoes and gadgets. (Deep breath...that was a lot of words in one sentence!)

Anyway, my point is: parents need to think about what their kids are seeing in the media, in their school and in their world and help them think critically about it all. And discuss stuff like this obscene display of wealth with them. Ask their opinions. Perhaps as parents we need to make our kids feel like their self-worth is in who they are, not in the value of their material possessions.

Tawnya

Sorry, I totally didn't mean to hit post! (I also wanted to say that I want my daughter to see how much money goes into running a household and that's why we can't always buy her what she wants).

What I did want to say in closing is this: It's up to us as parents to help our kids think critically about what they're seeing in the media, in their schools and in their neighbourhoods. We need to discuss things like this with our teens and tweens and get their opinion on such a gross display of wealth. Sometimes it's just taking the time to listen to your kid that raises their self-worth, not the total cost of all their material posessions.

Phat Daddy

Amen, Curtis. I used to think that once I cleared the six figure mark I would own a house and a nice car. That would apply to most other places in the country, but not here. Here clearing the six figure mark puts you firmly in the lower middle class mark.

Hipster

Among parenting bloggers, there’s this occasional anti-consumerist theme which amounts to “Anyone richer than me who buys their kid stuff that I can’t afford for my kid is raving, self-indulgent lunatic, and is dooming their child to a life of disappointment/brattiness/ignorance.”

So people like Dutch, who make their own onesies, complain about peeps like MetroDad, who bought a $900 stroller, $3000 worth of high-end baby furniture (later tossed), and four ipods.

And then MetroDad complains about someone else’s $10 million bar mitzvah.

Most American parents give their children the best they can afford. If you don’t mind spending 10% of this month’s salary on a stroller (It’s the best! It will last for years! etc., etc.), why complain if someone else wants to spend part of their last paycheck on their kid’s party (It will be the best party ever ! The memories will last for years!)?

Your motivations are probably more similar than you think... and both of your girls are getting stuff that 99% of Americans (not to mention 99.99999% of other earth-dwellers) can't afford.

Pattie

I have to say, I agree with you on how kids exposed to this kind of wealth end up not necessarily having the right values in life. How many more Paris Hiltons does the world need? Answer: none.

What really surprises me, though, is reading that Mr. Brooks hired Stevie Nicks, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, and Kenny G to play at a young girl's bat mitzvah. Hell, I don't think I know anyone under 30 who listens to their music, much less a young girl. Sheesh. Memo to Mr. Brooks: Take that money and buy a clue as to what today's youth listen to, your kid included. Oy vey.

Jason

Metro, you've brought up a point that until now I'd never thought about. Henceforth, I'll save the bong rips and the buggering until the kid's asleep.

Melissa

Damm, I really wanted to go to that. I guess I missed out living in LA. In people magazine last week (I saw it at the Pediatrician’s I swear), there was an article on a woman whose son is going to inherit 400 million dollars. His dad died, I have no idea who he was, and that is what he left his only son. The mother was wining because the trust who have control won’t give her more of it to spend while he is a kid. Her side is that the dad wouldn't have wanted the kid to suffer. You know, not having a vacation for $100,000.00 and crap like that. And truly she does argue her point well. The kid was really spoiled by the dad, and she just wants to continue it. Anyways, my point in sharing this is that she and lawyers on both sides were talking about how great, well behaved, responsible the kid is. So the question is can you raise a great kid in pure wealth and them not end up like Paris Hilton. Yes, I truly believe you can. I know there are tons of kids out there who are truly spoiled. And yes we hear about the ones who are out being crazy all the time, however we don’t hear about the ones who are good citizens by everyone’s standards. I just wanted to point out that not all kids who are spoiled turn out bad. And no, not even if I had a billion dollars, would I spend that much on a party for a 13 year old. Peanut will be fine. There will always be more she wants, that is just the life of kids. In fact, I want more than I have and I am married with two kids. It’s human nature. As a parent you just have to work harder these days to instill values in kids, especially when they see so much money being thrown around. Ok, I'm done - great post MD.

moosk

though not yet a parent, i think regularly about where and how i want to raise my kid(s). i love nyc, and i think it's an amazing place to live, but i often wonder if manhattan is the best place to raise well-adjusted kids.

i started drafting a post speaking to the hazards of living in an isolated enclave of the extremely wealthy, but had to think twice before posting it. i'm often struck by the variety of kids i meet here. yes, there are far too many of the parishiton-esque, fashion-flakes, but there are also some extremely intelligent, culturally savvy, socially astute kids who only could have grown up in nyc. i think raising your child to be the latter and not the former will prove more difficult in this (ridiculously) materialistic environment, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. i look to the academics i surround myself with, and many live on comfortable, but still limited incomes. instead of treating their kids to the widest variety of things, they try to treat their kids to the widest variety of experiences.

Stewie

Is it me or do some of you fucktards not see that spending $10 million on a child's party is ri-fucking-di-culous? I'm no anit-consumerist and if I could afford a $900 bugaboo stroller, I'd buy one in every color. But crimey, folks. That's a helluva far cry from shelling out $10 million on a party? Ain't it? Damn, I need to make more money.

MIM

WHAT?!? You're not supposed to have anal sex in front of the kids? Shit. Now you tell me.

Anyway, I agree with you, Metro, wholeheartedly. Kids today (can you believe I just wrote that?) are prone to feeling entitled. Hell, even businesses are complaining that their recent graduate new hires are HORRIBLE employees because they don't think they have to work for anything.

And, personally, for me, even if I had that kind of money . . . I mean people ARE starving in the world. I would just feel so . . . dirty.

BIYF

You're absolutely, positively correct: matches are the best way to light a $100 bill wedged in your whore's crack. Lighters just take all the fun out of it.

Girl's Gone Child

I am banking on the following:

Elizabeth will "rebel" against her parents by running off with a street musician to live on a commune. That is what happens. Just give her a few years.

Cori

I will admit to watching some of these shows (Super Sweet 16 and Laguna Beach, in particular) simply because they are trainwrecks. I cannot believe that anything could be more over the top and then they top it! It's sick...really.

Phil

Some parents just don't know how to say "NO!" to their kids.

And I think God should've come down and said "NO, HELL NO!" to Mr. Brooks.

Karen

Metrodad, according to the New York Times, you live in the wealthiest zip code in America (i.e. Tribeca). According to one of your posts, you have four iPods. You also go on expensive trips to the French Riviera and Colorado. You also mentioned a meeting of your condo board. Condos in Tribeca are well over a million dollars. What are you complaining about?

If you want to set a good example for your children, why not sell your place and move somewhere less expensive and modest and where the public schools are good such as Bayside or Little Neck, Queens? And the commute is easy.

I work in your neighborhood (as a teacher and counselor), and I've seen many of the kids who live there. Their parents get them the best of everything (such as a $600 baby carriage). And it's not because they want to buy high-quality goods. It's only because everyone else does.

Ann Adams

Hi bacon lover. You're featured on Blogging Baby.

I don't think for one minute this person is doing it for his daughter. It's "Hey, look at me". It isn't exclusively Jewish either and I know you didn't mean to imply that.

We can't pass a law against it and I think most sane parents recognize it for what it is.

My kids and now the great-grandkids have always known what we can and can't afford. They also know that even some things we could afford will not appear in our home.

I teach them that, as corny as it sounds, money can't buy love and "things" are no guarantee of happiness.

So far, so good. Of course, mine are approaching teenage. I hope what I've tried to teach will stay with them when they're old enough to make their own decisions.

Even kids who rebel as teens usually remember early teaching by the time they're parents themselves.

We just need to hang in there.

amy

I am a parent, and I don't at all feel an urge to give my kids "the sun and the moon". Of course I want them to be comfortable--but that means hand-me downs and old navy and target, not tommy hilfiger. Now, my kids are small, I imagine when they are older it will be much more difficult to deny them expensive things. But I'm all for the "you work after school and I'll match whatever you save" thing.

Spending that kind of money on a 13 year old's party is beyond ridiculous. Then again, I think bugaboo strollers are beyond ridiculous, too.

the weirdgirl

I agree with you too, MD. I have no problem with people spending their money (I'm pretty much a capitalist, despite my hippie parents), but I think it's just morally responsible to teach kids the value of money; what it means to earn your money, instead of it being handed to you. That's a personal parenting goal I take very seriously (even though I am planning to be rich someday... or maybe especially so). I plan to have assigned chores my kids will have to complete before they get an allowance, or goals (i.e. school, work, community activities) they have to reach if they want a car... even if we have enough money that we could just give it to them. I want my kids to know they've earned their stuff (or at least some of it.)

I wasn't raised with a lot of money, and sometimes I think that's easier for teaching kids to work hard. I had to scrap for most of my stuff - clothes, car, college. But, as another parent buying into the American dream, I don't WANT to have to raise my kids feeling any sort of lack. So I'm just going to try extra hard that they don't take money for granted.

Jacqueline

I agree completely, and I'm happy that someone else finally understands!

Chris

That's scary...and kinda plays into a post I wrote last week. These things, while not inherently wrong, feed into that expectation, that entitlement, we seem to have. Unfortunately, in Manhattan you really have examples like those shoved down your throat. Of course here in kickback-laden Washington, our government tends to set precisely the wrong example too.

kara

10 million bucks on a kids party? dumb.
fiddy and kenny g headlining at the same party? that has to be a sign of the apocalypse.

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