The Pampered Child – Formerly Known As "Spoild Rotten Little Brat"

Children today are without question a privileged lot. They have access to more services, more products, more activities and more attention from the adults in their life than we ever did.  Society has unwittingly or perhaps wittingly created a world where the wants of our children supersede all else. The scary thing is that if you (as a parent) don’t deliver, it is seen as tantamount to child abuse. Modern media has created a perception that having a pampered child, is an absolute must. Anything less and you are negligent.

The media, along with child product and service industry, happily fuel this Child – Centric parenting philosophy because it means some serious money. The “What’s In It For Me” generation accounts for a huge portion of North America’s GDP

One only needs to look at the numbers to see that there is allot at stake when it comes to Pampered Children.

Global Issues .Org Has produced some great information on Children as consumers and if you are interested in more information just go the link but I have included the most impressive information for a quick peek.

According to Global Issues.Org, January 8, 2008

  1. Children are a captive audience: The average American child watches an estimate between 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In the UK, it is about 10,000
  2. $15-17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the US
  3. The marketing seems to be worth it. For example,

 

  • ·Teens in the US spend around $160 billion a year
  • ·Children (up to 11) spend around $18 billion a year
  • ·Tweens (8-12 year olds) heavily influence more than $30 billion in other spending by parents, and 80 percent of all global brands now deploy a tween strategy.
  • ·Children (under 12) and teens influence parental purchases totalling over $130-670 billion a year.

One’s knee jerk reaction to this information is to simply say how awful it is that Big business and media are taking advantage of our children but the real problem is that parents are blindly buying into the “Must Have” message that is being trumpeted to our children.

As an educator of at risk children in a very affluent community, I see what this sort of overindulgence does to a child and family. It is startling what an inability to say “NO” to your child can develop into, yet we as a society seem to think that placating to our children’s wants is the way it is suppose to be. It is ludicrous to believe that we can raise functional adults when we never make our children work toward anything, be accountable to something or heaven forbid, not get their way. The notion that: “My child must have”, “My child has the right to”, “My child must not be disappointed.” is grievously flawed.

So how do we avoid the pitfalls of overindulging our children whether it be with toys, our time or even excessive freedom to choose?

There is a book written by Dr. Maggie Mamen, published in 2006 called The Pampered Child Syndrome. In my opinion, it should be standard reading for all parents prior to conception or at least before they can leave the hospital with their child. It is a combination of common sense parenting and a sobering examples of what can happen if you spoil your child rotten. As a professional who deals with this type of child on a daily basis, I cannot agree more with every word Dr. Mamen has written.

If you are a parent to be, in the midst of the toddler years or well into the child rearing, this book is a must read. Get it today and save yourself from years of torment and emotional agony of having a pampered child.

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