I came across a post written by a connection of mine on LinkedIn and it caused me to think all day. The title of her post is “Rich Kids… Air-Heads.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rich-kids-air-heads-eman-deabil . Maybe the purpose of her title was to cause people to wonder about her point of view, it sure got me to wonder.
To sum up her post, she talked about how we (I’m guessing Generation X) have a better understanding of the value of money and how entertainment for us was limited to three TV channels, the “Famous Family Game,” and a DOS computer. She talked about how kids today are too preoccupied with material matters and gave some examples of some who are, in her point of view, taking matters to the extreme.
I also have a point of view towards this topic:
1- Not everyone born with a “golden spoon” in his mouth have to turn out to be a brat. Many highly respected people in society have had the privilege of growing up in fairly rich families. Does that mean we have to mark them all as useless? Many start working in their family businesses during their summer vacations because they must be educated on every single matter before even graduating high school. Family dinners turn to business meetings and the second generation are used to hearing work and business related issues: it’a a part of their childhood. Some parents are so strict they seek perfection from their “golden” children. First world problems? Maybe.
2- Understanding the value of money doesn’t necessarily come from parents needing to save, it comes from parents teaching their children the value of money. Knowing the difference between necessities and luxuries travels well into all families regardless of their Status Quo.
3- I understand that your indication of “rich” isn’t in regards to money in the pockets, but in the amount of leisure today’s kids have. Well, in our days, our parents thought we were spoiled too. Just because there are different methodsof leisure doesn’t mean there aren’t some who are really working hard to achieve their goals and dreams. Kids know what they want and you may be surprised when you talk to a teenager who can easily tell you his life’s plan. Kids today are mature thinkers because of their exposure to matters of the world, while we, on the other hand, had no idea what was going on unless we watched the news. Today’s kids are using different methods to communicate and a single tweet regarding an important world issue can go viral between them. A great example is the Ice Bucket challenge, all we got to do was be a part of the MUN and have a quick beach cleanup once a year. You generalized in your post saying “By looking at some (if not most) new kids” and continued to talk about their leisure time, it isn’t a fair generalization.
4- In regards to your first example of the nine year old girl who negotiated her school attendance to get herself an IPad, PS4, laptop, mobile, DVD player, and makeup, I say bravo to her. She knew how to manipulate her parents. Now, is that a bad thing or a great skill she acquired at a young age. Plus, who are the parents in this equation? I am sure that if they chose to deal with the situation differently they could have.
5- “One of my relatives who’s in a private school is feeling embarrassed when his mom picks him up in xxx car, while all his friends’ parents are having luxurious cars! Now he is asking for a driver to do the protocols of opening the door & so!” Firstly, let’s not forget those private school kids who take the bus to and from school. Plus, when parents choose to enroll their children in private schools they are placing them in that social circle of their choice. They understand that their kids will be around other kids. Peer pressure of all sorts will be a part of every child’s nightmare, it’s just a different kind of pressure given the time and place. I don’t blame the kid, they took him to a private school and there are certain unwritten rules, exactly like the social rules in our daily adult life. Some grown adults are still being pressured into doing things they are not 100% certain of; what kind of maturity do you expect this student to have? Now how the parents deal with this is definitely not an easy task and it needed to be addressed before choosing the school.
6- Why are you astonished at the fact that kids know brands? When we were kids we had things that were “in fashion”, celebrities who were looked up to, and brands. Ranking is a fact of life, everyone will want to see where he stands in comparison to others. The only difference is the criteria that is used. Now who should we blame? No-one. This is their point of view, let it be.
7- You know something, there are adults today who are senseless, selfish, greedy, arrogant, who always ask for more and more, and don’t think of the consequences of their requests. It’s not limited to the new generation.
To conclude, just because kids these days have a different set of values, means of communication, toys and brands, it doesn’t mean they are wrong. Being materialistic in a materialistic world is smart, it’s the people who choose not to see the facts of life who suffer rejection. High school is a great example of the world: there are the popular kids, the bullies, the nerds, the bitter, the religious, the athletics, you name it. They are trying to figure out where they stand in life, trying to understand themselves, and trying to cope with the drama of being teenagers. Give them a break and cut them some slack, they need all the support they can get.