LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults

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People seem shocked that an 18-year-old is suing her parents because she does not want to abide by curfews, do household chores or follow other norms of teenage behavior (“High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge,” Web, March 5).

After watching several recent TV advertisements featuring children, I am not surprised that today’s youth grow up with a false sense of wisdom and a self-righteous sense of entitlement.

One ad features the “Wisest Kid” recommending a certain brand of canned soup. We are asking elementary-school children to educate us on food choices? Thanks, but I know more than a 10-year-old about good nutrition and I am willing to make menu decisions I know are right even if my kids do not like them.

In a cereal ad, a father uses the cereal to explain to his daughter that she’s going to have a baby brother. The daughter responds by including a puppy in the “deal” to assuage her resentment about no longer being the center of the family’s universe. Are we are telling our children that new babies are bargaining chips to be used to gain additional goodies?

A third commercial is the ultimate affront to good parenting, in my view. It’s an SUV commercial depicting a mother taking a baby sitter home after an evening out.

As the middle-school girl looks around inside the “luxury” car, she decides to gouge her employer by demanding $60 for babysitting rather than $40, which is obviously the standard payment.

Who raised this monster kid? What kind of message does this send to children? Are we saying it’s OK to take advantage of people if we think they can afford it?

Now switch to the real world. An 18-year-old is suing her parents for $650 a week plus her college tuition because they will not acquiesce to her demands.

Apparently, because she does not want to follow her parents’ rules, she leaves home and lives with a “friend” whose father happens to be a lawyer who agrees to represent her. Really?

After watching these commercials and learning of this case, a theme emerges. Can’t you see this 18-year-old woman’s parents asking her what she wants to eat?

Can’t you imagine her, as a child, making a puppy deal with Daddy in exchange for a new baby brother? Finally, can’t you see her as a baby sitter gouging her employers for $60 because she assumes they can afford it? I can.

Wake up, people. Until parents commit to be parents and not “BFFs” from Day One, this will be the scenario: The “Wisest Kid” will grow up to be the 18-year-old suing her parents.


Haymarket, Va.

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