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Dying with the most toys

A commenter posting here reminded me of one of my pet peeves about modern life: the way children are treated like little maharajahs, complete with servants (their parents or caretakers) toting a palatial burden of food, extra clothing, and an entire Toys 'R' Us-worth of games, dolls, and the like everywhere they go. Not to mention the elaborate transportation systems the little tykes get, some of which have so many accouterments that you could use them to fly cargo to the moon.

It didn't used to be that way, and I can't help thinking that it's just another symptom of Western society's growing weakness and decadence. When I was a kid we didn't get to bring our toys or any of our other stuff when our parents took us somewhere. Babies were brought in their carriages or strollers, and the mother might bring an extra bottle and some diapers, but that was it. And toddlers didn't get to have the entire contents of their toy chests lugged everywhere; and if they got restive they were taken outside or to another room until they quieted down, not allowed to transform the entire restaurant floor (or wherever) into a simulacrum of their own bedrooms.

I think the whole thing started with car seats. Car seats area a laudable invention, but as with everything in American life no one was content with making just the car a baby-safe environment, and no one was content with mere safety being the consideration either. Now kids don't have to spend one amusement-free minute in their lives; their every waking moment they are reassured that the entire world exists to indulge them. This can't be good for them or the nation.

Comments (3)

There's also the American attitude that if something is good, there is no upper limit to how much of it is good.

prairiecat [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Sorta not on this topic - except that she was a child once upon a time - the wedding on Saturday was terrific, no bloody drunken brawls, no screaming matches, no hair-pulling, no fainting, no throwing up. A nice time for everyone involved whose opinion matters to me...& the Bride called at 0715 on Sunday morning to find out if I'd brought any of the food home, so when they get back from short little honeymoon they can pig out better than they could at the reception.

Bride and Groom were kind, thoughtful, gracious to everyone. They did NOT act like children whose every waking moment was structured for their pleasure, that's for damn sure!

I was so proud.

"the way children are treated like little maharajahs, complete with servants"

Ah, but think what they have to look forward to! Being servants to their own gaggle of little maharajahs! It's no wonder they all want to grow up and become mature, productive adults!

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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