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Do you think our kids are too spoiled and catered to?

After the recent school shooting, I have to wonder how Adam Lanza was brought up. Was he sheltered, catered to, completely spoiled? Did his parents ever tell him "No?" what did he do for a living? He was a man, so to speak, did he have a job? What did he do in his spare time?
At his age, I had a full time job, lived on my own, made my own car and rent payments, and everything else in between. I think we are all afraid to make our kids work and take responsibility for what they have and who they are. Somehow, we think we are being better parents if it's handed to them. If kids did more, they would get into less trouble. There are jobs out there for people who want to work..I delivered pizzas after working 40 hours as a teller. I then took on a job at a factory on the weekends. You do what you gotta do, and if you want things, this is how you get them.
Now that I have kids, I would NEVER buy them a car, cell phone, or anything else they should be paying for themselves. How are they going to learn to be responsible when we continue to enable them? What is their future? Are we really doing them any favors?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:38 AM on Jan. 4, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • Kids got spanked at school.... they also got spanked by us when they got home. They knew how to behave and they knew what respect was...

    Carry on....

    I could go on forever.

    Answer by m-avi at 11:29 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • i think not giving children space to make mistakes and learn from them and a lack of responsibility can produce young adults that feel entitled, but in no way do i think this translates to snapping and going on a killing spree.

    i agree with girlwithC ....."I think such actions are a result of rage & pain"

    spoiling without responsibility can lead to entitled attitude but not mental illness


    Answer by fiatpax at 9:54 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • Do I think a school shooting like that is the result of being spoiled & catered to? No. I think such actions are a result of rage & pain.

    I do think pain (and ultimately, rage) can be a result of being spoiled & catered to (i.e., not getting what you need, and not being well/accurately understood) but that specific outcome from that kind of upbringing (misplaced efforts to love) strikes me as a stretch.

    I don't think you can meaningfully compare situations of being "on your own" versus "supported by parents" as automatic either/or situations, as if one is automatically positive & one negative. I don't believe a parent's financial support automatically translates to unhealthy "enabling" (or disenabling) that blocks "the motivating influence of reality," though of course it can.

    I had a very different experience than you, at age 20. I was in college. I had earned a large scholarship (audition) but I was far from "on my own."

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:14 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • YOUR kids perhaps, but I actually tell my children NO and instill manners and rules in my Children's lives. Since you had no part in the making or raising of my children that hardly makes them "ours"
    Now whether this means Adam Lanza was spoiled and catered to, I don't know. I doubt it. More likely he had some more serious mental health issues going on that went unaddressed. I would say ask his mother, but well he shot her too, in the face, because she stood in his way.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 9:44 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • maybe some are, but thats not just their fault. if your child is a brat, then you taught them to be a brat, whither ppl want to admit it or not. kids dont just magically turn out spoiled, they are brought up to be that way. im so sick of ppl thinking that kids are SO entitled today & act surprised, when they are most likely the ones who raised them to think that way.

    if you raise your kids to respect what they have, to realize that they could have nothing, & dont shelter them from the reality of the rest of the world, they most likely will grow up to appreciate what they do have. i was lucky enough to have my parents pay for my college, yet i had to work for any money outside of tuition & i appreciate that now. they bought me a used car, but i paid the insurance & gas. they helped me AND expected me to do something for myself...its not an all or nothing thing.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:49 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • and we all think selfishly at times, we've just learned to keep it quiet cause its not gonna fix our problems. theres a difference between asking something silly or selfish in hopes that parents will do it and shooting up an elementary school.

    the CT murderer was not a "normal" man...he wouldnt have been hidden away from the world, rarely ever talked about in detail by his mom, if he was able to hold down a steady job like a "normal" 20 year old.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:53 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I think that he wasn't a "normal" person to begin with and no matter what would have acted out in one way or another.

    I think we can spoil our kids and they never go out and hurt anyone. They may expect everything to be given but not kill people. I do think that it is a good idea to have our kids earn part of what they give while at the same time help them out. I had one daughter that saved her money and bought a used car. It then turned around a a few weeks later blew a tire. I helped her out by buying a couple of new tires. It's a combination that works to help turn out good kids. They need to know that they have to work to make it but that mom and dad are there to help them get up if they fall down. Not to stay there as a prop their entire life.

    Answer by baconbits at 10:12 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I think the underlying problem of children not getting what they need & not getting accurate understanding (i.e., attuned responsiveness) is a serious one, and that it underlies all kinds of issues we can see today. (Including physical health issues and mental health issues.) And I do think misplaced or misguided efforts to love (resulting in the kind of spoiling you mention) have real & significant negative consequences. This is because of the underlying issue of unmet needs, and the pain generated.

    I am not sure that making sure not to give children things they can or "should" pay for, in itself, really addresses the underlying problem, or avoids the problem. Just as I don't believe giving children those sorts of things indicates the existence of a problem.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:25 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I think spoiling & catering is bad but, it's not what causes mass shootings. An ex friend of mine, has a horrible bratty daughter. Now at 18, she's an un-wed single mother and, I know that my ex friend will end up having to raise her son. The DD was never given any consequences for her actions, allowed to drink & smoke pot, allowed to have a boy friend live there, was given the master bedroom b/c she needed more closet space, at 16 threw a fit on Christmas Eve & kicked her father's car several times and, still got all her Christmas presents & only had her phone taken away for 2 days. Yeah, she's a gem. But, I know she'd never shot up a school. She's a snotty entitled brat but, not a mass murder.

    Answer by 3libras at 11:03 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • Kids can be spoiled & still be taught responsibility. Fact of the matter is a lot of kids are being paid off because the parents either aren't around much due to working or they're just shit parents, who would rather give them a toy then spend time with them.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 8:52 AM on Jan. 4, 2013