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Are we raising a generation of spoilt, entitled narcissistic children?!

(107 Posts)
Middleriddle Sat 11-Jul-15 08:03:42

Following on from the school reports on Facebook post, I have grave concerns about this future generation of children currently being raised in a world of social media and with an amazing sense of entitlement (materially and emotionally and socially).

Will they expect to have and do everything with minimal effort because everything has been provided for them? Parents meeting their every need and buying anything they want. iPhones by age 10 etc. Constant selfies and too much self-absorption will make them selfish and narcissistic. Has there been any research yet on this?

I am really concerned for the future. I am a parent of 2 small children and as yet as they are so small, we are still in a bubble. How do I protect them but not make them too different and out of sync with their friends?

ltk Sat 11-Jul-15 08:06:16

Just wait until they try to pay for uni or buy a house. That'll sort 'em.

tumbletumble Sat 11-Jul-15 08:07:01

My DC are 5, 7 and 9. Maybe I'm still in the bubble you describe, but mine are not spoilt and I definitely don't buy them everything they want!

LazyLouLou Sat 11-Jul-15 08:09:10

I fluctuate between seeing it as a lazy, entitled way to live, lacking in responsibility and self awareness. A life of things, expensive things, without expectation of paying for them, bank of mum and dad, etc.

But then I see the positive side, the utter connectedness they have with friends and the possibilities that raises for business and life. The negativities would include not being able to leave a job at work, it follows you home. The positives that people can gain very specific and tailored information, products and services, if we can iron out the cold calling horror!

But, being the age I am, I will probably always have that niggle at the back of my mind... Youth of today, pah! Don't know they are born as my dear old Nana used to say smile

ollieplimsoles Sat 11-Jul-15 08:09:58

I agree with you op, I know my dh does too because he mentions this quite a bit in relation to raising our own children.

I don't know what the future brings for the younger generation but I do worry. I worry 'want it now l, get it now' attitude that I seem to see alot in the older kids and teenagers i know, and their parents pander to it.

CambridgeBlue Sat 11-Jul-15 08:13:28

As the parent of a just hit 13 year old I do worry about this. We've tried very hard not to go down the road of expensive gadgets but it's very difficult when so many other kids have them and you're always seen as the mean parent. I can't bear the selfie thing either, or the fact that DD appears to judge her worth by how many likes she gets on a photo she's posted with a ridiculous expression and too much make-up.

I hope we're just despairing of their generation as our parents did about ours and that it will all be fine but I cant help but find it depressing at best and really worrying at worst.

Shannaratiger Sat 11-Jul-15 08:13:37

I have a DD(11) and Ds(8). I wish that I had started to get them to do chores earlier eg. putting their own dirty clothes in the wash basket, clean clothes away etc in exchange for earning computer time. Would have taught them that things don't happen by magic and that if u want something you have to earn it. I know my DD has Autism and dyspraxia and Ds has ODD but do regret not teaching them better earler.

RainbowFlutterby Sat 11-Jul-15 08:13:50

My nan used to worry about my generation in the same way (I'm in my 40s). I think we turned out mainly OK.

Hassled Sat 11-Jul-15 08:16:33

I think every generation feels that life is easier for the one after them. Yes, my DCs have all the material stuff they want and have never been properly hungry, but they have their own set of challenges - the fact that while I got a student grant, they'll get a massive loan is just one of them.

Teabagbeforemilk Sat 11-Jul-15 08:18:00

I don't think it's any worse than than it was when I grew up. Me and my friends bought those disposable cameras and carried them everywhere as teens. I had sky tv back in the 80s, the new computer consoles etc.

Some parents where known as the braggy parents and everyone avoided them lest we be regaled about how many bedrooms they had, the fact that they had 2 cars (a rarity) when I was young, holidays to Florida, how fantastic their kids were, how great their reports were, what trophies they had bought won.

It's simply that now thy do it on Facebook. I had new gadgets and was the first to have a brick of a mobile phone in my group. I am not entitled or grabby or over confident. I have always worked from being 16 only having maternity leave off and now own my own company.

I have hundreds of selfies with my school friends, except we just called the photos

WaitingForFrostyMornings Sat 11-Jul-15 08:18:27

My children don't have i-phones or any mobile phone. We have 1 laptop in the house which we have a rota for. If my children want something (toys,games,expensive crap) then they either have to wait until birthdays/Christmas or put their hands in their pockets and pay up.

I am determined that they understand they can't have everything they want in life and that sometimes they just have to go without.

In school there's the usual 2 or 3 children who appear to have everything at the drop of a hat but there's also a good proportion of children that do not have everything too.

I think eventually those who have had everything provided for them will fall flat on their faces when in the 'real world'. It will be a difficult lesson for them to learn but in turn their children may then learn the value of things.

YeOldTrout Sat 11-Jul-15 08:18:34

Raise your kids to sleep on yak hair mattresses in a yurt without flush toilet, OP, that'll show 'em.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 11-Jul-15 08:19:13

Every generation has moved on from the previous one. My parents in the 70s thought we'd never get it together in the real world as we had so much comforts compared to them but we grew up and managed well. Kids nowadays have their own challenges which will prepare them for the life they are entering. While it's good to think about it l wouldn't waste much precious time and energy worrying about it in any way as every generation has their own specific life lessons to learn. People in my youth were spoilt and entitled too except in a different way as we had no gadgets. The constant praise is a bit annoying but surely no worse than the constant criticism we got in case we got swelled heads!

Idontseeanydragons Sat 11-Jul-15 08:19:41

I do see what you mean and I believe that there are children who are being raised in the way you describe.
However this is a complaint that goes back generations and our own kids will probably be having the same moan in 30 years time grin
Not long after I first found MN there was a similar thread and someone posted up historical complaints going back hundreds of years about 'the youth of today' and how lazy and spoiled they were. It was always the way I suppose!
So YANBU. The next generation won't be U either smile

HagOtheNorth Sat 11-Jul-15 08:20:20

Some people are, some people aren't. Just as it has always been for centuries and millennia.

Middleriddle Sat 11-Jul-15 08:20:57

Some good points here. I guess every generation has a different set of challenges from the one before. It is about steering them down a middle path surely? Use social media appropriately but try not to rely on it especially for self worth...that should hopefully come from elsewhere- studying, being part of a club, playing a sport for instance.

BertPuttocks Sat 11-Jul-15 08:22:33

I agree with Hassled.

The next generation may have greater access to goods and technology but they will also have less than we did as adults. Most of us could afford housing (whether bought or rented), could go to university for free, could find jobs if we were capable of working, and food banks were almost unheard of.

Most of my peer group had part-time jobs when we were 16-18yrs old, and so we could earn our own money. Many of those jobs have now gone to people who need them to survive rather than to earn pocket money.

fuzzpig Sat 11-Jul-15 08:23:07

I agree that each generation feels the next has it easier.

I do think it's different now though. The internet, social media etc, it's changed everything. But I can't describe why it feel that way confused blush - it just feels... different.

Teabagbeforemilk Sat 11-Jul-15 08:23:20

Oh and my kids do the same jobs at home I used to. Dd (11) does more than ds as he is only 4. But both help out around the house. And yes dd has an iphone. Still does the washing up and spends time with us.

It's not about havin a mobile phone. It's about how that mobile, computer, tablet is used and not letting it take over.

Lucy61 Sat 11-Jul-15 08:24:49

Children being bought everything they desire might not be the norm in this country. Lots of people can't afford to buy all these gadgets. Child poverty is actually on the up.

Middleriddle Sat 11-Jul-15 08:26:54

YeOldTrout where can I source a reasonable quality yak hair mattress please? wink

SanityClause Sat 11-Jul-15 08:28:55

I am the mother of two teens and one pre-teen. They, and their friends are lovely, polite hardworking people.

Yes, DD1 takes a lot of selfies, but she also argues social and feminist issues very eloquently on social media (as does her boyfriend!). The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Being a parent is tricky, and it's important to guide your DC through the obstacles of growing up. You need to be constant, but flexible; firm, but fair. You also need to question some of your beliefs and attitudes. (e.g. Is lying always wrong? Do you never lie?)

There's a fairly well known quotation about the two most important things you can give to a child being roots and wings. That is my manta as a parent.

Also, as much as we want to berate the "youth of today", remember that to them, when they are adults, a lot of how we are will seem utterly barbaric! (Consider how we feel about sexism and racism, from the 70s.)

Heck5897 Sat 11-Jul-15 08:29:41

Not all kids go down the iphone, selfie, snapchat route.

DS has an old fashioned Nokia and we have both agreed he can have an iphone when he can pay for it. Could be a few years as he's only 13

He also has chores to earn pocket money, nice friends who are very similar to him and enjoys books

BeaufortBelle Sat 11-Jul-15 08:29:43

I am the 55 year old daughter of a narcissist. Being a narcissist has nothing to do with having a lot of things or many privileges. I had as much as my mother - yet I am not a narcissist because I do not have what is now a recognised personality disorder.

Interestingly, although I had everything as a child, including a pony, I am not entitled and have worked very very hard all my life, have a very good income and yet am not materialistic and have never felt envious of anyone. My SILs who didn't have everything are both rather entitled and bitter and neither of them much likes work.

My children have high expectations in the context of material comfort and things that please them. They also can rationalise decisions and accept "no". My son has worked very hard in his first year at uni' and is a bit disappointed that he has just missed out on a first for his first year - not that it matters. He wants to join a gym for the summer and I have told him to present me with the options, written up in business plan form, to back up his choice. It's not an issue for me to pay for it but I'm not letting him have it just for asking.

No, I don't think your argument stands. I think entitlement, being spoilt, and being a narcissist arise from within rather than from external experiences and privilege.

chickenfuckingpox Sat 11-Jul-15 08:32:32

mine is a narcissist he has been told by nanny to play up for me so they can have him living with them he has been promised hide and seek and computer games forever plus sausage rolls for tea and chocolate cake he is currently in time out on the stairs moaning he doesn't know what he has done wrong

im at a loss

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