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Welcome To The World Of Entitled Kids

Once we become parents and our kids begin to sound like us, we realize what spoiled, little snots we were growing up. But there’s a special demeanor nowadays that’s present in an awful lot of people I encounter on a daily basis and it annoys the hell out of me. This concept of being “entitled” to behaviors, goods, etc. just because you happen to inhibit this earth.

I met the Patron Saint of Entitlement about 4 years ago. A little girl from one of the more affluent sections of town came over for a playdate. Eying our small house, her nose went up in the air even before she entered. She walked in cautiously, turned around, and asked, “Who’s your maid? She should be fired!” Flabbergasted, I turned to the princess and replied, “I’M the maid!” As my daughter gave her a tour of the house, the child continued to look around as if the place was a port-a-potty. In the kitchen, the kid brazenly opened our refrigerator, perused it and announced, “I don’t like what you have in here. Got anything else?” It took every ounce of strength not to choke the bitch right then and there. Sadly, this sense of Entitlement is rampant among many children I’ve encountered, all from upscale neighborhoods.

It’s an “we’re above the rules” perspective that, of course, starts with the adults. In this suburb and other areas as well, many wealthy families have full-time nannies, even though the moms stay home full-time with the kids and the children are in school for 7-hours a day. Their children wear designer clothes which are discarded, like tissues, six months later when the kids outgrow them. The mothers triple-park at school pick-up because they seem to think they’re allowed to break the law, disregarding the fact that they’re blocking residents’ driveways while inconveniencing and even endangering others.  They discuss face-lifts and (in hushed tones) boob jobs.  And, unfortunately, these individuals wield power in the schools; I’ve heard from teachers that principals are hesitant to discipline the children of the affluent because of who their parents are (lawyers, doctors, etc.). These adults are the “privileged” and their children bask in their “superior” status.

Those of us in the middle-class recognize our tribe by our garb: yoga pants, non-name-brand shoes, discount purses. We drive Hondas, Hyundais, and Toyotas, rather than the BMWs and Mercedes the elite chauffeur their kids in. We shop at Target and Sears, forgoing the inflated prices of the boutique stores that take up so much space in town and where the wealthy let their children go wild with credit cards. My middle-class homies have neither the time nor tolerance for elitism bullshit. Many of us have jobs, not for something to do, but because we need the second income to stay in this town. So why do we live here among the “entitled”? Because the schools here are incredible, there are lots of programs for kids, there’s plenty of green space, and our town is near the public transportation essential for our spouses to commute to the City.

Obviously, it’s not the Patron Saint’s fault that she’s rude. I corrected this girl several times during the playdate (“Honey, we use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’”). When a kid is over my house, I treat them like my child and have no qualms about correcting their behavior. There are house rules which must be obeyed. Children who don’t are not invited back, no matter how much my own brood plead. I had a little chat with the girl’s mom when she was picked up. The response? “She always acts like that.” No apology. Just an acceptance of the kid’s behavior. Honestly, of all the children who have come over, and whether it’s my teenage son’s crowd or my daughter’s peers, it’s consistently the ones from wealthier families who are brats on playdates and behave wildly at parties without a spec of remorse.

Do I envy the rich? Sure, but there’s enormous value in teaching kids to work hard for what they want and need. My kids, who are not perfect by any means, are expected to appreciate what they have. And they know that being polite and respectful is ALWAYS correct.  You’d think with all that money, some of these tony parents could teach their kids some damn manners!

My husband swears there’s no sense of “entitlement” in our town.  But he’s not here, except on nights and weekends. Yes, every generation complains about the overindulged previous generations.  But this latest group of wealthy parents and their progeny are the extreme!  Are these kids “entitled”? According to their parents, they are. And that does not bode well for the future.

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