Tag Archives: teaching modesty

Why Are There So Many Clueless Parents In The World And Why Am I In The Minority?

So…..Disney nut that I am, I follow quite a few Disney fan sites on Facebook. And as we blog, this very moment, there is a great debate going on about the appropriateness of revealing a surprise trip to Disney for her daughter’s birthday.

The Facts:

  1. Her daughter wanted a slumber party to celebrate her birthday. (No age was given, but slumber party age….I’m thinking between 10-13)
  2. Her parents are giving her a trip to Disney to be taken later in the year.
  3. They want to stage a scavenger hunt to be done at the party with prizes for everyone but her daughter will receive the trip to Disney as HER prize.
  4. A friend of the mom felt it was “cruel” to give this gift in front of the other children.
  5. The mom is now conflicted but feels a trip to Disney is no different than her child opening up any other gift at the party.
  6. Mom is asking opinions so she can decide when to give her daughter their Disney gift.

My Thoughts:

  1. A slumber party is a great way to celebrate a birthday.
  2. A trip to Disney is a fantastic birthday gift.
  3. A scavenger hunt is a fun way to keep the kids occupied. Gifts at the end? Wonderful. But for her daughter to receive such an extravagant gift in comparison to the other children? Ridiculous.
  4. You go, friend!
  5. Mom, if you’re conflicted than maybe you should re-think this plan. How in the world do you compare a trip to Disney World and an American Girl Crafts Pencil Toppers Sewing Kit? Seriously?
  6. The fact that you’re conflicted means,  in your gut, you know this is wrong. Stop asking strangers for parenting advice.

I realize everyone doesn’t behave exactly as I would like. I realize it takes all kinds to create this crazy world in which we live. But I’d like to think that the majority of us out there have a decent, kind and compassionate playbook that we follow in order to conduct our day to day living.

It seems I am wrong.

I am in the minority with my response…..

“Just my two cents, although it looks like the decision has been made.. I don’t think opening gifts in front of the guests is an issue if the gifts are in line with what the other guests brought. I think it gets a little muddled when extravagant gifts are paraded in front of the guests. And that’s what a trip to Disney (or a car for a 16th birthday) would be like for some. We have our kids open gifts from their guests in front of the guests. But gifts from family, which tend to be more expensive, are opened privately, with family.”

I had to throw in the “or a car for a 16th birthday” because so many of the responses asked, “How different is it to give your child a car for graduation or a 16th birthday?”

Really?

  1. You would really parade a hugely expensive gift, like a car, in front of your child’s peers? Who are you? And why is YOUR self-worth wrapped up in what you buy your child?  And……
  2. Parents actually buy their kids cars for birthdays? (My kids are in for a rude awakening!) What ever happened to earning the privilege and showing some financial responsibility?

I was, very clearly, in the minority. Most of the parents out there (granted, most of them are huge Disney addicts) thought a trip to Disney was a wonderful surprise and should be flaunted in front of her peers.

Disgusting.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not jealous that this parent is able to give her child a trip to Disney or a car for her graduation. I am able to give my children multiple trips to Disney (and I do) and cars for their birthdays AND graduation (which I don’t. Sorry, kids).

A collage of selfies taken on multiple trips to Walt Disney World.

A collage of selfies taken on multiple trips to Walt Disney World.

 

A collage of cars I will not be buying my children for the 16th birthday or graduation. (Sorry, kids!)

A collage of cars I will not be buying my children for the 16th birthday or graduation. (Sorry, kids!)

The money and the haves vs. the have nots is not the issue.

The issue is the grand-standing.

And no one saw this but me and a handful of others who were willing to speak out.

The majority said, “Go for it!” and “Everyone is so friggin’ offended over EVERYTHING that happens these days!”  and (said more forcefully) ” I’D GIVE HER THE GIFT AS PLANNED. IF THEY DONT LIKE IT TOUGH!!!”

Really? If they don’t like it, tough?

I’m not a socialist. I don’t believe everyone should get an equal share of every pie. I realize that my kids see some of their friends getting cars and trips for presents while others get video games and baseball mitts and books.

Don’t worry.

I get that.

What I don’t get is this need to flaunt expensive gifts in front of others who might have parents without the means to shower them with the same type of gift. Or, forget the means, maybe their parents believe their child should work for something of value instead of being handed expensive items.

And we wonder where this sense of entitlement is coming from with kids these days.

There are other comments along the lines of: We should be teaching our children to be happy for other’s successes in life, not be jealous of what they have.

And I agree with THAT, too. But successes in life should include best time in the swim meet, great grade on the test, graduating from school, promotion at work. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be happy that she’s going to Disney World. Yay! Go her! I’m saying that…….well, it doesn’t matter what I say. No one’s reading this far and quite a few disagree with  me.

In the time it took me to craft this post the original poster has read all the recommendations and come to this conclusion:

“Many feel that if even one person may have their feelings hurt, or be offended, than it is too high a price to pay and should not be done, yet there are others who think learning what I call life lessons early on is the best way to go about it and I fall into the last catagory. We’re going ahead, as planned!”

Life lessons? Really?

What life lesson is that?

That there are people in the world who don’t give a rat’s ass about modesty, humility and kindness? That there are people in this world that love to gloat and crow and boast? That some parents are just a bundle of insecurity and need to showboat in order to prove to the world how much they “love” their daughter with the expensive gifts they give?

Is that the lesson?

Then you go right ahead.

Lesson away.

 

 

 

 

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