There’s a danger in going too far with the whole ‘kids these days’ thing. Each successive generation is pretty sure the next one is headed to hell in a hand basket. Your great-great grandparents were convinced that your great grandparents were running full tilt off the cliff of immorality and dissipation – so let’s have some perspective.
There are trends and practices in parenting that repeat themselves over and over again and ‘spoiling’ children is one of them. I have watched hundreds of boys grow up, head off into the world, become men and do well. Those that have had the advantage of Scouting do are better prepared to stand on their own two feet and contribute to the community.
It’s kind of difficult to be a Scout and be a spoiled kid at the same time. Active, engaged Scouts have to do things for themselves and others as a matter of course.
Here’s part of Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent article in the New Yorker magazine:
With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world.
It’s not just that they’ve been given unprecedented amounts of stuff—clothes, toys, cameras, skis, computers, televisions, cell phones, PlayStations, iPods. They’ve also been granted unprecedented authority. “Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval,” Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, both professors of psychology, have written.
In many middle-class families, children have one, two, sometimes three adults at their beck and call. This is a social experiment on a grand scale, and a growing number of adults fear that it isn’t working out so well: according to one poll, commissioned by Time and CNN, two-thirds of American parents think that their children are spoiled.
According to research conducted by sociologists at Boston College, today’s incoming freshmen are less likely to be concerned about the rigors of higher education than “about how they will handle the logistics of everyday life.”