Spoiled brats of the world, unite

Is your kid a spoiled brat during the holidays? According to a recent survey, a majority of children deserve a nice lump of coal in their stockings instead of a pile of toys under the tree. But according to the comments on a Facebook share of the survey article, this isn’t the normal mommy experience at all.

Ever read something that made you convulse with incredulity, laughter, and fury all at once?

I am not sure the commenters were actual moms. If they were, well, fine. In that case no one needs to worry about the future of humanity, because clearly there is a fabulous generation of perfect, generous-spirited, humble little angels who will come of age in the next decade or two.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

After all, according to you your kid is never a spoiled brat, never experiences the gimme-gimmes, never has expectations. Would much rather give out presents to others and watch their eyes light up. Not to mention actually give up their own presents so a friend can have extras.

Are you for real?

Reality check: it’s not having perfectly saintly offspring that makes you a good parent. It’s how you choose to teach them when they act in a disappointing manner.

They are kids. They are going to act like brats sometimes. A lot of the time. Kids lack the filters we adults use to hide our faults, so their naughtiness is ever-present (except for you perfect families above).

The Maiden is loving and sweet and generous and wants to help kids in need. She’s also five and battles the spoiled streak that clearly must be rare. I showed her a letter from a charity that feeds starving children, and she was deeply moved. “I want to give them ALL my favorite toys!” she announced.

And then she added, “Then I can get all new ones!” and proceeded to make suggestions.

Does she act spoiled? Yes. Holy crap, yes. Am I happy about it? No. Am I trying to change it? Yes. Every day. But we haven’t arrived, and if you’re being entirely honest, you need to admit to this: it’s a constant, constant struggle. And it’s just as much an issue for us moms personally.

Because really, are we that much different than spoiled kids like mine? We all are greedy for perfection, even if it doesn’t translate as the entire Toys R Us catalog (which, by the way, the Maiden went through and circled everything–including the stuff for 5-month-olds).

They want more toys. They’re bummed out if they can’t have it all. We want more time, cleaner houses, kids who never sass back, weight which drops off on an all-Christmas-cookie diet, and our bank account to increase. We would love for a break from illness, chauffeur duty, the carpool line, the electrical bill, family obligations, fighting kids, bedtime battles, and snotty moms on Facebook. We wish never to have to vacuum crumbs out of the minivan again.

When it doesn’t happen, we are bummed out. We are cranky, or we b***h and moan, or we drink wine, or we write blog posts. We might not be as vocal as kids, but we cope in our own ways.

Does fighting selfishness and greed–whether in ourselves and our families–make us (or them) bad? No–just human.

Because success isn’t in victory, it’s in the daily struggle.


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