29 May 2007
No, we aren't there yet, shut up
Spoiled brats? Blame car seats:
[C]hildren are treated like little maharajahs, complete with servants (their parents or caretakers) toting a palatial burden of food, extra clothing, and an entire Toys 'R' Us-worth of games, dolls, and the like everywhere they go. Not to mention the elaborate transportation systems the little tykes get, some of which have so many accouterments that you could use them to fly cargo to the moon.
I think the whole thing started with car seats. Car seats are a laudable invention, but as with everything in American life no one was content with making just the car a baby-safe environment, and no one was content with mere safety being the consideration either. Now kids don't have to spend one amusement-free minute in their lives; their every waking moment they are reassured that the entire world exists to indulge them. This can't be good for them or the nation.
Abridged: "When I was your age, we had to ride in the truck bed, and we liked it."
Still, the presumption exists that if we don't keep their little minds occupied, God knows what they'll get into. The fact that kids are supposed to get into things that's how they learn things, fercryingoutloud never enters the calculation. I am quite certain that nothing can teach a child to stay away from a hot stove quite as efficiently as a first-degree burn.
The upside of all this, of course, is that sooner or later the child will complain about having to be buckled into that damn seat; you then explain that it's a government mandate, and suddenly you've planted a seed. "Life is full of doing things you don't want to do, and this is a major reason why." If you chafe under the Nanny State at six, you'll really hate it at twenty-six.Posted at 11:28 AM to Almost Yogurt