Hey parents, can't you find a better way to enjoy your success without spoiling your teens?
Julie Wolfson: A new show has arrived that combines the extravagance of "MTV Cribs" with the cringe-worthy bragging of "My Super Sweet 16." When rock stars and top athletes show off their over-the-top mansions on "MTV Cribs," their extravagant lifestyles are put on display. These celebrities give the viewing audience a tour of what they buy with their big paychecks: basketball courts, screening rooms, shark tanks, giant garages full of sports cars, and more. In "My Super Sweet 16," spoiled teenagers have parents who not only throw a ridiculously expensive birthday event for their teenager, but they also allow it to be filmed. They seem to be hoping that everyone that watches will "feel jealous" of how much that parent must love their kid to spend such an extreme amount of money on a birthday party.
So when I heard about MTV's "Teen Cribs," I got that skin-crawly feeling. The show features teens inviting MTV into their family's mansion. The audience is treated to a tour of the giant game rooms, indoor slides, golf carts, and other amenities that are way more than any impressionable young person needs. If kids look to their parents for guidance, how will they live up to this expensive lifestyle?
Our daughters have several friends who are extremely wealthy. These kids enjoy large, beautiful houses, nice vacations, and some occasional VIP treatment, but none of their parents have created over-the-top, celebrity-inspired "cribs" for their families. Instead, we see these families trying to find the balance between enjoying their success and teaching their kids about volunteerism, empathy, and morality. Of course, this more balanced approach to raising wealthy kids would not make compelling TV series.
"Teen Cribs" shows off the over-the-top world of parents who spoil their kids rotten and sign and invite cameras into their homes to let their kids brag about their "toys." We can only hope that these kids will be able to grow up with all these "toys" and still find some way to become productive members of society.