Christina Montoya Fiedler: I recently picked up an old issue of Details magazine, flipped through,
and nearly spit out my Diet Coke at the headline, "Are You Raising a Future Douchebag?" I did this
not because I was shocked, but because I kind of agree, and someone
finally said it.
Before I go on, I do not agree to the point of calling a kid a "douche." That's just wrong. However, I do agree that some of us are spawning future out-of-control hipsters!
As I'm out and about with my son in Los Angeles, I often see wee babies, toddlers and tweens engrossed in blatant consumerism -- ergonomic strollers and highchairs, mini Ralph Lauren sweater vests, sushi lunches, matching couture outfits, manicures and the latest whatever-it-is of the week. And I'm sure this sight can be seen over most of the country.
This all costs big bucks, and when you live like a yuppie at 0 years old, how do you think you're going to react when faced with generic brands, waiting in line and hand-me-downs later on in life?
But the point this article makes, and why I love it so much, is that if your kid can order up a half-caff macchiato sans foam by 3, and decides clowns and balloon animals are so last year, it's kind of your fault.
What happened to childhood being about lessons and parenthood being full of sacrifices? Kids can be cool without being spoiled or spending tons of money to build them the perfect persona. A trip to a museum is free on Tuesdays (at least in our neck of the woods) and jumping in puddles is loads of fun. Heck, sidewalk chalk is great, too.
Maybe I just can't relate because I did grow up in a household where going out to eat at a restaurant was a treat, where a new toy was a big occasion and where a new outfit meant an important event.
As a mother, I'd like to shelter my toddler from the commercialism of the world, so there's not a sense of entitlement that follows him out of my house and into the real world. Kids that get it all, expect it all -- and life's not that easy. Kids should be kids, not mini versions of ourselves put in this world for our enjoyment.
So, if you think you might be raising one of these guys, just think about saying no sometimes. It's OK. Really.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with husband Andy and her son, Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|