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Are You Raising a Future D-bag?

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Before I go on, I do not agree to the point of calling a kid a "douche." That's just wrong.

a future douchebag

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.

next: Study: Teen Girls Loved This Cigarette Ad
11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sierra Black March 15, 2010, 6:19 PM

I am raising a couple of future feminists who I’m sure will be just as disappointed to see you using such a tediously sexist insult as I am. What are you, 9? Didn’t your mother teach you better?

shari storm March 15, 2010, 6:21 PM

I remember many years ago, hanging out with a parent who had taught her three year old to say, “Whatever” in a snotty voice. I asked her something and she responded with “Whatever!”

I had just met the three-year-old and I thought how sad it was that her parents had taught her that being dismissive and rude to people was funny.

That girl is a teenager now. I heard through the grapevine that she dropped out of school and is struggling. While I was sad, I wasn’t entirely surprised. Teaching your kids to be good people is one of the best lessons you can give them. And teaching them it’s cute to be hurtful is a terrible disservice.

Ane March 15, 2010, 6:56 PM

“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, or when a new outfit meant an important event.” — I so can relate because that is how I was raised too and that’s how I intend to raise my kids too.

So far so good, my kids don’t throw tantrums whenever I say “No” when they ask for something impractical and totally out of the blue. I do of course reward them for their good behavior and I hope it sends out the message that good deeds are rewarded.

It’s hard to be a parent but I love it! :)

Mandy March 15, 2010, 10:56 PM

Sierra (or anyone else who caught this too?), what did she say that was sexist? I am just completely missing it here, unless it is making a mountain out of a verbal molehill? Please fill me in!!

michelle March 16, 2010, 12:43 PM

I may not be raising a d-bag, but I just read a blog post by one. This author is offensive. She’s obvs trying to stir up a little class hatred — “look at these big city hipsters who think they’re better than you.” Whatever - she’s making it up. We live in hipster ground zero in NYC, and yet I can’t find all these spoiled little hipsters. Where are they? But go into any Target and you see plenty of little monsters hitting their parents, yelling, etc.

Anonymous March 16, 2010, 5:59 PM


Anonymous March 16, 2010, 6:45 PM

Complete misuse of dbag. Having lots of riches or being spoiled or wanting new stuff is not what a dbag is.

Chrissy March 17, 2010, 12:02 AM

The real point is that there plenty of spoil kids out there. 16 yo’s agruing with Dr Phil that texting AND driving isn’t a problem. Parents concerned that their kid will kill themselves in a car crash but won’t take either the car keys or the cell phone away. Pre-teens ringing hundereds a month in cell phone bills. NYT article by the author on why he fianlly broke down and got his 9 yo a cell phone (every one of his frineds has one, some for more than a year and he didn’t want this kid to feel left out well that and safety issues as the guise) 5 and 6 yo’s being pushed around in a stroll. Article also about NYC’ers (proabablely else as well) getting their 6 yo’s manis-pedis and facials. As well as personal trainers. TVs and computers for 2 & 3 yo’s. In their bedrooms. Deisgner duds - Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, Burberry for infants?
And we’ve seen it here - women having a baby shower for each of her children.
And some of these parents spoiling their offsprings are hipsters. Raising spoil little hipsters.

Jessie R. November 23, 2010, 1:39 PM

Interesting article. Thank you for educating us on the subject.
Prestiti veloci.

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