Skip to comments.American Kids: The Most Indulged Young People Ever.
Posted on 07/20/2012 6:30:48 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Picture a child of 8 or so. He wakes up and carefully makes his bed before going downstairs and emptying the dishwasher. He fixes himself a bowl of cereal and calmly eats it at the table, then clears his place, rinses the bowl and spoon, and places them both in the now-empty dishwasher.
If this seems like some sort of mythical youngster from a faraway culture or a bygone age, you may be in the market for one of the parenting books smartly reviewed by Elizabeth Kolbert in this weeks New Yorker. Summing up the point of both the books and the review, she writes, With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world.
Kolbert describes an anthropologists encounter with 6-year-old Yanira, part of a remote Peruvian tribe. On a leaf-gathering expedition with another family, Yanira constantly makes herself usefulshe sweeps the sleeping mats twice a day; she fishes for crustaceans, cooks them up and serves them to the others. Calm and self-possessed, Yanira asked for nothing, Kolbert writes of the anthropologists impressions.
The same anthropologist was part of a family study in Los Angeles as well, with very different results. In those families, no child routinely performed household chores without being instructed to. Often, the kids had to be begged to attempt the simplest tasks; often, they still refused.
In [one] representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, How am I supposed to eat? Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her.(Icontinued)
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...
Someone should talk to those daycare providers.
“Izquierdo and Ochs shared an interest in many ethnographic issues, including child rearing. How did parents in different cultures train young people to assume adult responsibilities?”
Well, I am guessing that 6-year-old Yanira’s parents don’t sit around indulging themselves with observing other people work for their sustenance. I’m sure that they didn’t attend any pomp schools. They work, live, love and survive in their environment.
We do the same thing here—work, live, love, survive—just differently because we aren’t third world/primitive. The anthropologists just may get a chance to observe working children here in the good old USA, if things don’t turn around.
I am sure that many children(not all) would pick up the ax, shovel or whatever is necessary to survive. Though I think these sit on their butt observing anthropologist would get a swift kick in the butt, told to work and not be indulged as they are by the Peruvian tribe.
Kids here once worked very hard, there are child labor laws. Heck, now they want to stop children from working the family farm. Kids can’t be spanked—what is there for children to see as a result of doing nothing? Nothing.
If those Peruvians lived in the United States, they would be put in jail for how they raise their children...or at least have them taken away.
Do you think that using kids from Lost Angeles is really a good example? Kids in Iowa generally don’t act like this unless they’re from seriously messed up families.
My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, “You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.” - Bill Cosby
Funny you should use Iowa as an example. I lived there from 1974 to 2001. Yes, many children in Iowa act exactly like those cited in the article. As many as in Los Angeles? Hard to say, but Iowa isn’t what it used to be. I remember riding a bus to work in Des Moines and being astonished by the thug-like behavior and language of the high school students riding the bus to school. That was in the 1990’s.
Yanitra's parents, on the other hand, collect extra crustaceans to pay for the Peruvian crustacian and leaf collecting income tax. And when she is done sweeping, Yanitra studies crustacean anatomy and physiology to pass her shaman crunchy-stuff test so she can pass on to be an accredited crustaceean collector for the tribe, and then help her parents calculate the percentage of leaf that has to be added to the crustacean collection each year to pay the Peruvian government.
Well gee, then, I GUESS IT'S A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CULTURE, JACKASSES!
Does anyone know what a “totebagger” is? I was reading the comments of this article and there are so many references to this term, I’ve never heard it before.
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